Hi my friends!
This morning as I was catching up on the news online, I came across a video of one of the Brownsville, Florida, revival meetings. In case you didn’t know, I was in the middle of the whole renewal movement. You know… that phenomenon that really began at the Toronto Airport Vineyard… what was called the Toronto Blessing.
My very first reaction to watching the video this morning was embarrassment. Man, did it ever throw me back! But, I relaxed, let my love and intellect engage, and then I felt something else other than shame. I’ll tell you about that in a second.
But first, let me tell you some other things I did that I could be embarrassed about:
- I was a born-again zealot and tried to convert anyone I met and even used Chick tracts.
- I converted one of my brothers to Christ by terrifying him with the torments of hell.
- I told my parents I was leaving high school to smuggle bibles into communist Russia.
- I faked speaking in tongues, as instructed, to kickstart the real speaking in tongues.
- I continually despised my presbyterian churches for not being on fire enough.
- I walked 20K of the most populated part of the Annapolis Valley praying in tongues the entire way.
- I was deep into the renewal movement and did crazy things and allowed even crazier.
- I faked being slain in the spirit at the Toronto Blessing because I was the only one left standing.
- I constantly told my Vineyard congregation that revival was just around the corner.
- I humbly believed the prophetic words that I was going to be world famous.
Oh man, I could go on. But isn’t that enough? Yes, that one little video reminded me of all that. And, like I said, my first momentary reaction was shame.
But I thought again. I felt again. Then, instead of shame, I felt love for myself. I perceived in all that a man who wanted to know the truth, who was looking for connection, meaning, and love. I saw a man who was continually searching for what was authentic, trustworthy, loving and true. I saw a man going through stages, transitioning from one level of understanding to another, a man progressing and evolving spiritually. Even if I was duped, it was because I was willing to be. Because I chased any lead that presented itself to me. I was hungry!
And that’s okay!
I’m not saying I’ve arrived. What I am saying, though, is that that same obsessive search has come to an end. I’ve come to a place of peace of mind and spiritual contentment. I’ve come to a place of love where I can embrace myself and my earlier selves. I gather up all of me in my own loving arms, past, present, and future.
But another thing I feel is that I look at everyone else the same way. I don’t laugh at those who are searching. I don’t ridicule those who are progressing. Like me, they are all impermanent, moving, changing, and evolving into themselves… their truest selves. I do not shame them or feel ashamed for them.
And that’s okay too.
Peace on your path!
*** Hey! If you haven’t read about the big changes at TLS, please read this! Thanks so much!