The following reflections comes from one of my Lectio Divina episodes a few years ago. It is contained in my book, Who Does God Think He Is, Anyway? which you can purchase in this blog under the Store category. These are my own thoughts and do not reflect any teachings or ideas from authories in the Catholic Universal Church, Cistercian monks or nuns, Lay Cistercian Communities. The problem I have is, the Holy Spirit has turned on the spigot of grace and energy, and I don’t know how to turn it off. It is a good problem to have for me, but you must put up with my meanderings. “That in all things, God be glorified.” –St. Benedict
THE QUESTION: Is God Left-Handed?
“Is God left handed? Does it matter to you? Does it matter to God? If God’s universe is made for lefthanders, and you are right handed, have you missed the point of life? What does any of this have to do with who God is?”
A STORY: Is God Left-Handed?
Casey was so fond of baseball that she would give up her ballet lessons to watch boys work out for fast pitch softball practice. She longed to be a part of the team. At that time in high school, no one allowed girls on the teams. Undaunted, Casey got together a group of her friends and formed a team. She got backing from the Parks and Recreation office to play the boys. Casey was a left handed pitcher. She would rifle a fast ball so
quick that very few boys, or even adults, could hit off her pitches. As time passed, Casey went to college and was a star athlete. She never thought of softball as anything but fun. She eventually entered Law School and became a judge. All of this time, she never thought of God as a person, until a friend of her asked her to give a talk to her
Sunday School. I was about how pitching reminds you of God. All of a sudden, something clicked inside Casey. All of the experiences of her life, in ballet, in softball, in her legal profession seem to click into place. She saw the big picture. She knew that God was the
pitcher on the softball team of life…and that God was left-handed, like her. If was a life-defining moment.
Consider this! God is an alien from a universe that is not only invisible to the naked eye, but does not contain matter. Yet, this universe, which we call spiritual, simply is. It never was, it never will be. I just is. God has influence over matter but choses not to intervene very often. Sounds obscure, doesn’t it? Think about it. In the nature of life, the higher orders have influence over the lower. Would you agree? Humans cannot make apes to be human, but they can manipulate life and influence the environment to enough to cause extinction of the species of apes. Look at God’s relationship to humans. Here is a superior form of being that does not even live in our physical or mental universe. That alien life form invited you to join Him in a place so far out, it is boggles your reason to even consider it. Yet, the only thing that superior being can do is to is invite us to live here…Forever, and hope that we accept. Read John 12:44-50. God does not have human form or hands. But, The Master, God’s Son, does have outstretched hands. Our Master came in person to give us that invitation and to tell us not to be afraid. It is an invitation we should not refuse. Read Philippians 2:5-12. This time, God intervened. Love is the motivator for God being one of us. What was so important that God wanted us to know so much that He left God to tell us (Philippians 2:5-12)? God does not have hands, but we do
THE QUESTION: If God is left-handed, does that mean only left-handed people get to Heaven?
REFLECTION: If God is left-handed, do only left-handed persons get to Heaven? You would not care, if you were left-handed, but otherwise, you might have cause for
thinking that God discriminates. Well, does God discriminate against those who have not freely chosen Heaven? Who are those who get to Heaven to live with a perfect being? A 100% perfect person. It is almost like watching Mary Poppins, or Martha Stewart at work– practically perfect in every way. If only the perfect get to Heaven, does that mean your body must not have any deformities? If so, most of us would not make it. If only the perfect get to Heaven, does it mean you must be the smartest, most intelligent person on earth? If so, that leaves nearly all of us out. If only the perfect get to Heaven, must you be young, physically fit, a body builder with a perfect form? If so, once again,
most of us would fail the test. So what are the criteria? Know God with all your ability, Love God with all of your strength, and Serve God with humility and unconditional service. Fortunately, the Master helps us make up the difference. “Learn from me, for I AM meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls.” Read Matthew 11:28-30.
ALL LIVING THINGS LEARN FROM THE OUR MISTAKES — I call it evolution where there is a symbiotic relationship between plants and animals, animals and humans, humans and God. Only humans have the ability to choose not to choose (apologies to B. F. Skinner and operant conditioning).
HUMANS HAVE THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE. What we choose depends on the scope of our choices. For some, they live only in the physical and mental universes and their choices are limited to what they can see and experience in this world. There is no afterlife, no God, no value other than what affect them. This is the classic sin of Adam and Eve, the one sin humans have never learned to completely master. Left to our own devises, the center of all of our lives would be the same, me. But, there is another choice we have, thanks to Jesus taking up the form of lowly humans (Phil. 2:5). It is the choice to act with the center outside of ourselves. To do that we must empty ourselves of false thinking, false acting and false loving. The world is our default as humans, both as to our values, our purpose, our meaning, the meaning of love. When we choose to do God’s will and put Him as our center, all that changes. Now, what we measure our worth or esteem or meaning against is God and the ways he has given us to reach our ultimate destiny, to know, love, and serve God in this life, and to be happy with God in the next life. Not only do we now have something like the Constitution of the United States, against which we measure what it means to be a citizen, we have God’s own authority passed down through the Church Universal, to keep us focused on Christ and sustain us in our lifetime until we get to Heaven. A large part of why I am a Lay Cistercian is to do the practices and receive the charaisms that come with placing my heart next to the heart of Christ and listening, learning to love as He loved us. It is a process and takes work, thanks to living my daily existence with the effects of Original Sin (temptation to be my own God, bad choices to put me before God, temptations to think the Holy Spirit is fantasy only for old men and women).
THE PAST — this world contains all the good times, the bad experiences, going thorough a messy divorce, all the hurts you have experienced. You relive them every day. They are your world. You might experience spiritually depression.
THE PRESENT — this level of travel means your world is the present. It is the time you spend with your children, your parents, your brothers and sisters. You throw yourself into caring for the children as your purpose in life. This is good but will not allow you to reach your destiny as a human being. Living for others will help them, but might not do you any good.
THE FUTURE — this spiritual level of reality has two parts: the first part is looking at how you can bring love and meaning through you to
those around you in this lifetime; the second part continues that journey Forever … in Heaven. In Heaven, after you die, there is no space, no time, but there is energy. If you have not discovered this energy source while on earth, chances are you won’t make it through the last portal — the Master.
THE QUESTION: Passing time with a person who does not live in space and time. and time.
1. God only allows people to live in his presence that are made in his image and likeness. Does that mean, if God is left-handed, only left-handed people get to live with him? If not, what are the criteria for living with God? What has God told you about that? Read Matthew 22:34-40.
2. God is pure energy. To live in the presence of that life form, we humans would fry our circuits in a nanno-second without some help. God provides an artificial environment for us, much like that on earth. The environment is what we have learned about our purpose, while on earth. To enter this environment, it takes an act of the will, or, put another way, you must choose to enter the spiritual universe.
3. Who does God think he is? Who he thinks he is, he is. When we think of God, we think of a Father, but God does not have a human gender. He is. We humans have to think of God in terms that will make sense to our limited minds. The ultimate sign of God’s love for all of us is to send himself down to show us, not tell us, who he is.
4. Only humans worry if God is left-handed. Only humans put conditions on God’s love. Only humans try to limit other people from going to Heaven. Only humans judge who will be in Heaven or in Hell. Only humans talk to God as if He is a child and we are adults. Only humans demand that God does what we say and think. Only humans make god in our image and likeness. Only humans have the freedom to think and act as though they are god.
Praise to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is who was and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen. –Cistercian doxology