Progressive Patterns

What to do when you get there

Hint: Not nothing.

Biblical meditation and communion with God is not an emptying of the mind. Just the opposite, it is a filling of the soul with the Spirit of life, and life is filled with music, color, language, inventions, fresh experiences, and growth. There can be only one result of contact with the Creator—creativity!

McKenzie River below Sahalie Falls (Hwy 126 east of Eugene)

Let's look again at that passage from Ministry of Healing (p. 58).

When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, he who is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength.

The goal is not silence. The goal is to hear the voice of God. Human silence is but a necessary step towards that goal. The voice of God creates and heals, every time. If it sounds like condemnation to you when you are alone, that is just the first stage of healing. Persistence, and possibly repentance, will cause you to "go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." (Isaiah 55:12)

You may not feel it at first, but you "will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace." You "will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength," and that physical energy must express itself in action and that mental strength will create, solve, forgive, rejoice, and praise. Parents will receive insights to help their children. Leaders will solve problems. Mechanics and engineers will invent. Artists will imagine new ways to express God's goodness.

When I am with others, conversation invariably and naturally turns to spiritual topics and intimate sharing. Friendships are an expression of God's creativity.

When I am alone, I hum tunes. I also write. I think I do my best writing when I am out in nature. Indoors I often struggle to clearly and completely express my thoughts, but in the Creator's creation words and phrases flow much more freely.

For what it is worth, I thought I would share a few samples to hopefully show some of the variety that God shares with me.

Sometimes we see our Creator's handiwork at our feet


Walk with Christ

In nature plays a song

that fills the soul with sound

when the Spirit of God descends

the lonely soul befriends.

In that joyful conversation

the human finds transformation.

Skepticism turns to sureness.

Defilement turns to pureness.

The one becomes half of two.

Two join in one—God in you.

Though body weak and frail,

the soul empowered cannot fail.

The Dove of truth brings peace.

Pressure, stress, strivings cease.

Walk with Christ hand in hand.

Enjoy the beauty of His land.

Sometimes we look up to see the Wind moving the trees


The Secret to Thanksgiving

A reality has dawned on me.

Let me illustrate it this way.

When I hold tight on to "my stuff,"

My self holds tight on to me.

When I hold tighter on to "my things,"

My self chokes me more firmly.

The strong hands of self grab me around my neck.

They won't release their death grip on me.

Only as I let go of "my stuff" and "my rights" and "my things"

Will self let go of me.

Self holds me as tight as I hold "what is mine."

While self is clamped down on me

I have a hard time breathing and being relaxed.

I think I am free. I think I am normal.

But deep down inside a nagging tells me I'm not.

I try to ignore the icy grip around my neck.

I convince my mind that I am in control.

But this is the deceitfulness of self.

I persuade me that I am free,

but the hands of self are still around my neck.

That is reality.

That is truth.

No matter what I think.

I am restricted.

I am not relaxed.

I am not at peace.

So what can I do?

How do I break free of this stranglehold?

It is self that has a hold on me,

So it is self that I must let go.

To let go of self is to let go of feeling deserving.

The path to peace, the truth of giving thanks,

Is accepting the truth that I deserve nothing.

Than I can be thankful for everything.

Now just because I deserve nothing,

Does not give you the right to mistreat me.

Because you also deserve nothing.

That allows us to be thankful together.

That truth allows us to be partners,

To be explorers in the universe of gifts.

You see, once I start being thankful,

and stop being deserving,

everything becomes a gift.

When I feel deserving, payment is mine.

And what payment is ever enough?

I have nothing to be thankful for,

Because I think things happened as they should,

or worse than they should.

Why shouldn't I get it? I was owed.

Pride demands payment.

Ego demands applause.

But unselfishness gives.

Unselfishness receives with gratitude.

What is received with gratitude is not earned.

It is delightful! It is pleasant!

Only pride puts the label on "my stuff."

When I let go of pride, I let go of "my stuff."

Everything now becomes a gift

That I receive with thanksgiving,

That I accept with joy,

That I take care of with stewardship.

Pride deserves and pride holds on,

Both to "my stuff" and onto me.

When I become the giver and the receiver of gifts,

I have let go and self has let go of me.

I can breathe again.

I can stop worrying about "my stuff."

I am relaxed and peaceful.

Pride gets washed away,

By the living waters of unselfishness.

When I really believe that I deserve nothing,

Then I am truly thankful for everything!

Many parables to contemplate at Heceta Head on Hwy 101 north of Florence


Backpacker's Psalm

The Lord is my guide,

I will not get lost.

He makes me to lie down on beds of pine needles.

He leads me beside the still lakes.

He fills my soul after weeks of work,

and leads me down the right trails.

He inspires me to a godly life.

Though I ford the deep rivers

and walk in the dark of night

I will fear no evil,

for You are with me.

Your map and your compass comfort me.

You prepare a campfire

with special foods and warm drinks

away from those who oppress me.

You shade my head at noontime.

You give me water when I am thirsty.

Surely good memories will follow me

and good friends attend me

all the days of my life.

And I shall follow the trail

into the everlasting sanctuary of the Most High.


by Ed Lyons, 4/28/17