I want to talk about Insight today. Let's start with a standard definition of insight:
Well, that wasn't very helpful because now I have to figure out what intuition is.Insight: the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.
in·tu·i·tion: 1. the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
A memory came to mind: The day I got a speeding ticket on my way home from taking Defensive Driving to wipe a speeding ticket off my record. After the cop gave me the ticket and I thanked him with my best Southern Belle manners, I began pounding on the steering wheel and wailing: "Why? Why, God? Why does this stuff keep happening to me?"
And the answer came to my mind clearly from somewhere other than my self: "Because I want you to slow down."
I know that I would never have connected my speeding to my own safety. Until that day, a speeding ticket only represented a game I played with the police to see who would win the game of limits and consequences. And I never would have come up with the idea that God had sent me a "heavenly emissary" to basically keep me safe from my own poor driving habits. I may be a bit narcissistic, but I'm not that bad. I did not orchestrate this message.
This "in"-sight, a sight from within me could have only come from a place deep inside me; from a place that I could claim no authorship of it. And the only other place it could have come from was God.
Twenty-first-century scientific minds are suspicious of mystical experiences. Oh, God, now I have to define "mystical."
My phone (because it is, after all, a smart phone) defines mysticism as "to make contact with the divine." OK--that's what had happened.
Armed with confidence I was now free to explore all the other things that come to me from within my self. And the conversation I had with God at the Grand Canyon came to mind.
The bottom line is that I am starting to hear from God. Some of the wonderful things God tells me are things that I would never have thought of on my own.
This is a gift from God, but it has to be watered and fertilized before it can blossom. It's a spiritual muscle that has to be exercised. And I think you need to clear out some room in your mind to get ready to receive messages like this. Paul got his insights from God on the road to Damascus--in the middle of his journey to somewhere else. Sometimes God will speak in the middle of busy-ness but I like to make things easier and clearer for my creator. God has already done so much for me.
The best advice I could give you is the one I have the hardest time with: you've got to put yourself in a place and time with no agenda going on in the background. Church is a good place: I think that's what the Prelude is for. And the silent confession of sin. Sometimes God wanders into your mind when it's not focused on anything particular. That's one thing you can saw for boring sermons--it frees up your mind for God to walk in.
It doesn't have to be in church, either. I like to go outdoors. Maybe you find your mind drifting away in a business meeting. A boring meeting where your thoughts or contributions will not be needed. God hovers around you waiting for an invitation. And sometimes God just bursts through the door without an invitation. Trust your instincts. Trust your insights.
Now to reward you for your attention today I have a cool video of Stephen Colbert that set my mind whirling with just the word "insights." He was telling what a cool guy Peter was to have the "insight" to know the answer to the question from Jesus: "Who do you say I am?" That answer could only come from a spiritual place away from Peter's experience in the world, from a sight that only God could give him. Who knew Stephen Colbert was such a mystic?
Enjoy the video. I have no idea where the beard came from. Insights fail me on this topic. PS: Thanks for posting this, Roberta Dodds Ingersoll.