The State of Grace
edited: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
By D. Scott Arant
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
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Scott talks about his aging parents and the State of Grace we all enjoy.
The State of Grace
What state do you live in? I am from Colorado, and you might be from another state or even another country. We have a big world don’t we?
Recently I visited my elderly father of 83 years. He and my mom live in a Christian community type of apartment complex. They moved into this apartment about a month ago. My sister Molly housed them for a number of years until it was time for them to move into the next phase of their elderly life.
They both love the surroundings and the beautiful people that live in the complex. They feel as if it is their home now. I am happy for them, as they feel some independence as well as they have a relatively safe haven there in the complex surrounded by new friends and acquaintances that live there.
My mom is relatively confined in the fact that she is not as mobile as she used to be. She has bouts of gout in her joints as well as chronic pain due to arthritis.
My dad has been pretty active throughout his elderly years enjoying walking up to two to three miles a day, until recently. He enjoys walking his dog Spike and up until just recently was enjoying lifting weights in a public gymnasium.
About a year ago we almost lost him due to a mild heart attack. He was walking Spike that day and some roofers who were roofing a local neighbor’s house saw him fall to the ground. Apparently according to one of the roofers, he fell face first on the pavement of a sidewalk and someone called 911 where he was rushed to a local hospital.
I was called by one of my sisters who alerted me of the situation and me and my wife rushed there to see how he was. Some of my family members had already arrived before us and were there gathered in a nearby guest waiting room.
We talked about it and the events surrounding the accident until we were permitted to go in two by two into his intensive care room. He could talk but was strapped to what seemed like hundreds of wires and tubes covering practically every area of his body.
I looked at him and noticed his two black eyes, a dented in cheek bone and he looked as if he had been in an automobile accident. He looked pretty rough. We all wondered if he had a stroke and fell, or just tripped.
He is also diabetic and we wondered if he had a diabetic reaction and passed out.
When the dust settled, and some time had expired, the doctor came in and made the announcement that he had a heart attack. The room was silent. My dad seemed to be in pretty good health up until this event, walking miles per day and quite active.
The doctor announced to all of us that he needed a stent in one of his arteries that was about 90% occluded, or closed up. We were all shocked to say the least. He then announced that they were not taking any more chances and was going to perform an arthroscopic procedure through his femoral artery to put the stent in the occluded artery.
At his age we were all afraid that we might lose him on the operating table. A couple of hours had passed and they wheeled him out into ICU to take some time to recover from the procedure. He was fine, and the doctor told us and the procedure was successful. He would stay in ICU for a couple of days of observation and then be released if all was better.
A few days later he was released, although his battered face looked like he had been in a big fight—and of course it was a fight— a fight for his very life.
We all thanked God that he was better and back to his normal self and activities within a few short weeks. It seemed he had survived the worse of what could have been tragic.
However, after moving into this new apartment complex it seemed that my dad was having chest pressure and chest pain again. I did not know this until recently when we visited my mom for Mother’s Day.
My dad told me he was going in for some tests due to the chest pain and a MRI. The MRI came out negative and no signs of cancer showed up, or any other anomaly. My mom called me to tell me the good news over the phone. I was relieved and glad that nothing showed up on the MRI test.
My sister Molly had called me to let me know the family was getting together for a Memorial Day picnic at another sisters house. I had to gracefully decline due to the celebration of my wife’s birthday that day.
She then asked me if I knew what was happening to my dad. I told her that all I heard was that dad’s MRI went well and that was it. She told me that they did other tests on his heart and that dad was told that he needed open heart surgery to do a heart bypass on him.
This shocked me but I also realize he is getting on with age. I asked her what she thought and of course, any child would want their parents to live more years, so her desire is that he undergoes the surgery. I asked her what my dad wanted and she said he was still thinking about it and that the doctor had told him that there was a possibility of him not surviving the surgery, but that it was definitely his choice.
Right now, no choice has been chosen by him. I went to visit him yesterday at the complex and he seemed really taken a turn for the worse since I last saw him and mom on Mother’s day. This kind of shocked me. He is now on full oxygen 24/7 and his eyes seemed sappy and watery. He did not look good and he told me that he lacked a lot of energy and was tired all the time. He had gained some weight due to a lack of exercise, again exacerbated by his condition.
We talked a bit, and in the conversation he, out of the blue, asked me to forgive him if he had ever hurt me in my youth. He told me that he was sorry if he did, and asked my forgiveness. I told him these words… “Dad if you have done anything to hurt me, I do forgive you completely, and that he is always under A STATE OF GRACE.”
This was heartfelt and I knew he was sincere. I knew from a deeper level of consciousness that his soul wanted him to say these words to me in case he was to die unexpectedly and he did not want to carry it any longer. I accepted it graciously, but the words reverberated through my thoughts…We are in a STATE OF GRACE.
In my Christian upbringing this is something I always hoped for deep inside was that someday, after this life was over, we would look into the eyes of God and we would know that each of us is in this state…the STATE OF GRACE.
What does this mean though? What is the STATE OF GRACE? Is it a state like Colorado, Nebraska, or another part of the United States of America? No, of course not…it is a different state of affairs…This is a state we all belong too, even if we feel unworthy of it. It is THE STATE OF GRACE.
My dad is a real Bible thumper and told me that only those that have received Christ as savior would be saved. He asked me if I still believed this, and I had to be honest with him that I did not believe that Christ was the only way to eternal life.
I used to believe it, as I too was a huge Bible thumper when I was younger. As I matured, I realized that salvation could not be for just the “select few” who believed a certain way or doctrine of beliefs…it was much bigger than this, I thought. At one time, if someone like myself had told me this belief I would have called him/her a child of Satan and would have dismissed them as moronic.
What was different now, I thought? Well, the last three and a half years have been quite interesting for me, and I have had a change of thought. No longer do I believe in an exclusive religion, or dogmatic doctrine of beliefs that salvation is only for the chosen few.
My heart has been opened up to love, and I realize now that all human beings are part and parcel of God’s creation, and that in the true scheme of things… “God don’t make no junk,” as the saying goes.
I used to believe in the have’s and the have not’s…and that God was judgmental, wrathful and mean to sinners…but now I realize that we as humans have made God in our earthly image as an ego, and that God does not have an ego like us. The ego was created by us to allegedly protect us.
The belief that we are separated from God is a belief that our egos have adopted to be able to justify all the injustices of human kind and the world at large seems to see and perceive. Our belief in a Devil or Satan is rooted in this egoic belief system that we live and move in a cause and effect type of existence. This has partial truth, but I have found it only part of the truth of who we really are.
These egoic thoughts have their roots in the belief that mankind is intrinsically evil by nature due to the fall of Adam and Eve our forefathers, and their rejection of God, through disobedience to his command not to “eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”, brought all of mankind into enmity with the God who created us.
The Christian movement and belief system adopted by me at one time and many others, is that due to this sin of our forefather’s Adam and Eve, DEATH, passed upon all of us humans and that our only hope was that some day a savior would come to abolish our transgressions from us.
From this main thought, that the sin nature was passed on to all human kind after this fall from grace, and disobedience of Adam and Eve, would take mankind into the primary thought of separation from God. This became chronicled in a belief system that we are inherently flawed and separate from God’s grace and love…Until Christ would appear and show us the way to back to God.
Jesus, the Christ was the anointed one who saw God and himself as ONE…and not separate. We know the scripture which states this in the New Testament of the Bible, in St. John chapter 10 vs. 30… “I and the Father are one.” I for one justified Christ being able to say this so blatantly, and without any hesitation because I was taught he WAS GOD. This of course was pure heresy to the Jewish religious leaders in Jesus day. This was one of the reasons why they allowed him to be crucified and die as a mere felon.
This shocked them that any man would call himself ONE WITH GOD and set out to see him put to death for it. They considered his words scandalous, heresy, and they considered Jesus, which we call Christ, to be a lunatic and worthy of death.
This might shock of few of you who believe that only Jesus the Christ was God…but so are you! Even though the mind of man cannot fully wrap around this concept, you and I are part and parcel of God and we have never been separate from God...We too are indeed ONE WITH GOD AND HAVE NEVER BEEN SEPARATE FROM GOD, EXCEPT IN OUR EGOIC MIND THAT SEEMS SEPARATE FROM GOD.
If I am born of my earthly parents and their DNA runs though my blood-line, I am part and parcel with them, although individuated from them. I and my ancestry of forefathers before me are indeed ONE. Even though I have taken on my own human identity and perhaps a difference of looks, body frame, and appearance, in the true st sense of the term…I AM ONE WITH ALL OF THEM. In a complete sense, I am not separate from them, and they are not separate from me. I am one with them!
The same is true of God’s entire creation…WE ARE ALL ONE WITH GOD, WE ARE NOT SEPARATE FROM OUR CREATOR. We are only separate from God if we think we are separate. This is a great principal. You are what you think you are…that becomes your reality.
What many religions teach is that we are separate from God, and that God is not within us, but somewhere out there beyond us. This might be a hard concept for you to receive today…you might even be tempted to dismiss this article as absolutely ridiculous because it goes against everything you have been taught before by many people you venerated as truly knowing God…But…please hear me out a bit.
If you wish, play along with my thinking for a minute. Dismiss, if you will my erroneous thoughts and current beliefs if it makes you feel better…but please, please, please do yourself a favor and entertain the thought that you are not indeed separate from God, just as Jesus knew he was not separate from his God, our creator.
Entertain the thought that you were created perfectly in the very image and likeness of God your father who infused within your beingness a light that is ten thousand times brighter than the sun, but it is hidden in an earthen like vessel and controlled by an egoic mind that likes to believe in separation, and fear.
I am not here to tell you that all your beliefs are erroneous or ridiculous, just as I hope you will entertain another thought of mine. I am not here to bash religion, or condemn its practice as long as you don’t do the same to me and my newfound thoughts.
But…bear with me for a little while and play with this thinking some. WHAT IF you were created in God’s divine image and likeness? WHAT IF you and all mankind were indeed without reproach and in the STATE OF GRACE? WHAT IF you and God are one and have never been separate? WHAT IF all your current beliefs and religion which taught you separation, was erroneous and without true substance?
What would the world be like today if it adopted the belief and the thoughts addressed here that we have never been separated from God, and just as Jesus was able to simply proclaim that he and God were one, we could also say with confidence, not arrogance, as some might say, that we are ONE WITH GOD.
Is this thought or belief so foreign to you? Would the world be different if it did adopt this belief? I think it would. Instead of the world at large thinking that it was intrinsically wrong, and sinful in nature, and separate from God, you adopted the thought that perhaps it was not really true ? What if we, as Neale Donald Walsh proclaimed in this book, “Conversations with God” that we had “God all wrong?” What if we indeed realized that our true st state was one of ONENESS WITH GOD AND THE STATE OF PURE GRACE?
Is this so scandalous a thought? Is this deception, or deceit? Ask yourself this question…ponder it some…What if? Ask yourself… What if? What if you really had God all wrong?
I know some of you will dismiss this thought as pure heresy and a departure from Christian faith and beliefs…but…What if it was true ? What if you and God were indeed ONE and that God looked at you as a child, and not as only a mere sinner who is only saved by grace. What if you were indeed in THE STATE OF GRACE ALWAYS AND YOU WERE NEVER SEPARATED FROM GOD YOUR CREATOR?
My friend I hope each of you can come to this thought that God has always been one with you and you with God and that all the world, although uniquely different, has never been separated truly from God your Father/Mother/Creator.
May this thought never leave your mind that you are always in THE STATE OF GRACE, AND ONENESS WITH GOD! Let us all live up to this thought, it might just change you…and the world at large.
D. Scott Arant