Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Little by little...
I wrote just a tad about my shrine once before, but prior to committing to follow Jesus, I created a shrine to Buddha and Quan Yin in my home.
My marriage struggling, my trust in only the god of my understanding, I sought help where it might be found: meditating on the Buddha's life to quiet my storming thoughts, creating a shrine to focus my practice and devotion, studying Buddha's teaching and the practice of the Eightfold path. On the shrine I placed statues of Buddha and Quan Yin. Quan Yin was a bodhisattava, a little Buddha, who was said to pour compassion into troubled marriages. Well, she didn't do much for us, but I still liked having a female deity in the house. And, for those of you who know me, I enjoyed rebelling against what I "should" believe.
The out of the way shrine has been collecting dust as I justified keeping it as art. Since deciding to follow Jesus, I haven't meditated with it, lit candles, or made offerings, but I also hadn't dismantled it.
I have been asking myself why.
Was I worried that Jesus might not be enough for me, that all the skeptics were right that it was just deception? Was I figuring the newest "help" would pass by as ineffectual as the rest? Maybe I was superstitious?
The statues of Buddha and Quan Yin, my books, the bowls for offerings, the guardian lions...they are being disposed of or redeemed, like my heart. Buddha can teach me to empty myself, but he could not fill me as God has. Quan Yin, tho compassionate, could not heal my relationship as Christ has. My books could not give me the Truth I sought because they did not know Him. The offerings were never received because there was no one to accept them. The lions guarded mere dust their entire tour of duty.
Today, I have taken the shrine apart.
You know, we sing songs and pray about giving all of our self to Him, for Him to be our Lord, our Leader...but then there are these places we don't surrender...for any number of reasons that may include perceiving one's self as more relevant because of "it" or that there is Christian liberty or even mere ignorance of casually holding onto things that simply do not belong in our new life.
Little by little I surrender, tho I do desire to surrender all.