Yesterday, I shared with you my recent talk on the three Wiseman, and how I extracted three topics related to spirituality from the story. The first was pointing the camel’s noses towards the star of Bethlehem, which showed us that our lives are supposed to be aimed towards the beatific vision, a face-to-face encounter with God, just like these three men encountered God in the baby Jesus. We talked about the mechanistic model for explaining human existence. How it was focused on each person’s right to operate their own biological machine, body, as they saw fit. This was contrasted with the teleological model that was about aiming one’s life towards something greater than oneself. The former was a model that breeds selfishness, and the later was about transcendence.
Turning now to the second point I extracted from the story, we will look at the journey and how it prepares us for the beatific vision. Another way of saying beatific vision is union with God. In other words, the journey is about becoming united with God, and the Bible tells us that God is love. It is through this journey, that we become agape. For those who are not familiar with the word, agape is the highest and best form of love. Many define it as unconditional, but it is more than that. It is self-giving. Jesus was the perfect model of perfect love, and the Gospel tells us that we are to imitate him. Jesus was the perfect model, because he was agape, he was God. Now it is our turn to become self-giving love.
When you look at it from this perspective, we start to see how the journey is about shedding all of the trappings of the mechanistic view of life in favor of a life oriented towards the face-to-face encounter with God. The journey is about shedding selfishness, and growing in selflessness. In so doing, we become agape.
In my next entry, we will discuss in more detail how this happens. In the meantime, spend some time with the Holy Spirit analyzing your own journey. What are your current views about the journey? How does it look? How does it fall in line with my perception of shedding selfishness? Are you feeling tension thinking about my perception? If so, is that a sign of truth and resistance, or something else? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see more clearly the purpose of the spiritual journey. Ask him to help you see where your selfishness might be blocking you from understanding. Ask him to show you truth. Spend some time taking some notes about what you find. Journaling your encounters with God can be a great joy later in life because it can help you see more clearly how God has worked in your life. It can also be a great tool for understanding how God works in your life. If you see where God is calling you to make some commitments, be sure and jot those down, too. I find that the part of me that opposes the transition tends to wipe out spiritual insights if I do not write them down quickly. Feel free to learn from my lessons learned.