Sunblock

The Sun is not a fickle luminary. It never moves, never changes, never stops giving light and life. The Sun just shines.

In our ignorance and immaturity, we used to think the Sun revolved around us, that each day was a new journey from one horizon to the other. We used to think that perhaps today's trip was the last one. Maybe we felt fearful, egotistical, or small, so we attributed those same qualities to the Sun. We spent time trying to appease the Sun so that it would come back the next day. We cursed the darkness, not knowing that it was us who turned away.

We've grown so much. Now we know that we don't have to stroke the Sun's ego in order to get it to come back. We don't have to be afraid. We can focus on the business of best using the light and life that shines on all of us equally. Now we know that the real gift is not 93 million miles away, but is instead right here and now. There's a lesson there.

God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? - Numbers 23:19, NIV

Think of how many prayers, how many books, how many services are attempts to get God to change how He feels about us. Maybe we've been told that the right affirmations, the right paraphernalia, the right words will get God to start liking us. But God doesn't work that way. God does not change. This is good news, because God called you "good and very good" at the beginning of all of this. Can we take Him at His Word?

Trying to change God is like trying to alter the Sun's trajectory, when we are the ones who are moving. The Sun just shines, and God just loves you.  You don't have to get God to do anything different. You just have to turn.

Yesterday there was an eclipse, as you know. I love the fact that so many of us were able to drop our earthly fears and worries for a moment and look skyward. There was real beauty there, both literal and metaphorical.

And danger, too, of both kinds. You're aware of the physical danger -- everybody knows they're not supposed to look at an eclipse. Actually, you're just not supposed to look at the Sun. There's too much brilliance to take in. It's just that the eclipse makes the feat seem manageable.

God, being not just transcendent but Transcendence, is more than what we can experience with our senses. God is more than physical phenomena. God is more than what we can wrap our intellects around. God is more than our egos. Trying to reduce the Divine to any of those levels is a little like staring at the Sun. The brilliance overflows the container. If we persist in the effort to contain it, we end up blinded to the Light that's all around us.

But everybody knows that. We know we're not supposed to make God in our image. There's a commandment about it. The real problem is that eclipses aren't all that rare. How many times has somebody tried to sell you a workshop, a book, a practice, a healing modality purported to make God more manageable? How many church services are really eclipse celebrations?

It doesn't have to be that way, of course. You don't have to manage God, after all. You just have to live.

In order for there to be life on Earth, the Sun has to be more brilliant than what our senses can handle. But you don't need to stare at the Sun; that's not your job. You are here to use that light and life to grow and thrive.

You are made in the Image and after the Likeness. All you have to do is shine.