Becoming a Holy People
To be a ‘holy people’ does not belong to any one religion, denomination, or belief. It is the desire to love and serve God by whatever name God is called that makes for a holy people.
To be holy is to participate in God’s Covenant by determining to live a sacred life. This life is expressed as a commitment to God. It is expressed in the willingness to treat all of life as sacred and to place God at the center of life above and beyond all other values. It is also expressed in the determination to live consciously, with responsibility and thoughtfulness for all one’s thoughts, words, and deeds. A sacred life brings joy to the soul because it allows the soul more fully to live.
The Covenant at the foundation of a sacred life is a marriage that involves two. On the one side it involves God’s promise, born out of love, to bless the Earth and to redeem it from darkness so that all can experience God’s reality and share in the blessings that this brings. On the other side, it involves humanity’s promise to revere, love, and honor God and to become children of holiness.
To be holy is to participate in God’s Covenant by determining to live a sacred life. This life is expressed as a commitment to God. It is expressed in the willingness to treat all of life as sacred and to place God at the center of life, above and beyond all other values.
On the first side the Covenant is revealed as gift and blessing. On the second, it is expressed as love and devotion, a desire to do God’s will, and a willingness to surrender one’s personal will so that this can happen. The human part of the Covenant can take place more and more as the soul comes to understand that true freedom does not come from doing whatever one feels like, but from doing what is meaningful — what deepens, expands, or enhances the self. Such a perspective brings us closer to the truth of who we are. To live in this truth is the greatest freedom; anything less is limitation.
There are many people on the Earth who love God but who do not know how to live a sacred life. Their love is compartmentalized so that it is evident in prayer or meditation, but not in the actual relationships and duties of daily living.
A sacred life is a seamless whole. It is not a spiritual life that is lived in a church, mosque, or temple. It is a life that is lived in apartments and houses, on streets and in stores, with loved ones and with strangers. It is a life in which God is remembered everywhere and love is remembered everywhere.
It is a life in which trust is practiced at all moments, especially in the moments of difficulty or helplessness when trust seems hardest to find.
It is a life lived in the heart of daily planning and in the heart of long-term decision-making.
It is a life that is based on the determination to seek and to follow God’s guidance for oneself, rather than one’s own ego-based method of ‘figuring things out’.
When it comes to the handling of major life-decisions or crises, more than the mind is needed to guide one. Truth is needed; God is needed. Decision-making based on a strictly mental process is often frought with fear or worry, with self-doubt or judgment. This is because it is not based in Divine inspiration or revelation. Yet, inspiration — the source of spiritual truth — becomes more possible the more important God is allowed to become to one’s heart.
The more God is able to speak to the heart, to be allowed to influence an individual’s way of thinking about things, deciding about things, relating to people, the more that individual will be guided to recognize the path for themselves that needs to be followed. There is no exception to this rule: that what ye sow, ye shall reap. And so those who place their whole energy and seeking in the direction of spiritual truth and spiritual relationship, will find a response from the Universe that meets their seeking in kind.
To live a sacred life is to follow the first commandment:
“Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
It is also to follow the second commandment:
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
A sacred life is not just spiritual yearning that reaches toward God in the beyond. It reaches toward God in the present, toward God in each soul, toward God in Creation. When the heart is ready, an individual soul is drawn to answer the question that wells up increasingly from the depths of the heart: What is my life for? The answer to this question is the Covenant. It is God’s desire to dwell with men and to have them become a holy people.