A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

No more than we can handle?

1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The concept that God will never give you more than you can handle is not really from the Bible. The closest verse that even approaches that concept is quoted above, and it’s not talking about adversity, it’s talking about temptation. Now, truly, they can be one and the same at times, but most certainly they are not always the same. The trials of life can pile up on a person all at once, and a person can break from the load. That happens to the faithful as well as to those who have no strong connection to the Divine. I have been there, as have many others in my personal circle of acquaintances and friends. There are times, however, when we have asked Spirit to prepare us for certain ministries and functions where Spirit must break through our own barriers in order to do so. At those times, we are brought to, and at times, beyond the breaking point, so to say that God does not give us more than we can handle is short sighted to say the least.

For instance, there are many who innocently enough ask for patience to be made more pure in themselves. That is a foolish prayer, one that can bring on bigger troubles than one can ever foresee. It is trials and tribulations that grow patience within the human soul, so when one prays for patience, one will receive trials and tribulations, aplenty. Never pray for patience unless you are prepared for the “schooling” that brings it out in you. Even praying for understanding can lead to situations we had never before encountered just to show us what another person is going through. Be prepared when you ask Spirit to help you grow in a given area, the lessons to be learned may be more than you can take. I will not tell you that you should not ask for spiritual growth, just the opposite, but don’t be surprised when you find yourself experiencing growing pains, it comes with the territory.

My own personal experience on this has been a slow and sometimes painful process of learning. I hear voices, I see “things” that are not there for others to see. I wanted to understand what was happening to me, and asked to be shown. I was shown. The human mind has far more capacity than most of us ever use. The reason most of us have been “shut down” in some of those areas of the brain are that, quite frankly, we cannot take the bombardment of stimuli on the constant basis that would ensue. Look at autistic children, they are born with many of those things which would be called “breakthroughs” in the mind. Many can hear with such acute clarity that they can hear a faucet dripping blocks away. Others experience visual stimuli outside the normal spectrum available to most humans. These are but a few of the ways in which they are challenged, and such a young mind ends up shutting down, or shutting out normal communication because it is too much to bear.

I can tell you that Spirit is there to comfort and sustain us at those times, I can tell you that Spirit is very real to me, but you must experience that for yourself, and that alone can be a phenomenon that will lead to near breaking of your own psyche. Truly, it is no comfort to tell someone that God will not give them more than they can bear, the truth is that many times life on this plane will bring just exactly that. Sometimes, all you can do for another is simply be there, give a shoulder to cry on, give a listening ear, gently allowing another to pour out their pain, so that you can, at least for the moment, share it, thereby easing the burden. Try not to give platitudes, they only make the suffering worse. Just be there, that may be all you can do.

An Attitude of Gratitude ~

The attitude of Entitlement is killing us. I do not speak here of governmental programs of entitlement, that’s a different story, and where there is need, I cannot personally ask that the help be withdrawn, as I benefit greatly from that help. I am speaking of the attitude of entitlement. The idea that the world owes us because we are surely worthy. Yikes! Where did this attitude even originate? I have run into this article in a couple of places, and it is perfect in addressing this attitude, so I will post it’s link for you.

What seems to be lacking, according to Rabbi Heller, is an attitude of Gratitude, something I had learned many years ago from the ministry of Robert H. Schuller. Now, normally, I have little to say that is good about the televangelists that have emerged with technology, but this man seemed to walk his talk, and because of that, I have occasionally listened to him speak. Both the rabbi and the minister speak of learning that everything is a gift. That includes our health, our job, our very breath. We are not owed these things, they are given for our ultimate benefit. When we believe the world owes us, we get surly, angry, and have no patience with the others that are in our way. It is this attitude that makes it possible to kill another human simply because we want the shoes they are wearing.It is this attitude that lets a mother kill her only child because the child is in the way when she wants to do something, like partying.

The world does NOT owe us. We owe the world. An old sage once said that the “service you do is the rent you pay for the space you take up.” We are not here to learn to grab the brass ring, we are here to learn to love. That’s a tall order. I have found myself both amused and aghast at those who would say that teaching and preaching Love as the way of the Enlightened is wishy-washy. Try living it for a while. It is most difficult, and there are many things to learn before we can even begin to operate at that level. We must learn first to be detached from “things”, knowing that they are only temporary, and do not fulfill our greater needs. Further, we must learn to be detached in a gracious manner from the gratitude of others when we “do” for them. We are doing that for our own benefit, to learn to give without strings. We are learning to give because it is the right thing to do, not because we desire a sense of indebtedness from them.

It is for this reason that we must be sure that what we give is right for the situation, so that we do not make things worse for those who benefit from our gifting. Most often we find that it is our time and our attention that benefit others most, not the “things” we can give. This means learning to actively listen when another comes to us with their sorrow or pain. We must even learn to actively listen and enjoy when they come to us with the high points of their lives.We must learn to operate outside the boundaries of our selves. When we cannot do good, we must learn to do no harm. This means walking a balanced path within that lets them be who they are, while we learn who we want to be.

We are not “entitled” to respect. That must be earned, but we must first learn to respect. This includes the boundaries of those we would hope to help. Unfortunately, those who embark on charitable missions look at a situation and decide what is needed according to their own perspective of another person’s life. This is like giving potatoes to a person who has lived their entire life on rice. They don’t know how to use the potato, and it rots in a pile of debris, rather than filling the bellies of hungry children. We must learn to give what is needed, not what we think is needed. The most loving thing we can do is ask, “What do you need?” If it is within our grasp to give what is needed, we are in a good position to do so, if we cannot give what is most needed, then perhaps we need to look around and see if there is another on the Path that can give the needed benefit. This is another area that is difficult, for many times we must learn that it is not all about us, but about providing that which benefits most. As I have said, and many before me who are much wiser, learning true kindness is not an easy life to live. But, when you do learn to be compassionate to others, truly compassionate, you will have happiness within yourself, and you will have given happiness to others as well.

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