I have heard a Christian sermon on the Christmas Eve. The preacher talked about the experience of “God’s stretching.” That phrase resonated with me. In the last two years I have been stretched like I have never experienced before.
I feel that many of you are experiencing this feeling in recent years. It seems to me that this “stretching” is a cumulative effect. It is the accumulation of non-stop stress for an extended period of time. It is not just few stressful events. We are talking about being inundated with big waves. We are talking about being overwhelmed with emotions. We are talking about struggle for survival. We are talking about crying under the weight of heavy burdens. We are talking about having no leisure time to think or to be creative. We are talking about “God’s stretching.”
I have written sermon-like pieces in the past. Some people thanked me for the inspiration but I feel that I am the one who needs inspiration these days.
This posting will not be another sermon. I just wanted say that if you are feeling God’s stretching you are not alone.
When I get theoretical I talk about karma and samskaras. Sometimes I also talk about God’s special education. I don’t want to be theoretical today. I am not going to talk about karma or special education. But, I will talk about spiritual surrender.
During my – still ongoing – “stretching” experience I tried meditation and kiirtan (devotional songs). Kiirtan certainly helps. As I have said before, kiirtan is the ancient cure for modern problems. But, clearly, for me, the most effective spiritual practice has been the spiritual surrender. I don’t know how many times a day I say “I am in your hands, God!” I wrote an essay titled “Spiritual Surrender” but it does not mean that I have perfected the practice. What I learned during my recent experiences is that the true sign of spiritual surrender is the inner calmness. The sermon givers talk about “trusting God.” If you are not having that inner calmness you are not really trusting God, are you?
Easier said than done!