Master the Beautiful--Become Who You Are

We seem to always be in a hurry. The Bible describes our time as one when “humans rush to and fro across the face of the earth.” What a great description of our modern lives. We are in a constant rush to get things done. Many urgent things vie for our attention. We have invented many modern conveniences to save us time so that we can get more done. We have microwaveable dinners, fast-food restaurants, instant rice, instant mashed potatoes, and if these take too much time, you can take a tablet that has all of the nutritional ingredients of a whole meal—if you can find the time to grab a glass of water and swallow it!

What a sad picture of modern life. All of these conveniences were supposed to give us more time to relax and enjoy life. Now we just cram more into our days rather than taking more time in recreation. Re-create. What a great idea. What would you like to re-create in your life? Would you like to stop and re-do a few things in your life? Turn some chaos into order? Find time to take care of the important instead of the urgent?

There is an important principle on the path of gnosis that is difficult for us to accept in our busy lives. That is the idea of mastery. Mastery takes time. There is nothing instant about gaining a comprehensive knowledge or developing a skill or an art to a high degree or of developing spiritual disciplines and re-creating our lives.

You have admired the work of great masters. Think of architecture, art, music, and literature. They are masters of disciplines that inspire us today. Even if the master has long since passed away—their work remains. We know without question that their work was the product of discipline, protracted effort, and patience. But we can see that it was worth it because of its lasting effects.

Think of the spiritual masters that you know of. There are many from different spiritual traditions, although our own prejudices may cause us to discount the spiritual mastery of individuals from different faith walks. This is sad because we lose the example that their lives could teach us. There are spiritual masters in the Bible that inspire us—Moses, Enoch, Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus. In fact, Christ, the God/Man is the ultimate example of the spiritual incarnation of the Divine. The power of his life built a bridge that we may utilize in our own spiritual walk to re-connect us to our spiritual inheritance and to re-create our lives.

We are each one called to mastery in our own lives. The spiritual path and our own soul development require the same skills of discipline, protracted effort, and patience. This is not to be confused with a legalistic, works-oriented type of salvation. Christ has already built the bridge from heaven to earth. Our part is to accept the path of discipleship, or of learning the ways of the Master.

This is where our busy-ness and our desire to do many things get in our way. How is your mastery of patience coming along in your life? How about self-discipline, self-acceptance, self-love, love for God, and love for others? It is not difficult to see that these are issues that we face over the course of our lifetime. They are not things instantly or easily mastered.

But just because they are not easy or that they require devotion, persistence, and patience doesn’t mean that we should abandon the idea of mastery. These are qualities that having lasting effects. They are enduring and make a difference in our lives and in our world. Just like the lasting value of music beautifully written and played or sung, our lives can be a symphony of praise to the Creator and bring joy and harmony into our world. We are a living witness to the beauty of a loving God.

We become a living picture of the beautiful aspects of Spirit. There is nothing more beautiful or worthwhile we can do with our lives than to take the time to master the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. The only way we master them is to take the time, to slow down, to let God’s Spirit re-create us one day at a time. I invite you to embrace the idea of mastery in your life. Within each of us is a master of something unique that God wants to manifest in the world.