Finding Zen Reality

Finding Zen reality?! What?! Are you serious right now?! 

I thought you were a Christian!  I thought I could trust your counsel!  I thought…but…

Yes, I am.  And, yes, you can.  Many sincere committed Christians could clearly be “put off” by my title.  But, if you’ll read on, I believe you’ll discover a valid and important point for those who are equally sincere and committed to communicate authentic “Christianity” to others who are not Christian in their beliefs.

(I put “Christianity” in quotes because I like making a distinction between living faith in the person of Christ and a religious system that is not necessarily a true reflection of Jesus)

Now to Zen.  I’ve discovered that most people I hear use the term are expressing it as a slang and not the true core meaning.  In my experience, most people I’ve been around that use Zen as an adjective mean “peaceful/uncluttered” and other similar meanings.

I’m also sorry to say that many committed Christians that I know hear someone use the word Zen in a comment and immediately put up a defensive or dismissive wall in their minds.

I believe an inner (and outwardly) argumentative or dismissive response is not helpful to the cause of communication of the most wonderful message God has for the world.  Instead of assuming a defensive mental posture, I believe it is much better to take the time to understand on a heart level what the person means.  I have discovered so many times that “they” have a heart thirst for the same things that I do.

So what I really mean by my title, “Finding Zen Reality,” is the pursuit of discovering the realities of other people’s hearts.  That, of course, takes time motivated by love.

It also may require eliminating some of the busy-ness from our lives in order to make time to listen.  As Heidi Baker says, “making time for the one.”  Expressing God’s love one face at a time.

My challenge for myself in 2013 (and for any that will consider it with me) is this motivational motto:

Let’s look for the ways that make us similar (in heart and desire) rather than hearing “differences” with a defensive, dismissive attitude.

I do believe that one needs to have a centered collection of beliefs that is a foundation for their lives.  And, yes, I am very much a committed Christ Follower.  Jesus is my ultimate connection to my Heavenly Father.  But, I also (and as part of my core values) believe it’s truly Christian to listen to what others hearts are saying and meaning.

In my humble opinion, it’s only then that I (and we) can build upon a platform of respect and truly communicate the Good News of the Gospel.

I’d love to hear your feedback.  That’s how we learn, together.


Dismay or Display – by Gary Ellis

Dismay or display?  That’s the million dollar question.

“Wha-? Huh? Come again”? 

Okay, let me ‘splain myself, Lucy. (That reference to the vintage “I Love Lucy” TV show dates me, eh?)

Do your thoughts (the one’s that’ve been plodding down the corridors of your mind the last 30 minutes) dismay you, or display the greatness of God and His potential in your life?

I’m not attempting to get all “Zen” in this article.  It’s not about another pop-psych approach to the power of positive thinking.

Facts are facts about the human frame and how it functions.  The thought life is critical to everything.  Dr. Phil, Oprah, or Gandhi didn’t originate that truth.  God did. (All they may have done is repeat the Great Author).

  • Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
  • Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
  • Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight…”

Dismaying me in all my weakness and ability to solve my current dilemma? -Or-

Displaying the ability of God and His love for me to save me in and from my current dilemma?

This isn’t one of those “wag my finger disapprovingly” and bring further dismay to each of us by focusing on “shouldas and oughtas.”  Instead it’s a positive reality check that we can think right…and in so doing we can win!  We just need to step beyond theory to practice.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable (Hebrew:  “delightful, pleasurable”) in Your sight…”

The easiest way to open the door to the son-light filled corridor is to practice being aware that Jesus (who is one spirit with His Followers) is submerged in you and you in Him…right now, right here as we read from this computer screen or smart phone.  And, the literal Presence of His Person is sufficient to handle anything, and everything, anywhere, and all the time.

The greatest challenge in learning this really easy practice of “awareness of Him” is not in opening the door to being aware of His Presence, but in remembering to open that “thought door.”

The Good News:  You get better at remembering with practice!

I’ll end today’s article with a previous quote, “It’s surprising how many things disappear when you’re staring at Jesus.”  I’ll add to that this reality. “It’s also amazing how many solutions appear when you’re staring at Jesus.”  🙂  He has a way of rubbing off on you.