In the Gospel this week we hear the disciples say, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” When I hear this I think about the upcoming year of Sunday School beginning so soon on September 9th. I think of Sunday School because I’ve learned over the past year that what can seem a difficult teaching from Jesus for an adult can be seen clearly and confidently by the youth in our atria. And when I think back to my relationship with the lessons life presented me with as a child I see that the main facilitator of that learning was trust. There was an unspoken yet bright light of trust that surrounded me everywhere I went, in any situation. I didn’t need a reason to trust that, whatever happened, all of my needs would be attended to. I just went through life as if I was cared for, as if someone knew exactly what I was going through at any given moment and knew what would be called for even if I did not.
We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “lead us not into temptation,” because the longer we live, life’s circumstances often tempt us to lose our trust in God, to live afraid and worried, to lose our hope. And yet, here is where glory is born and where grace breaks through. This is how we transform into the best versions of ourselves. This is how we learn who we came here to be. What may look like a difficult outer life circumstance can be a transcendent inner life experience. When we say “yes” to God’s teachings we are changed by God Himself, instead of by what happens to us. In this way all of life lifts us higher and higher towards God’s greatest will our experiences. When a situation was meant on the worldly level to bring you down, God will take it and use it to raise you up. Temptations to despair are transmuted into the glory of God in the instant that you decide to trust Him. Not only will He strengthen you to face the day, but He will take control of your inner experience of your life. He’ll show you the eye of the storm. This is where I lived as a child, in that peaceful center within, unaware of the storm of the world raging around me. How much deeper the peace now that I am fully aware of the storm, while experiencing myself unmoved, held in the palm of God’s hand.
Let’s go through life as if we are cared for. As if someone knows exactly what we are going through, and knows what is needed for the day. This is the spiritual path. This is accepting the lesson.