Monday, December 29, 2003 12:02 AM CST
Love in the Gap
By: Gary DeVaul
I Corinthians 13:7
A love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
One of many things that I observed regarding Mark's spiritual pilgrimage through the accident, his recovery, and frankly, the tremendous attention he's received since his return to California, is the absence of Ego. The love that bears all things, and believes all things, hopes all things and endures, is void of Ego. The hallmark of Ego is fear. There are at least two parts to our human personality. There is the Spiritual Self that is the Divine representation, and there is the Ego, or that which St Paul referred to as the "Old Man". In short, the Spiritual Self is that higher self that Jesus meditated upon. It is that non-judgmental consciousness which allows us to stand back and look at ourselves. It is that detached part of our mind that says, "You know by all rights I shouldn't like that man. First of all he's a politician. Secondly, I know he drinks too much, he's constantly exaggerating, and sometimes lies, but there is something about him I like. I can't put my finger on it, but I like him." That's the Spiritual non-judgmental self-trying to peek through from behind the Ego, the higher self that lives in the gap where God's harmonious love is found. It is the higher self that says: don't look for the bad in others in order to elevate you and separate yourself from them. It is the Ego that says "I'm better." And it says it precisely because it does not believe it. The Ego requires palaces, prestige, and properties, things and more things in order to elevate and separate itself to prove that it's better. It is the Ego that says, "He who wins is he who has the most toys at the end of the game." For some of us it's that regrettable voice that says, "Well, I belong to the right church, the one that really preaches the Word" as if other perceptions are of less value. The love that bears and believes all things is the love that doesn't waste time in judgment of others.
The love that hopes all things is a fluid, forward, expectant notion. It has its own dynamic. It is connected to all. It is void of judgment. It simply springs from between the gaps in our thoughts; it comes to us in meditation. It is the creative power of love in our present consciousness. It is the faith we have learned in the past, thrust into the future. It is that part of us that reminds us that we are all part of the field of pure possibilities. It is the love that says you are made of stardust! You can be anything! You are part and parcel of God's Universe and every element, every gift, every talent, every idea that helps, heals, or brings joy and encourages love, is yours for the asking. The love that powers hope springs from the faith of or our past and it compels a one armed organist to play organs!
This is the hope of the entrepreneur, the one who builds a business because he loves building, not because he loves money. This is the championship golfer who ends up winning, not because he so much wants to beat the other golfer, but because he loves playing golf. This is where we find what some would term God's will for our lives. It is the animation of God's gifts to us within the realm of our lives.
What is God's will for our lives? It is that thing you do when you lose all concept of time and you realize the day is spent and you're lost in the bliss of your endeavor. This is the love that hopes all things! When the runner runs, the true champion wins; he wins because he really loves to run. Oh yeah, our Egos tell us it's to separate ourselves from the other guy. The Ego says that it's the manifestation of our American competitiveness, but it's really not.
Do you know the difference between millionaires who are happy and the ones who are unhappy? The difference is in motivation. If they are doing what they love to do, they are happy. If money comes, it's secondary. They are living in the loving, hopeful bliss of their Spiritual Self, which is connected by their gifts directly to God's will. If they are not doing what they want to do they are unhappy regardless of the bottom line.
When we are in the love, in the love that bears all things - we are aware that we are connected to everything and that the basic elements of the universe are at our disposal.
When we are in the love that believes all things - we are non-judgmental, free to accept life on its terms. We are not the least bit concerned with what others say about us. We have no ears for destructive criticism, and we relish constructive criticism, because our Egos are lost and our Spiritual Self has no pride of ownership. It wants to incorporate that which comes from our connection to others.
When we are in the love, in the love that hopes all things - we cast ourselves forward into our blissful activity or vocation of love and it becomes play. We love because we love running, not just winning.
The love that endures is the decision to love. It is the decision to activate the love that bears, believes, and hopes all things. This is the love that says I will love, regardless of the opposition, regardless of the taunts and threats.
The love that endures is agape. It is the love that is based on the decision to love. It is the love that Jesus experienced. It is the love we decide to activate in each present moment of our consciousness. It is the love that recognizes our connectedness and chooses to live in that loving moment, moment by moment. This is the decision to love. If you want to crowd out the Old Man Ego this is how to get started.
Accept the other person as Spirit, as being part of the field of pure possibilities, part of the God's Universe, part of all that is, a Spiritual being living in a human body. This is the love that endures.
This is the love that never fails, even when we find ourselves in a strange city, surrounded by doctors and nurses we don't know, lying on a gurney alone without a friend to guide and help, bleeding to death. This is the love that bears, believes, hopes, and endures, and gives permission to operate, amputating the present, and casting or faith into the hands of hope.