STRENGTH IS A BALANCING ACT
What we want to learn and practice about strength today is that it is a balancing act. Rather than getting thrown... or drawn off balance, we need to learn to draw on our divine gift of strength and stay poised and balanced.
If you know who and what you are you cannot be thrown off balance by those around you. When you are centered in God, you are centered in strength. So practice your oneness with the presence of God and your divine gift of strength today.
STRENGTH REGAINS OUR BALANCE
But, being human, sometimes we get "knocked for a loop" or "have the rug pulled out from under us." Then what? What do we do when this happens?
Get strong by getting still. Stop, and center yourself in the here and now. Do that now - draw your mind into this very moment - not what you are going to do when you leave here - not what happened before you came in - but THIS VERY MOMENT.
Then draw your mind into this very place - not what's happening outside of here - not to other people sitting around you - but right where you are. Now, notice that in the here and now, that there is nothing wrong. In the here and now you are centered in the strength of God.
Remember the Bible teachings: Isaiah 30:15 "...in quietness and in trust shall be your strength..."a We have the ability to become quiet, find spiritual strength, regain our equilibrium and move on.
STRENGTH IS BEING A WELL-BALANCED PERSON
Strength is being a well-balanced person:
The Whole Human Being has developed both their Male and Female aspects, they are the Animus and the Anima. They tend to be equally comfortable with their Thinking nature and their Feeling nature.
In Genesis 1:27 it says that on the sixth day
"...God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them."b
So God created us as Adam, the individual man idea. And He created us as Eve, the feminine aspect of generic man - "male and female he created them" We are both Adam and Eve.
So as we learn to accept the perfection of who and what we are we learn to use the Wisdom of the Head as well as the Love of the Heart. When we know this balance, we then know God as the Father and the Mother.
We can learn to control our Logic and our Emotions so that our Intellect as well as our Intuition is available to us. Then we are not Left Brained or Right Brained - but Whole Brained.
The Unity of Life is:
If you split yourself off from God you will see these pairs as opposites - you will see the world as Good and Evil. But when you live in the Unity of Life you know that these are not opposites but polarities. They are merely two ends of the same stick - when you pick up the stick, you pick up both ends - the polarity, or the Unity of Life.
THINKING & FEELING IN HARMONY & BALANCE
The master key to spiritual strength is finding the balance between our thinking nature and our feeling nature. If our thinking nature is involved with negative emotions, we may have worry, dogmatism and prejudice. Feelings involved with negative thinking may develop jealousy, repression and domination.
In the "marriage made in heaven," we have an inner balance. We enjoy creativity, expressiveness, health, flexibility, discipline, nobility, organization, compassion, prosperity, happiness and strength.
A strong mental/emotional state is built in the same way physical strength is developed - by exercise. Healthy exercise builds the physical body. Healthy thoughts and feelings build mental/emotional strength.
BALANCE BETWEEN INNER & OUTER LIFE
In Luke 10:38-42 we read the story of when Jesus Visits Martha and Mary.
"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.
She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying.
But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me."
But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."c
Many people are confused and out of balance over their devotion to the inner or outer realm of life. Many churches are out of balance - some put most of their emphasis on prayer, others put most of their energy into changing the world.
The incident with Mary, Martha and Jesus is more than just a minor domestic spat. It illustrates the need for balance between prayer and action; thinking and doing; thinking right and eating right; positive thought and positive exercise; reading and applying the lessons read; helping ourselves and getting help from others; idealism and realism; being visionary and being practical; faith and works. The "one thing" that is needed would certainly be balance. Both the inner and outer life are good, but outer concerns can develop into negative anxieties. When we are stressed and anxious, we have to regain our balance with inward prayer work and "returning and rest."
WHERE DO I NEED GREATER BALANCE IN MY LIFE?
As I survey my life, where are some things not "working?" Where is there discomfort or pain? Do I need to pray more or take action? Do I need more inner, quiet time, or do I need to go forth and exercise my faith? Do I need to be more loving towards myself, consider my own needs or do I need to think of others and reach out to them more?
in studying Jesus - we are studying one of the most balanced people who ever lived. They have applied the Jungian personality tests to what we know about Jesus. Realizing that there was no knowledge of this psychological profile when the bible was written, and therefore they had no way of making the character fit the profile - Jesus is the most balanced personality they have ever found.
So let your prayer be "God... show me my need to _____ and, God, help me to be well balanced!"
I would like to close today with a meditation.
Sit quietly in an upright position. Since meditation is an inner thing, posture is not the most important aspect. The important thing is a relaxed mental attitude. Many people find that this is best achieved in a comfortable, upright position, the hands lying open, palms up on the lap, signifying a receptive attitude.
Now close your eyes and shut the world of effects out. Jesus called this going into the closet and shutting the door. If your mind wanders, do not be harsh with yourself but patiently bring it back by repeating silently: Be still and know.
As you relax, allow yourself to go to that quiet still place inside where it is just you and God.
Place your attention at the crown of your head, which is the Christ center, and think to yourself: The Christ Consciousness of God is awakened in me.
Let yourself relax physically, mentally and emotionally. Take a few slow breaths breathing deeply from your diaphragm. Each time you breathe out, let go of any tension, worry or anxiety that you may have. As you breathe slowly and deeply, you become calm and at peace.
Now visualize yourself being outdoors. Focus on the sun above you, which is the source of energy for all physical life and is symbolic of the One Source. Imagine yourself relaxing in the golden-yellow light of the sun, in the light of Spirit, which streams down upon you. Visualize and feel this light entering into the top of your head and your brain, which become highly energized and illumined.
Then see the golden-yellow light starting to flow from your brain down your spinal cord. It moves first into your spine in the region of your neck. As it does, sense and feel your spine and nerves being strengthened and stabilized. Then the light slowly descends along your spine to the mid-back region, which it also energizes, reinforces and strengthens. Finally, the light flows all the way down to the base of your spine.
Now visualize the light flowing from the spine along the nerves to every part of your body: your arms and hands, your chest and abdomen, your legs and feet. Wherever you may feel a weakness, inflammation or discomfort in any of your nerves, see the sunlight invigorating, strengthening, revitalizing and healing them.
Visualize your whole spine as being a solid, steady, stable column of golden-yellow light, which now radiates along all the nerves to every part of your body. Affirm: I am a tower of strength; my spine and nerves are steady and stable; I am illumined and strengthened in the light of God.
As you are guided from within, slowly come out of your meditation and think of some new way to be strong in your life.