Monday, February 05, 2007

ghosts

One of my favorite shows, although I rarely get to watch it, is “Ghost Hunter” on the A&E channel. It may sound odd, me being of the “Pastoral Arts” persuasion and all, being fascinated in the paranormal. We’re not supposed to believe in that sort of stuff I think. It has something to do with Jesus’ ability to conquer evil spirits, but more about denial I think. Personally, I’ve had way too much experience with evil and things paranormal to not allow some credibility. I really don’t think that there’s conflict at all with faith and the spiritual world. In fact, it sounds even more credible when I actually write the words faith and spiritual together in the same sentence. One of my secret, “If I weren’t a pastor” type jobs would be a paranormal investigator. That’s why I enjoy the show so much. I secretly think “Yeah that could be me” kinds of thoughts. Honestly, I’ve had a few experiences where it was me, although I didn’t have the benefit of all the technology and an army of fellow investigators to “enjoy’ the experiences with me, but those stories are for other times in the company of people who I can be sure won’t be rolling their eyes at me.
I write this, as I sit between the fireplace and the fog, because it’s recently been made a bit clearer in my life that I, in fact, have my own ghosts floating around my life. They’re not the type that would ever be featured on A&E. In fact most people would find them quite dull and unappealing, and I’m sure that they would not register on any type of paranormal apparatus. They wouldn’t trip any meters or activate any motion sensors. If I had to describe them though, they might actually, as I think through this (I’m doing just that as I type), be somewhat like cold spots. You don’t actually see them, they just register suddenly as you pass through a particular place. It’s quite a sensory jolt that alerts you that something is not that it seems.
In my own life, the cold spots have appeared lately as I have tended to be on auto pilot in some areas of my life. I see life in one interpretation, my own, which I feel is quite accurate and on the mark, running along with few flaws. I tend to self-congratulate myself along the way and be quite amazed at the way I weave my way through the lives that surround me. Until…………cold spot. My system gets shocked, and I question whether or not what I believed is really going on around me is really going on around me as I have perceived it, or is there another world lurking imperceptibly that I’m missing. It’s not a world of spirits, evil and otherwise. What I’m referring to is a world of assumptions and ideals. It’s in those moments that I realize that maybe, just maybe, I’m not as strong or as wise I think that I am. Another world comes into focus. Ghosts appear of interactions past. Relational things that I thought I was above or beyond and in fact have handled quite well. Now I’m not sure. What was that I said? What was that I did? Could I really have misjudged, misinterpreted, or just plane missed the boat? Ghosts, they have a tendency to do that, cause you to question I mean. It happens on A&E and it happens in life. But I’ve come to believe that they’re not a bad thing.
After all, they do awaken my, sometimes otherwise deadened, senses. I’m certainly more aware and alert after the cold spot experience. They make me contemplate. They make me reexamine. They help me to stay teachable. They are certainly humbling. After my encounter, I certainly proceed with more caution and, in my best times, discernment. I may not have all the gadgets of the typical ghost hunters, but I have something better. Commonly referred to as “The Holy Ghost”, I am led by something more vast, more experienced and knowledgeable and infinite. If I’m willing, His lead helps me to discern, to learn, to actually improve and work towards the reality matching the dream. I can be led by God himself, through His spirit (or dare I say Ghost). You’d think that someone in my profession would have that pretty well figured out. I may be a pastor and all, but I’m first and foremost human. And in my human form, I’m still a bit afraid of ghosts.

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