By Pastor Robert Perez
I went through a heartbreaking split in 2019 with someone I was deeply in love with. It caused a profound shift in my whole being as I unraveled and studied the detritus left in my mind and heart. As I read from Matthew tonight, Jesus talked about the rich young man and how difficult it would be for people like him to reach heaven. Ironically, I put the two together…
As the young man walked away from Jesus, he was incredibly sad because Jesus told him to sell all he had and follow him to attain access to heaven. Jesus was making the point that the rich young man, any rich man, would be most difficult to enter heaven because they love money more than God. I’m healed from my experiences, but the lessons to learn from it I will probably continue to further understand the rest of my life. In my case I was thinking about how much love I had and the tremendous pain of the absence of that love. Then I thought about God.
Would I unravel in the same way in the absence of God? Do I love God in that same profound heart-pounding way? Think about it. Isn’t it the same? Shouldn’t we experience the love of God on that deep primal level, even more so?
We do have the capacity, but the ephemeral nature of God, that He is not in the form of a visible being, makes the connection hard for us to establish. We ‘feel’ God’s presence, but we don’t allow that experience to sink into the makeup of our deeper self. We keep it an abstract concept and hence removed from our self and not like the way that we love our children or our spouse or our possessions.
I continue to drive home the imperative that we are not truly connected to God, we merely think of God. This is the foundation of my Ministry, as it should be for anyone else’s. The whole point of going to church, any church, and gaining understanding of Jesus’ teachings is to connect with God. That is all.
If we truly had connection to God, we would then experience the joy that Jesus spoke of, or conversely, the sorrow of that absence that I am speaking of. This is our fundamental endeavor.
In many Eastern religions, and in the more orthodox Christian sects, they often make considerable effort to pray and meditate until they reach a profound level of connection with God. How are we to expect the same outcome from the paltry efforts we put in at our local churches? Now, I’m not talking about every church, but I do mean the majority, including the Catholic and Protestant churches. No one is exempt from the critical eye of scrutiny.
Think in your life about all the things you love, from the profound to the meaningless. Let’s see, I love my children and I love ice cream. Are they the same? Of course, not. I love sunsets and the smell of coffee. I love action movies and Picasso. I love punk rock and the sound of a baby laughing. I love cars and motorcycles and I love hiking. I love sex (oh boy, did he just say that?) and I love holding hands. Let’s get real boys and girls! The list is endless. Not everything is on the same plane of importance, but if I had to think of how I feel about it I’d say that I could apply the word love to many things. Can I say the same about God, Christ and the Spirit that dwells inside me?
I’ll say it again, let’s get real and stop the tippy-toe nonsense around subjects like sex etc. The same goes for God. In the development of the Christian movement we created this phony world of piety and lost our humanity in the process. We conceptualized God to the point that we pushed Him into the realm of fiction. The people of yesteryear just believed. We too easily say that it is because they were ‘ignorant’ and we are much more evolved. In some ways, yes, we are. But we also lost the basics of our existence along the way too, like our spiritual nature.
Many people walk this earth with an innate longing to connect their spiritual selves with the world of God, because it really is as natural as anything we do. We just ignore it. Christianity should be the answer for them, but in too many ways it lost the core understanding of the movement and developed a hogwash sense of itself that in the end only creates a barrier between God and us and replaces the potential for genuine connection with silly rituals that do absolutely nothing but confuse and distract for a false sense of value.
Be human, love, laugh and cry. Love your ‘stuff’ and the people in your life and your fellow man. But make it an imperative to find your way to God and experience a profound love that will be the pinnacle of it all. As a Pastor and believer in Christ, I know whole-heartedly that The Way can take you there. Peace…