JUST BE YOURSELF Feb 23, 2008 12:52:48 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Feb 23, 2008 12:52:48 GMT -5
JUST BE YOURSELF
by Thomas E. Durst
by Thomas E. Durst
Do you want to be power in the world? Then be yourself. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the greatest revelations that I've had in my life is the realization that I don't have to try to be like others, even people who've done truly great things. Since I'm focused on the spiritual life and have read many biographies of great spiritual leaders and have looked at their practices, teachings, and accomplishments, I've had to realize that how they practiced their faith, what they taught, etc, does NOT necessarily mean that I have to believe and practice my faith in the same way to be faithful and to fulfill my own destiny in life.
No two of these great spiritual leaders that I've read about has believed just exactly the same and has had exactly the same kind of mission and ministry. The variety of both beliefs and practices is HUGE even in the same given areas such as evangelism, teaching, personal ministry, healing, helps, philanthropy, etc. I could go on and on giving examples of what I'm talking about.
What a revelation and what a relief it has been for me to see this more clearly but it has taken many years and I'm still working with this process. No one knows how much I've struggled over this whole area for in some cases I've tried to make myself fit where I really don't fit at all. Over the last six decades I've learned so much from so many great teachers and spiritual resources and have sought to internalize what resonates with me (See Romans 8:14). What is helpful for me might be just for me and I need not nor should I seek to impose my path upon others.
Sometimes what is termed "witnessing" or "evangelism" could in reality be our desire to impose our ways of thinking upon others. Each individual will have to determine his/her motives in this regard. Are we really listening to our "heart of hearts" or merely doing something because someone urged it upon us?
I have often shared my insights and what has worked well in my spiritual life but hopefully not with the intention that everyone must do it the same way. What I try to do is to encourage every person to find the path of life that works best for them and diligently pursue it and be as helpful as possible in a world that is indeed in need of all the help it can get.
Does this make sense to you? It would be nice to hear from you.