The following is a passage from Life Coach: Christ Coach:
I write a lot about isolation. Some of the things I wrote about in my book, “My Grandmother’s Shakespeare,” dealt with the ever-present cell phone and our need to always feel connected. And in doing so we are isolating ourselves evermore.
Some of the remedies that are cited for a life lived in isolation are ones you may have heard before. Join in with others, and nurture close relationships with friends and family. Learn to open up and give of yourself, and you will learn to love deeply and have meaningful relationships.
When we speak of a cure for Isolation, the solutions are ideas and actions that start from within. We can feel alone in a room full of people, or we can feel greatly connected at times simply by talking with someone we love or thinking of them.
Coping with Change
The need to change is never more apparent than in the life-altering story of Paul’s conversion on the road. We see a man who lived one way, and then after a life-changing epiphany, comes to dedicate the rest of his life to serving God and others. We need to resign ourselves to the fact that our lives are about Change.
“…The clergyman and poet John Donne compares the changes that occur to us to a battering ram:
“Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you as yet but knock, breathe, shine & seek to mend,
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me and bend Your force to break, blow, burn & make me NEW…
We CAN change. My 95-year old mother is adamant in her Christian beliefs that one of the saving graces of Christianity lies in our ability to change and transform into something wholly other….”
Leo Tolstoy, the esteemed Russian novelist…writes this:
“Five years ago I came to believe in Christ’s teaching, and my life suddenly changed. I ceased to desire what I had previously desired, and began to desire what I formerly did not want.”
The idea is to experience change…which is part of the human condition, and to live our lives expecting many things to change, but to keep our love as a constant.”
In these passages from famous authors, the fact that change is a part of our lives is something that we should always accept as fact. “It is what it is” is a phrase often heard these days. But the part of the thoughts we heard expressed from writers like Tolstoy, the part that lingers, is that no matter what changes we face, we can always keep our love as a constant. Our love for others, our love for God and a spiritual core to our lives is the constant throughout. It’s the acceptance of our lives through change, and a burgeoning and growing love for self that carries us through the difficult transitions we all must face.
Learning to Love
Love is so defined as so simple in its breadth and scope that a child can embrace it, and many facets of the chambers are never ending in the love we may find in Christ.
In some of the most poetic of verses about love, St. Francis of Assisi exhorts:
“Let us all love with…. “Let us all love with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our strength and fortitude, with all our understanding and with all our powers, with our whole might and whole affection, with our innermost parts, our whole desires, and wills that the Lord has given to us, the whole body, the whole soul, and our life, who has created and redeemed us, and by his mercy alone that will save us……Let nothing hinder us, let nothing separate us, let nothing come between us”
This may be the holistic approach in its earliest manifestation! Let us worship with our whole bodies, meaning that we should find joy in all our daily activities knowing that we are part of his kingdom and his grace and we are loved…”
We will talk more in the coming weeks about growing our love as part of our Growing Group learning experience. And the ways that we can grow in our faith and in our beliefs and courage is part of the experience that gives us hope and joy for all the wonderful goals and dreams we have in our lives.
And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.”
Bible verse Luke 15:32 The Prodigal Son
Mantra: This week, I will be more aware of the isolation that is present in my own life. The times I look at my phone and shut others out. And I’ll be conscious of those with whom I am blessed to have personal and loving relationships with in my life. I will think of all the changes that I have had and that I will face in my own life. I will learn to accept and embrace the change that is inevitable as I grow in spirit. And finally, I will be grateful for the love that I have found and have had in my life. I will be more aware of the blessings that love can bring.