Friday, December 23, 2005

Stories of Coming Home

Otto Scharmer was sixteen, when one day he left for school in the morning, and by the time he got home, everything had changed.

"About halfway through the day, the principal called me out of my class and told me to go home. She didn’t tell me why, but I noticed that her eyes were slightly red, as if she had been crying. I walked as quickly as I could to the train station, and from there I called home, but no one answered—the line was dead. I had no idea what might have happened, but by then, I knew it probably wasn’t good...

Long before we arrived, I saw it. Huge gray-black clouds of smoke were rising into the air. The long chestnut lined driveway that led to the farm was choked with hundreds of neighbors, firefighters, and gawkers. I jumped from the cab and ran the last half-mile.

When I reached the courtyard, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The huge 350 year old farmhouse, where my family had lived for the past two hundred years and where I’d lived all my life, was gone. As we stood there, I saw that there was nothing –absolutely nothing—left but the smoldering ruins. As the reality of what was before my eyes sank in, I felt as if somebody had removed the ground from under my feet. The place of my birth, childhood, and youth was gone. Everything that I had, was gone.

But then, as my gaze sank deeper into the flames, the flames also seemed to sink into me. I felt time slowing down. Only in that moment did I realize how attached I had been to all the things destroyed by the fire. Everything I was and had been intimately connected to, had dissolved into nothing. But no—I realized not everything was gone; there was still a tiny little element of myself that wasn’t gone… I suddenly realized that there was another whole dimension of my self that I hadn’t been aware of, a dimension that didn’t relate to my past, to the world that had just dissolved.

At that moment, time slowed to complete stillness and I felt drawn in a direction…I realized that I was not the person I thought I was. My real self was not attached to the tons of stuff now smoldering inside the ruins. I suddenly knew that I, my true Self, was still alive—more alive, more awake, more acutely present than ever before. I now realized how much all the material things that I’d become attached to over the years, without ever noticing it, had weighed me down. With everything gone, I felt released and free to encounter another part of my self, the part that drew me into the future—and into a world that I might bring into reality with my life.

The next day my grandfather arrived. He was eighty seven years old and had lived on the farm all his life. He had left the house a week before to go to the hospital for medical treatments.

Summoning all the energy he had left, my grandfather got out of the car and walked straight to where my father was still working on the cleanup. He didn’t even turn his head toward the smoking ruins of the place where he’d spent his entire life. He simply went straight up to my father, took his hands and said, “Keep your head up, my boy. Look forward.”

Turning around he walked directly back to the waiting car and left. A few days later, he died quietly.

This still moves me, my grandfather’s walking by, ignoring the ruins of his home, and focusing all his remaining life energy on shifting my father’s attention from reacting to the past, to opening up to what might emerge from the future.”

I have been moved by Otto's story since first reading of it in the book Presence: Human Purpose and The Field of The Future. I see many parallel's to the idea of 'coming home in our heart'.

Making space for Jesus Christ is to let go of the past and reach for an unknown future with an all-knowing God. Releasing temporal concerns, however strong they may have once been, is a hallmark of coming home. If we are to make space, inevitably it must occur in our own heart.

As strange as it may be, it often takes times of trial and testing to be able to cry out and release the past. Very often we have to have hit rock-bottom to be able to release control of life and the patterns that cause us such deep pain.

Do you have any 'burning farmhouses' in your life? Is God raising your awareness of His activity in the events and circumstances surrounding you this Christmas? Look forward because Jesus is in our midst.

Celebrate His arrival on Christmas Eve at 700 PM at Community of Hope.

John 1:9
The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.


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