Monday, March 2, 2009

Geared to Struggle

I am aware that every time I use a wisdom construct from a tradition not overtly Christian or Jewish there are potentially people I know who could castigate me for it. So it’s important to place a disclaimer on this advice, because the source is not Christian; but it is, I believe, entirely biblical.

Rob Bell of Mars Hill Church, in his book Velvet Elvis says, “If it is true, if it is beautiful, if it is honorable, if it is right, then claim it. Because it is from God. And you belong to God.”[1] (Italics mine.)

There’s a theological truth in the Shaman philosophy to struggle. This advice is more than just pagan religion. God’s truth works, period, as cited above. Here is some of God’s truth:

“The spirit of a warrior is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning and losing. The spirit of a warrior is geared only to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior’s last battle on earth. Thus the outcome matters very little to him. In his last battle on earth a warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear. And as he wages his battle, knowing that his intent is impeccable, a warrior laughs and laughs.”[2] (Italics in original.)

‘Every struggle being the last battle on earth’ is significant. It means this warrior focuses so much on the present issue and all it demands of him or her that their chances of success are maximised. They are as efficient as possible.

Perhaps the warrior also keeps things as simple as possible, not cluttering their thinking with indulgences, complaint or thinking of winning or losing. They might focus on the process and not the outcome. They ensure their ‘intent is impeccable’ so that the spirit within is free and clear to flow in the right direction and at the right rate. One this method is employed they have little need of anxiety, hence they can ‘laugh.’

We’re geared (or organised) to struggle. That’s why we have God. After all, ‘all things are ours.’ We have a tip here regarding intent. How can we make our intent more impeccable? How can we resiliently struggle better, and perhaps even enjoy the struggle?

Struggle is an opportunity to inspire.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
[1] Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005), p. 79f. Bell cites 1 Corinthians 3:21, 23 where Paul tells the believers at Corinth that “All things are yours,” in the context that these believers are claiming smaller things than they could, through Christ, who is of God. See also David E. Garland, 1 Corinthians – Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2003), p. 124.
[2] Carlos Castaneda, The Wheel of Time: The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts about Life, Death and the Universe (Los Angeles: Eidolona Press, 1998), p. 60.

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