I had been on the Spiritual path for many years and in my recovery I had found a God of my understanding. It wasn’t Jesus.
I had studied many Spiritual concepts, Religions and Philosophies. I was also trying to commit to my Step 11 practice. I experimented with many meditation techniques and some were very effective, however I could not keep up with the practice or devote myself to any one of them for any significant length of time.
That was until I discovered Centring Prayer. It suited my temperament and I was willing and able to give it the necessary commitment. It became, and still remains, my primary devotional practice. The paradox of course was that the practice comes from the Christian Tradition, and I had no desire to identify myself as Christian or follow any of the precepts of Christianity. Or any religion for that matter. I guess you could say I was spiritual but not religious.
The Jesus of my understanding at that time was a mystical person not unlike the Buddha, with teachings that were largely metaphoric. I liked to say that, “The Buddha points the way to enlightenment. Jesus points the way to salvation, and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous points the way to peaceful, happy, contented sobriety.”
I had the Mystery of the Divine all sown up in a clear, easy to understand, neat little care package that suited my recovery just fine. I had many deep and profound spiritual experiences that kept me motivated to continue my walk with the God of my understanding. I even had a very real experience of Divine Love. “Wow!” I thought. “That’s what those Christian Fuckers are always on about.”
One Sunday morning during my morning Prayer time I was prompted to attend church which I was not at all happy about, however, I have a credo by which I live and that is,
“Relax, take it easy, live one day at a time, and if The Great Spirit prompts you to do something, you move your ass.”
I did attend church that morning. I put on a clean shirt and showed up at a Pentecostal Church that I passed by everyday. I got there just before 10am because I assumed that would be what time church would start. I shook some hands, kissed some babies. Stood up when asked to, sang along and prayed. The experience wasn’t entirely unpleasant and I was relieved when my Higher Power didn’t ask me to go back.
Some time passed and I remained on the trajectory I was on and was happy to do so. Then the awful day came when, during my morning prayers, I was told very clearly and very specifically, “Jesus Is who he says he was.”
I was determined not to share this information with anyone lest what remained of my now fragile spirituality be completely shattered.
Then I was invited to Q. I had friends there. I knew it was partially based on 12 step recovery and I felt I might be able to contribute something. I felt safe enough to reveal my revelation (I think they were more excited about it than I was). I attended meetings and all the retreats. When asked to do something, I didn’t say no right away. I was baptized, and eventually became a member of the leadership team.
What I contributed to Q was but a fraction of what I received in return. I was given a spiritual family. I was given encouragement and support during difficult life situations. Most importantly, I was allowed to be wrong. I was allowed to hold on to my pre-conceived ideas about Jesus and about Christianity and about the Bible. As long as I respected other people’s values I was allowed to do Church badly until I learned to do it better.
What my life is like now? Well, I’m convinced Jesus loves me. He wants to have a relationship with me. He cares about me, not because I’m good but because he’s good. I worship him not because he needs to be worshipped but because I need to love him with all my heart and all my mind and all my Soul.
He never intended to start a religion that’s not what he’s about. It’s what Lucifer is about. He wants to be worshipped, he wants religion, he wants to divide and conquer. He hates us. He hates us because the God most High holds us in such favour.
I understand that his name isn’t Jesus, his last name isn’t Christ. He was never a Christian and he wasn’t born on December 25th. When all the falseness falls away the Truth remains. The Truth is that everything that is Good and True and Beautiful in my life comes from the Father and the Son that he sent, and that Holy Spirit is the Restrainer that keeps the Darkness from utterly prevailing.
I love my friend.