Rev. Howard Vugteveen gave a riveting sermon on the "Power of Identity" this week at Calvin Church. He began by telling a story about how people long to be close to God. And he did it in such a simple, elegant way and in laymen's terms. He related to our very personal human nature. It is something all of us feel, whether we can place a finger on it or not. Call it longing, perhaps, but it is there.
He asked simply, “Why do we do the things we do?”
His answer to that question was, "because we think the things we think."
And, the reason we think the way we think is because we have a self-image that was defined by someone other than God.
Our self image oftentimes is (or was) defined by hurts from others and disappointments that we experience often as a child, but just as often throughout life. We do what we do based on this image, and our actions are designed to prevent heartache, sorrow, and sometimes physical pain. We do what we do because we think we aren’t good enough, and this thought is based only on a perception. It isn't even true.
And when we do what we do over and over again, we develop beliefs in the image, and habits. Habits that keep us moving through life without even being present. We become unaware of what we do or why we believe what we believe.
Have you ever driven to work and wondered, "How did I get here?" It was like the car knew the way to work and how to pick up your coffee on the way.... It's as if we're living in a fog, or like there is a veil over our eyes.
But, it doesn't have to be that way. As the pastor said, we have choices. God gave us free will. We get to choose how to live.
When we practice yoga and meditation, we relearn to listen, we relearn to focus. We remember that we are all Children of God. When we remember who we are, we are impacted. We can change our thoughts, we can affect our emotions and we can act differently.
We have an identity that no one else gets to influence or can take away from us. All we have to do is reach into our hearts and feel the presence of God - and the fog dissipates, we lift the veil, and we open our eyes.
Classes at back at CRC