Simply put, Devotion at least in the spiritual sense, is all about Love. To practice devotion is to basically explore love. Its and invitation to join the Nobelist of aspirations. Love has inspired poets and philosophers as long as human beings have enjoyed a good story. Without love we would have no Romeo and Juliet, no Triston and Isolade no Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and for that matter no song of songs, no Jacob and Rachel, no Ruth and Boaz, Weather the topic is love won or lost, love thwarted or misunderstood, cosmic romance or passionate tragedy there nothing so fundamentally human as a good story about love.
And Devotion is just that. It is the greatest of love stories.
We are all miracles, living clay with carefully calibrated capacity to give and receive love. And no matter how that may play out on human level. (For human love can take many forms) this thing called devotion dares to proclaim that you and I and everyone else that has been given a beating heart have been invited to immerse ourselves in and immediate, experimental, life transforming relationship with the very source of love. In its purest most original form. The very foundation of Love, those on this path, call GOD. Made real and visible and accessible to everyone.
Devotion is grounded in this love. The teachings of the great mystics speculate on this love. Where it came from why we believe it is accessible to all. Wisdom about love is recorded in the autobiographies and memories of yogis,contemplatives, visionaries who great and ordinary, ancient and post modern, young, old, male and female,educated and not educated all tell about this love. How this love surprised them, pursed them,filled with breathtaking visions and heart rendering suffering demanded almost superhuman sacrifices and yet overflowed with unspeakable joys.
Looking for love is a simple fact of being human. Its the stuff of fairy tales, dates, movies, romance novels. You may understand how love sustained Jacob day after day while he had to wait fourteen long years for Rachael’s hand in marriage. We want every love story to have and happy ending and we sigh with disappointment as in Romeo and Juliet, it doesn’t work out.
This path of Devotion teaches us that by nature we are to love and be loved by GOD. This can lead to endless bliss and unending Joy that can begin here and now and will embrace all eternity. But this outcome is by no means automatic. GOD is a rather polite and shy lover. And never forces himself on you. If you want his love you need to declare to him, to yourself and indeed to the world, just what it is you seek.
Of course this declaration of love may take many forms. Many may seek GOD by following the plans that are laid out before them. By there church, they may read the bible, they worship every Sunday, they tithe, they volunteer in programs to care for the needy or otherwise make the world a better place. They are all worthy pursuits and true devotion is not opposed to any of them. But, to those dedicated to the pursuit of GOD in devotion these ordinary observances represents only the beginning of the search.
This quest for divine love is a daily concern. But, GOD being the shy polite GOD that he is, doesn’t merely just pop up in your life just because you say a lot of prayers or meditate for a half hour a day. GOD is GOD. Not a formula. Not the sum and equation that will always behave predictably. So the experience of seeking GOD is always open ended and mysterious.
What will happen if you devote your life to the pursuit of this love? What is your story? , This Sunday Under the Sun.