God’s Ways: Stepping-Stones to Well-Being
God is the name I learned to use for the highest Being, One who is almighty but gentle and loving. One who creates, guides and directs. Others may use different names for the same Being, but can agree that the ways of that Being are better for us than many of the ways we have learned before in our lives. Early Christians followed “The Way” that their leader, Jesus, had shown and taught them as a relationship with God which was basic to relationships with others.
I think of God’s Ways as solid practices, guidelines for our behavior, ways that I find are places to stand, “stepping-stones” as I search for a better way of being and relating to others. In the print book, I elaborate on four areas as “stepping-stones”, areas related to our physical being, our habits, our relationships and our spiritual life. I also find “flagstones” that indicate our need to make adjustments in the way we are going.
During infancy we may experience an intimacy and joy with self and others that is akin to the innocence of Eden. For others, even infancy is a hell. However, as we grow up, each of us becomes susceptible to “the Fall.” Life is no longer perfect. It may be full of problems. At times, life may seem “insane,” “crazy,” hard to understand, complex, contradictory, and without meaning.
As you read these blogs adapted from the print book “At Eden’s Gate: Whole Health and Well-Being, you will find “lilies” as I mentioned in “Lilies of the Valley”. “Lilies”–ideas, attitudes, and new insights—that have brought other through their hard times to acceptance of self and others. Accepting each other, and ourselves, we can work toward peace in a growing new life, peace like that in Eden.
The lilies you find can help you grow into being the kind of person you were meant to be, in spite of all the stunting experiences you may have had, perhaps even because of them. These lilies are from the natural garden of life and have therapeutic qualities. They are hidden in words that are as dry as straw to those who do not need them. The ones meant for you are fragrant and lovely. As you thumb through the leaves of the book, or as you browse the blogs, they pop out at you in your mind’s eye, and you find your hidden lilies!
Perhaps you do not actually see a lily with your physical eye; although I’ve known people who were seeking God’s will as they read who saw the meaningful words in bold print! This may not be your experience, but whatever strikes you personally, let that be one of your lilies,write it down in your memory or on a notepad for future reference.
Pray to God for help, then open your mind. Do not open your mind before praying! Information not meant for you can be dangerous, just as the wrong medicine can be fatal! Problems are a normal part of life. You can learn ways to help solve problems for yourself and others. We can be a healthier and happier people.
The Path, The Way, to personal fulfillment awaits you. Shalom (peace and well-being).
Mountain tops are fine,
heady and cloudy,
But our Lord is described
as the Lily of the Valley.
Evelyn Maxwell, May 12, 1971
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys, As a lily among brambles so is my love among maidens. Song of Solomon 2:1,2 NRSV
My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. He pastures his flock among the lilies. Song of Solomon 6:2,3 NRSV