|Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith web site providing inspiration, quotes and
religious resources. This Home Page is changed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You are warmly
invited to read every quote posted for each theme, or simply to read those that interest you. They are
offered in the belief that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and that finding the commonality
in religions is more important than pointing up the differences. Religion is precious gift that blesses the
individual and uplifts the community. However you worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. Let
us meet regularly and build a spiritual network. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
On Today's Theme:
Coming out our front door, about to head down the stairs to our complex's
parking garage, I chanced upon a humming bird trapped in the stairwell. She
was trying to escape by flying relentlessly into the windows there. Her panicked
banging made me afraid for her delicate body. For a moment I stood there and
willed her to but turn around so she would see the open door about 10 feet behind
her. But alas, she couldn't read my mind. Not a very talented bird, obviously. So,
with a touch more humility, I instead prayed to know how to help her. Going back
into our townhouse, I brought out a broom, figuring I could guide her out with
some gentle sweeps. She, of course, assumed I was viciously attacking her.
I stepped back and regrouped with another prayer. I couldn't just leave her
there in a state of out-of-control fear. But she needed to trust me before I
could help her, so I began placing the broom beneath her to let her rest on it
as she became exhausted. After several rest stops, I slowly moved the bird
and the Freedom Train Broom toward the door. Once she saw it, she split
the air, screaming into the courtyard and above the roofs to the open sky.
Yes, I identified with the way she kept banging her head in panic, but even more,
I was struck by the fact that she wasn't completely wrong: she could see her
way out of her predicament, but she just couldn't get there going the direction
she was set on going. She had discovered a partial solution and immediately
assumed it was the only way to go to achieve her goal. It was a good lesson
in making sure to listen to all of God's instructions before acting, lest we
miss the part about turning around toward the open door behind us.
If you're banging your head against a wall, perhaps you're settling for,
or hanging on to, a partial solution to overcoming your predicament.
- Lisa Bowman
Basically, disappointment, embarrassment, and all these places where we
cannot feel good are a sort of death. We've just lost our ground completely;
we are unable to hold it together and feel that we're on top of things. Rather
than realizing that it takes death for there to be birth, we just fight
against the fear of death.
Reaching our limit is not some kind of punishment. It's actually a sign
of health that, when we meet the place where we are about to die, we
feel fear and trembling. A further sign of health is that we don't become
undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time
to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us. Things like
disappointment and anxiety are messengers telling us that
we're about to go into unknown territory.
Excerpted from "When Things Fall Apart,"
by Pema Chodron
...It turned out that this man worked for the Dalai Lama. And he said--
gently--that (Buddhists) believe when lot of things start going wrong
all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get
itself born--and that this something needs for you to be distracted
so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.
Excerpted from "Traveling Mercies,"
by Anne Lamott
Anchor Books, 1999
When God is about to do something great, He starts with a difficulty.
When He is about to do something magnificent,
He starts with an impossibility.
Armin Gesswein (1907-2001)
Evangelical Lutheran pastor and Christian Life magazine editor
Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, known as "The Rebbe Maharash,"
the fourth in the golden chain of rebbes of Lubavitch, had an attitude.
Many wise people say if you can't go under, go over.
The Rebbe Maharash said, "Just go over."
Meaning that instead of first trying to work through a problem by its own
rules, and then--if that doesn't work--gathering the strength
and courage to step brazenly over it...
Instead, just start by stepping right over it,
as though there were no obstacle to begin with.
After all, that's why obstacles are there in the first place--
so you will go higher.
Courtesy of Chabad.org
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men.
The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer
and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests
be made known to God; and the peace of God, which
surpasses all understanding, will guard your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Holy Bible
New King James Version
The Last Word:
I take a nap
making the mountain water
pound the rice
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)
Japanese haiku poet and Buddhist priest
Note from Lisa--
I submit the following in response to Bill Maher's recent film, "Religulous"
"He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does
not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him."
George Orwell (1903-1950)
British novelist and essayist
"It is an interesting view of atheism, as a sort of "crutch"
for those who can't stand the reality of God."
Tom Stoppard (1937 - )
Book of Phillipians;