February's Origami How Actions Define Your Identity
Welcome to THE MAKER’S SPACE,-- not the makers space which is a common name in community office buildings, meaning the space of makers. This space is different. We are invited into the space of “THE MAKER " or Creator of all things. In this space we can create with The Maker and get a sense of His playfulness and His loving eye upon us. Not a disapproving eye, but an eye that is delighted in us, because He made us. He doesn’t make mistakes. In this sacred space, [any space that we meet with Him is made sacred by His being there], we can slow down and listen to what He is saying to us. He is always speaking to us and has so much to say, whether it is here or outside in nature or from other people. He is always speaking, we are just not taking the time to listen. Here we begin practicing the art of listening, using art as a tool to slow ourselves down. The importance is being in the process not necessarily the end product. It can be something that God can use to speak to us and SHOW us something. Most of the time, the visual speaks louder than words and goes right to the heart.
Tonight we are going to explore origami which may be new to you, or may be a different part of the brain that you are used to using. Some of you may be more right brain and this problem solving part of the brain feels familiar. We are all problem solvers by nature of being human, but some are more than others and it comes easy to you. Other mediums are not so exact and may feel more foreign, but that is why we mix up the mediums, to touch each one in a different way. It is so good to try something new to break free of patterns. So be free to try something new and free to think differently or maybe look at something in a new and different way. In fact, that is a definition of Creativity that I found from Alice Bass…”The Creative Life Workbook”..
Creativity is being open or available to a new thought that leads to an expression. Which is exactly what we are trying to do here. By your being here you are opening yourselves to a new thought and that will lead to an expression or an “action.”
So, to help us get started, we are going to let go of where we came from to help us be present in the now. As a matter of fact, that is the only place that we can meet with God, in the now, not the past or the future, just now. So to help tune out distractions, and practice our listening skills, we are going to close our eyes, and take some deep breaths. When you slow your breathing down, you can slow your heart down, your blood pressure, your mind, your emotions, your thoughts…everything…just by breath. To help focus our minds on God, I have a short reading.
Too often we expect energizing music or an inspiring sermon to “feed us” or “fill us up” because we have no vision of an unmediated relationship with God that doesn’t require a worship leader or preacher. Simply put, we don’t know how to pray.
Brother Lawrence was a seventeenth-century monk who worked in a kitchen, but he was respected for possessing a deep inner communion with God. He believed those who thought times of corporate worship drew one closer to God suffered from “a great delusion.” With words that are still relevant today, Lawrence said, “Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”
Rather than seeking ever grander external events, Brother Lawrence cultivated a life of ceaseless prayer as the Apostle Paul advised. “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
“Be still in the light of My Presence while I communicate LOVE TO YOU. THERE IS NO FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE AS POWERFUL AS MY LOVE You are constantly aware of limitations; your own and others’. But there is no limit to My Love; it fills all of space, time, and eternity.”
Sit with that thought for a minute, and when you are ready open your eyes.
Now, let’s talk about how your ACTIONS can determine your identity.
From the first origami project, What were some of your first thoughts starting the project?
How many did it completely on your own? How many turned to someone next to them to collaborate?
Even something like this origami project is an action. Wrong actions, led to a wrong outcome. Right actions can lead to a somewhat better outcome. Sense of right or wrong or morality or immorality are both learned, actually immorality is more easily self-taught than the former. Self- centeredness appears to be more innate. Right actions are part of the process of unlearning wrong actions. Just like in our project. How does one discern from one’s identity what acts to do? Most do not discern, they merely fall into habits with our thought. Habits are crucial informing identify but one needs to discern which habits to adopt. Bad habits lead to a bad identity; good habits help shape a good identity or the possibility of a good identity. What would be some examples of bad habits leading to bad identity and good habits leading to good identity?
Habits alone cannot do the job, but a proper identity will not be formed without good habits. How does that change your view of habits?
Also important are examples——just like someone showing you how to do the project…
leaders and others who best embody the traits of the desired identity…can you think of someone in your life that you have tried to model after?
Self-control is the most important achievement of any human…give me some examples of what humans need to learn self-control? We will never choose good things unless we control the attraction to less and badf things. Isn’t that what we spend so much time teaching children self-control to succeed or make them bearable?
In the faith area of identity, the confession of Jesus as Lord is meaningless if he is not indeed the example we follow. Faith without action is dead. Faith is not merely about thought and mental convictions, it is about participation with Christ or a living involvement in obedience.
“Live the life you want!” How does this phrase influence your thinking and or your actions?
For example, this could mean having a
positive attitude, taking action as if you are there. For example, being an artist is doing the things that an artist does, not just thinking about being an artist. We also talked about how our thoughts can keep us from being who we were intended to be. the is where positive thoughts and actions can help you get over the blocks like fear or procrastination.
So…actions, good actions, are crucial for your well-being. Right? Examples?
To sum up so much in this chapter of ACTIONS in the book by Klyne Snodgrass,
Who God Says You Are:
“You will never be happy without something important to do…some sense of usefulness.
You will never be happy without love of other people.[does not mean sexual love] Love is not merely a feeling. Love is an action—a choice to care, to commit to enjoy to help and support others in the face of problems, to seek solutions, and to remain faithful even if there are no solutions. Our lives are too often marked by indifference or a halfhearted concern that knows something should be done but does not engage. Action is the only remedy for indifference. Action kicks us out of our complacency.”
Close your eyes and ask God to give you one action step. notice the first thing that comes to mind.
Write it down. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering but it is an action step. Now the next step is to obey and do it. It takes practice. And it builds trust. The more you listen and act, the more history of trust you have for a God that can lead you and guide you. Does anyone want to share their action step?