I realise that I am going to shock some of you, but I need to be honest and level with you. This month I reach the age of 60!! Ok, Ok, I can hear those cries of “Never, I can’t believe it, you only look 40!” However, it is true, I am 60.
Now here is the interesting thing. I love being the age I am. I wish that the things I know now, I knew years ago and I wish I had found out how to have my present relationship with God years ago. I have decided to write down a few things that I have learnt and most of them are learnt only quite recently. So, here goes in no particular order:-
I have discovered that faith is a glorious uncertainty while touched by a firm conviction in my relationship with the one that I have learnt to encounter.
I have learnt that it is only when sitting in the presence of this divine person that I learn about the personality and character of this one called Eternal Love. There is no other reliable way to learn because encounter always trumps knowledge.
I have learnt that if I dare to sit in silence and stillness, I will always encounter God even if it feels that nothing happens and that such encounter changes me more than any other means.
I have learnt that God is just so much larger, closer and more transcendent and glorious as well as more loving than I imagined just a few years ago.
I have learnt that all of life is. There is no good or bad, right or wrong, in or out, sacred or secular. Living from the knowledge of good and evil just leads to criticism, judgement of others, pride and arrogance.
I have found that it takes years to find out who I really am. And then I learn that it is ok to be myself, my true self. In fact, I have discovered that no one else wants me to be the person that my ego thinks I ought to be and the person it hurts the most when I try to be the image of someone I am not, is myself.
I have learnt that every single human life on this earth is sacred, precious and created in Gods image. That includes the most strange, messed up and different to me. I need to find ways of honouring them as such and I do not need to feel threatened by them.
Jesus doesn’t want me to admire him or worship him. He only wants me to acquire his consciousness.
I have learnt that if my experience of God is different to yours then as long as we are both encountering God, yours is not wrong.
I have learnt that I am not indispensable! I may have a unique gift to bring to this world but this world can survive without me!
I have learnt that when someone’s character or constant behaviour annoys me then that it is just mirroring my own life and I need to learn to adjust that flaw in my life.
I have learnt that giving love and mercy is a sure way to receive love and mercy. In fact, there is only one way to make others more loving and that is by being more loving myself. It is the law of “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy”. Love begets love and generosity begets generosity!
I have learnt to speak blessing and favour over those who trouble me and I soon find that things change. Then I discover that it is probably me who has changed!
I have learnt to forgive swiftly. Then I find that the person who has been released is actually myself!
I am still learning to live like a child. Full of wonder, acceptance and with a beginners mind that allows lots of possibilities. I have much to learn yet.
I have learnt that pain and setback will be an enemy unless I welcome it as a friend to teach me.
I am still learning that dying needs lots of practice and it is not something that I can have too much of if I am going to be changed into Gods image.
I have learnt that I will never change the world until I first allow myself to be changed.
Learning to live in the present with I Am stops all regrets about the past and prevents any fear for the future. The Kingdom of heaven is always found in the present consciousness.
I have learnt that the desires of a righteous heart always come about.
These are just a few of the things that I have learnt. Part 2 will be available in 10 years’ time and I hope there is even more to read!