In my continued mode of trying to walk and not run, I am finding some advice from Richard Rohr, that sounds so simple, to be quite unsettling, challenging and provocative:
When you encounter a truly sacred text, the first questions are not: Did this literally happen just as it states? How can I be saved? What is the right thing for me to do? What is the dogmatic pronouncement here? Does my church agree with this? Who is right and who is wrong here? These are largely ego questions, I am afraid. They are questions that try to secure your position, not questions that help you go on a spiritual path of faith and trust. They constrict you, whereas the purpose of The Sacred is to expand you. I know these are the first questions that come to our mind because that is where we usually live—inside of our mental ego. They are the questions we were trained to ask, because everybody else asks them, unfortunately!
Having read sacred text, I would invite you to ponder these questions:
- What is God doing here?
- What does this say about who God is?
- What does this say about how I can then relate to such a God?
On the face of it those questions are simple and safe questions. Ss I have pondered them well, however, they are amazingly demanding and, on occasions, mind blowing. As we get ever closer to Holy Week I am wondering what such questions will bring up in the richness of the stories before us.