“THE SHACK” by William Young as summarized by The Wise Prophet, Gary Bahr and Others
NOTE: Whether you believe in God or not, there is something powerful about love and forgiveness.
Mack had a love/hate relationship with religion and with God. His 5-year daughter, Missy, vanished on a camping trip with him and his son and other older daughter. Missy was killed by a serial killer. Mack and many experienced “The Great Sadness”.
Tragedies are not the work of God. Just because He works incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean He orchestrates tragedies. Evil is the work of evil people, often one person who choses evil. No one is immune from such evil. Evil flows from our independence and free will.
God can stop a tragedy. To intervene would often mean taking away someone’s right to chose. We would thank God if we knew the numerous tragedies He has saved us from.
We assume that God judges and punishes us. God grants that we are worthy of his love, to love and to be loved. Actually, it is we who judge God. We judge God and others as good or evil.
As humans we have free will – the freedom to choose good or evil. We judge good and evil in others. We do good or evil. For God to not allow evil, He would not be able to allow us free will. To force his will on us at all times would not make us free to choose.
God is love. He created us to love Him and to love others. God loves all of us. He wants us all to love Him. He is patient.
We cannot be lost, because God is always with us. Where there is suffering you will find grace. You may see God in a piece of art, in music or silence.
God does not punish us for sin. Sin has its own punishment – guilt, anger and depression.
It would be God’s joy to cure sin and hurts. He does not condemn us or humiliate us. God is not evil. He allows human will, freedom, independence and choice. God is not a bully who demands you love and obey Him. He wants what is best for us. Guilt or condemnation or coercion or force will not bring us to a relationship of love and trust with God or with others.
Could God prevent chaos? Sure, He could not have created the universe. He could not have made man or let man have free will. He could actively interfere with all our actions and we would not have freedom to choose. God offers love and goodness and a relationship of love as intended and which we all are looking for to be happy.
Jesus reflects God’s heart exactly. He is the Creation and history. He is the human form of God. He is what God wants of all of us. In Jesus, God is human. In Jesus we are part of God. Through His death and resurrection God is reconciled to the world. In Him purpose and destiny are linked. There is no Plan B. Life and living is in Him.
Jesus fulfilled the law for us. There is no mercy or grace in law and rules, not even for one mistake. Grace and mercy and love are in God. In Jesus all things are lawful as he fulfills the law.
Guilt will never help you find freedom in love.
We have a small view of what it means to be human. We are incredible and wonderful beyond imagination just like the Creation. Just because we do stupid things does not diminish our creation and our being at the center of God’s universe and love.
We rebelled against the perfect world of Eden and gained our free will. But, we can reconcile to the universe and the intent of creation to love one another.
We are limited in love and in relationships by our conditioning, our religious training and stereotypes that form our beliefs and perceptions. Sometimes some even believe in the irrational. Sometimes for some the rational is hard to believe.
We judge others and try to achieve power over them. Judging requires that we think we are superior over the one we judge. Do not judge.
We avoid confronting emotions or discussing them. We do not tell others things that may hurt them. We tell little lies not to hurt others. We are afraid to deal with the emotions we might encounter. This avoidance or the little lies are unloving. We need to tell the truth and if appropriate ask for forgiveness.
We are designed to be in a community, family, friends and with God in one big circle of love. And, to serve. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive someone, every time your provide a kindness or a service the universe changes.
RELATIONSHIPS, LOVE & FORGIVENESS
Our relationship with God and others is important. If we can love God and others as we should and were created to and intended to do, life will be beautiful.
Emotions are spectacular and incredible. When you do not feel, the world is dull and colorless. Emotions are. They exist. They are responses to perceptions.
Anger, depression, guilt, hate, revenge and evil are overcome with forgiveness and love.
What others do or children do may affect our pride, but should not affect our love. It is knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it. “Love is the skin of knowing.”
We love our children unconditionally just as God loves us.
God will not force us to love Him, but he does open the way.
It is a two way street. God has done His part.
Anger is a proper response to hurt. Forgiveness is the letting go of the anger.
How can we forgive? You tell him “I forgive you” or you say it out loud 100 times a day until you mean it. When you mean it, you will feel better. You pray that he may be made whole and give him to God. God will handle the justice.
Forgiveness does not excuse anything. You do not have to forget. That is not what forgiveness is about. It is about letting go. When you let go, you will feel better. You give him to God and let God redeem him. Because of Jesus, his sins are forgiven, gone. His sins do not interfere with God’s love or redemption.
Forgiving your Dad, Mom, brother, sister, spouse or a friend is a significant part of being able to know others and lover others and God. Jesus set the example on the cross by forgiving his accusers and torturers. Can’t we forgive others for little things.
Forgiveness is for the forgiver first, to release you from something that will eat you up. Don’t let the anger and pain and loss you feel prevent you from forgiving and letting go. Only we can cut off the pain by letting it go. There is far more power in love and forgiveness than in hate and anger. When you forgive someone, you release him from judgment. But, without change, no new relationship will be established.
Get rid of The Great Sadness and live a life of simplicity and joy, trust and wonder.
“There is often some compensation in every trial”. Most of our hurts come thru relationships. Thus most healing comes thru relationships. In life, there is no easy answer to your hurts and taking the pain away. When all you can see is your pain you lose sight of your relationship with God and others.
God may allow hurt and pain and suffering because we chose free will and independence. Allowing billions to have choice means at time ideas of freedom will collide with others rights and life. God allows human will. But, God will use every choice we make for the ultimate good and most loving outcome.
When we regard each other’s concerns as significant as our own there is no need for power over one another.
In the Creation, we were made in God’s image and to be in a relationship with God and one another. We can share that love and joy and freedom.
God does not act as the master or Almighty. He puts himself on a human level (like in Jesus and others). He limits himself in this way to be understood by us.
When we establish hierarchy, we set rules, administration and limits. Then you need laws and enforcement. Thus we miss the wonder of relationship as intended.
We can compliment each other and the opposite sex by not playing roles or creating hierarchy. Each can be unique and different but complimentary. Each can be equal to the other.
We want independence from God and complain that He loved us enough to give us free will.
“Freedom involves trust and obedience inside a relationship of love”.
God allows us to be free, independent (free will if you will) and He takes no one prisoner. He did not have to let us choose independence, but he did. He wanted to be loved. To be loved by man, man must be free to choose to love God as we are free to love others. It is not love if you are not free to love. Love cannot be forced or coerced or controlled. Freedom is not forced. Freedom happens with a relationship with God and with others.
True love is not forced. Genuine love is by submission. It is not about authority. It is about love and respect and relationships. When you feel loved, it is good. God submits to us in love and respect.
We can be in a circle of love with God and others.
When we choose independence over relationship, we become objects to be managed by authority or the strong.
God in the book says to Mack, “All I want from you is to trust me with what little you can, and grow in loving people around you with the same love I share with you. It’s not your job to change them, or to convince them. You are free to love without an agenda.”
God says, “…the world system is what it is. Institutions, systems, ideologies, and all the vain, futile efforts of humanity that go with them are everywhere, and interaction with all of it is unavoidable. But I can give you freedom to overcome any system of power in which you find yourself, be it religious, economic, social, or political. You will grow in the freedom to be inside or outside all kinds of systems and to move freely between and among them, Together, you and I can be in it and not of it… We must find ways to love and serve… Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda.”
Life is about sharing, being open and available to others. Grow in loving people around you. Trust them. Love them. It is not our job to change them or to convince them. We are all free to love on our own agenda and to enjoy the simplicity and purity of a loving and growing friendship.
When we give up our rights and our will to manipulate others we will begin to know the wonder of living in love. Jesus gave up his rights and become a servant and so can we.
GOOD AND EVIL:
Billions of individuals deciding what is good or evil need to be managed or manipulated whether by political, economic, social, or religious systems. Thus struggles for power, abuse, wars…
There must be a “reality of good that is absolute”. Without it we are each reducing judging to our own perception of good and evil. We spend all our energy to acquire good and fearing evil.
If we give up our independence, it would be because we trust in God or others and goodness.
Judgement is about setting things right.
Learn to live loved. Learn to share your love. Share in the wisdom.
If you do not believe God or someone or everyone loves you, you miss a loving relationship. You will not believe God or others are good if you are not convinced they love you.
It is our perceptions that limit our love. If left feeling unloved, we forget that we are created to be loved.
God is love…unlimited love. We can share in this unlimited love and have real fulfillment. Love and relationship is possible without limitations. To love one another is to live as intended in a circle of love. God to live in us. We in God. Each in each other. We can live in simplicity and beauty with an active union and relationship with God and/or with others.
As God created man to have someone to love and because He loves everyone, God cannot act apart from love.
Love does not force God’s will or one’s will on another.
“Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved.”
Each relationship between two people is unique. We cannot love two people in the same way. We love them because of who they are and the uniqueness they get from us.
Relationships are not about a chain of command or power control of another. Relationships are not about winning or losing, but about love and respect. They are never about power. To avoid the will to power, choose to serve. Who needs power if we are serving and looking out for the best. Humans are lost and damanged and cannot function without someone taking control.
Be aware of others more than yourself. Respond to others with graciousness.
“Growth means change and change involves risks, stepping from the known to the unknown”. ~ Author unknown
If you love your work, it is because your purpose makes it special.
We spend a lot of time worrying about the future. We spend much time with our imagined fears because we do not trust or believe.
Only God knows the future.
RESPONSIBILITY AND EXPECTATIONS:
In relationships we need expectancy, life, movement, possibilities – not responsibility and expectations. In law and rules there is fear and judgement. The word responsibility is not in scriptures. In expectations our disappointment is certain. Expectations lead to guilt, shame, judgement and disappointment. A relationship of expectancy with God or others is without definition, only excitement in the unique gift of being together.
Living by priorities sees tings as a hierarchy.
Religion uses law to gain power and control inorder to survive.
God gives us the ability to respond and our response is to be free to love and serve in every situation and thus each moment is different, unique and wonderful.
“It is not a secret. God is everywhere”.
See The Wise Prophet et al at GaryBahr.com.