Arise Within: A Lesson on Becoming

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

– Marianne Williamson, Return to Love

lion stretching

See how this lion rises, stretches out and faces the sun?

Friend, how much do we hold back what is within us? Do we press down our own fullness in certain situations? I’ve long noticed this within myself and others. Here is a lesson on becoming the fullness of ourselves. Only in doing so within can we progress into being what we know we can be for God and others.

Recently someone unlocked this door for me. A friend from high school who I’d reconnected with through Facebook some time ago, posted some thoughts similar to those from Marianne Williamson. Myles Robey Thornburg wrote of having recently put forth, “weakness I cannot claim as my own.” Further, he knew it was time to change his “role in the game.” This immediately got my attention. His words indicated what he was feeling about something I don’t know and don’t need to know, because his statements resounded with such universal truth.

As he continued, he mentioned his responsibility to “tend [his] scenery,” and finally he said he would, “align [his] will with [his] best understanding.” I contacted him the next day to see if I could quote him here. As we wrote I could see such authenticity in the conversation. This is the mark of someone in whom God is active. None of us comes to such insights without working out their “stuff” with Him. Personal power, given by the sovereign God is sometimes far ahead of our consciousness that we do shy away from it. And while I always say that ‘humility’ is my favorite, I admit that there is a tension between this quality and that which follows it: a rising within. This was happening in Myles. It echoed what was happening within me.

Stop claiming weakness that you don’t have.
Stop. Take moment to look at what is inside you. See yourself through God’s vision. Now let it wash over you. You are not a victim. Outwardly there might be times in which another stands as your accuser in some way, throwing their stones. But if you allow yourself to catch a glimpse of God, you will find that His finger draws lines in the dirt. You don’t know what those scratches indicate, but you can be sure that He is able to handle those stones. And through gazing upon Him a reflection forms. You begin to see who you really are, what He has already given you. Right there is the secret place, where your soul touches the divine.

Be a wise steward of your gifts.
“Each of us is far more capable and accountable than what we behave,” Myles wrote. It’s true. We have more strength and insight than what we allow others to see. And showing forth these gifts isn’t for praise, no. It is how we make a unique imprint of God within us in our world. So somebody doesn’t recognize your truth. It’s still your truth. Live it, be that truth, friend. God has entrusted you with these gifts – gifts that you give. Live with the hope of arriving at those pearly gates absolutely exhausted and empty. You’ll smile in exhausted satisfaction.

Don’t allow negativity to creep in.
Myles said, “Negativity comes in many forms, and if not careful one becomes ‘that character’ who nothing goes well for and he lives awkwardly.” The 1997 blockbuster Men in Black, shows a huge alien occupying the body of a dead farmer. Even trying to walk, every movement was awkward! And although the alien was the antagonist in that film, see that rickety walk. It is the picture of someone too large for the existence they embody. This is what happens within us as we refuse to stretch out into all that we are. Naysayers, critics, accusers or whatnot, do not have the full picture of all that you are. Nope. So don’t accept an outward definition of yourself. Please don’t; instead, unfold yourself. Stretch out, fulfill it.

The role of faith in good works.
Faith is that core trust in a God who can do anything. Combine that with outward expression. Through your very own personality, as you serve, give way to self-expression. Myles calls this, “The blessed life.” We’ve been conditioned to think of ‘self’ as only at odds with God. And yet, it is in this very self that God shows himself to the world. In each self! Make faith a part of everything you do.

As you continue in your journey, you may find – as I have – the words of Myles, God’s own servant, to be prescriptive as you go. I leave you with what this has meant to me. Bring prayer into what you see. Every moment brings the opportunity for you to keep or lose your focus. Align your human inclinations to those of your spirit. Remember Jesus’ words to Peter:

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41

(Many thanks to Myles Robey Thornburg for sharing his time and insights…may God richly bless you and others through you my friend!)

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