Sermon for May 26, 2019
What would I write here if I wanted to express the Truth as directly as I could? I would leave the page blank. But alas, that would not be helpful to those who seek the truth because the very fact that they are seeking means that the blank page just isn’t anything to them other than being a blank page. What one sees as the Truth, total peace and fullness, absolute lack of anything like anxiety or depression or sense of time and not being ‘here and now’, another sees as frustration, mystery, pointlessness, a canvas that needs to be filled, or something totally unseen, the invisible background. Inherent in the seeker is the desire to find meaning in the blank page by filling it. Inherent in the ‘knower’ is the fullness of the blank page itself.
When you look at your own path in this light, can you see how you would be destroying the truth you claim to want by the very way you’ve chosen to try to find it? Can you see that, once that insight that what you’ve been doing isn’t working dawns on you, your stubborn mind then immediately tries to find another “way”, another “method”, continuing the exact same error? That should give you a kind of knowing smile, and a good laugh at yourself.
These kinds of truths work in such subtle ways in us that it is very easy to allow them to float away in the noise of outward life. Even when reading this sermon, how easy is it to simply read along, forgetting the background, the contrast of the lines of each letter, which make the words possible to read?
One might, at this point, find themselves drawn to a kind of stillness, a desire to stop reading and let the subtle come to the forefront, and just be quiet. Seeing a kind of profound futility in seeking, you let stillness reveal itself to you. After the knowing laugh, something might settle that has rarely settled before. This is not the end of anything, nor the beginning, but a realization of something that was always there, and that will never leave.
Still, others may find this all very frustrating, almost annoying. It might even get one somewhat angry, as if there was a word or memory you’re trying to recall but you just can’t quite get it into your conscious mind. There is nothing wrong if further seeking is needed, further filling of the blank page before you can clearly see what isn’t there just as clearly as what is.
For many, there is also a great fear of the blank page. They will stop at nothing to keep ignoring that it is there. There is no limit to the things we’ll use to pretend the blank page isn’t everywhere we look. Drugs, sex, money, ego, religion, anything and everything can be used to fill the blank page, to disguise the subtle, yet glaring, Truth.
I can hear someone saying, “Yes, all well and good- but what is the Truth? Just give me the truth or give me a clearly defined way to it!” This desire to be given the truth, to discover it, to know it, is also part of the game of filling up the blank page to pretend the Truth isn’t immediately available to us all.
Do you really think that God is a mystery, that He holds himself apart from us? Or is it more likely that we play this game, separate ourselves, all the while praying, begging, pleading for God to reveal himself?
So, we can see this infinitely large spectrum of ways to relate to the ultimate “Truth”. Anger, guilt, exhaustion, frustration, realization, false realization...sounds like life itself, doesn’t it? Life itself is the seeking. Within our existence is everything we need to find God, Truth, and yet we fill it with things so that we miss its essence.
Take a breath for a moment. Take several breaths. The way we fill the blank page is less important than the realization that we are doing it. We all begin seeking in essentially the same way and this is not a criticism or judgement of that seeking, of filling the blank page. Ironically, the spark to see the background is ultimately what we formerly took as the thing which made up the page. We needed the contrast of these words on the white page to become aware of the white page at all. Suddenly we realize we thought we had forgotten something that we could never have lost. The words would literally not have been possible without have the page right from the beginning.
Take some time to read some bible verses you are most consistently drawn to. Read them with some of the thoughts here in mind. Does the meaning remain the same to you? Are you the same person reading the verses now versus before?
If you’ve been reading the sermons here for some time, this is a time when a long, heavy sermon with a lot of food for the mind is not needed. I could keep filling this space with ideas, examples, parables etc, but is that what you really need? If it is, not to worry, more sermons are on the way. When seeking is no longer needed, there will be no doubt, it will be self evident.