Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Great Thou Art

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

I originally wrote this piece for a May 2005 issue of my then e-newsletter. But with so many people facing so many doubts about so many things in these so-turbulent times, it felt time to offer this reminder of the fundamental truth of our infinite potential and innate greatness.

May 16, 2005 ~ Victor, New York

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
~ traditional hymn

There's an old hymn you might know titled How Great Thou Art. I discovered it about a decade ago on a country gospel compilation and have loved it ever since. Through that time and until a few weeks ago as I was walking through a riverside park in suburban Detroit, I gave little thought to the words or their current relevance.

Then as I strolled among the emergent greens of an Eastern spring, something shifted and suddenly I got it.

All those church-goers through the hymn's century-long history who assumed they were singing to someone else, to the God-on-high that's outside of themselves, were missing the deeper truth behind the words.

All this time, they and I have been singing to ourselves!

How Great Thou Art is a declaration addressed not to some white-bearded deity, but to the singer. To me and to you: How great thou art.

For you are the God That You Are. And how great thou art!

The God That You Are is mighty. The God That You Are is strong. The God That You Are is fearless. The God That You Are knows only effortless, easy abundance.

The God That You Are is love.

We hear variations of this so often: You are love...God is love...Love is everything...Love is all that is...Love is all there is...

All these are true, even if they have been tritened in the over- and superficial use of those phrases.

But the basic truth is that the energy of love suffuses all. The energy of love fills all. And the energy of love is all there is.

And if that's so, then you are that energy. You are love.

How can something that is love be less than? How can something that is love be not good enough? How can something that is love be not valuable?

You are all these things. And from that place, it's time to step into an appreciation, acceptance and embrace of what you are.

For once you recognize, truly and viscerally, that there is nothing but love and that that's what you are, you can no longer hold yourself down. You can no longer diminish and demean who and what you are.

All you can do is acknowledge how great thou art. How great thou art.

There is a God Presence within and around you that in this moment is expressing itself in human form. It has the eyes the allow you read this. It has the ears that allow you to hear this. More than anything else, it has the heart that allows you to know this.

So stop for a moment. Take a deep breath. Take a deep breath and breathe in the truth. And that truth is the underlying greatness of the love that defines who and what you are.

Yes, the word the love has been cheapened through misuse. But in our human language that we now share as a means of communication, love really is the only word we have.

It's time to reclaim. It's time to re-energize it. It's time to open to the truth of it, which is that love is more than a romantic, red-trimmed valentine that makes you feel good on February 14.

Love is an energy.

It's the energy that created the Universe. It's the energy that created you. It's what holds you together in this body. It's what stitches the Universe together. It's what holds the stars together in their constellations. It's what creates the healthy, healing and whole-making patterns of our lives.

It's a frequency and vibration that sets no conditions for its expression, its giving or its receiving. It simply is. Ever-present, it always surrounds you in its embrace.

Take a moment to feel yourself embraced by that energy.

Close your eyes and think back to a time and place, where you felt fully nurtured, loved, embraced, present and in remembrance of all that you are. And if you cannot now recall such a moment, simply allow these words to create one for you, as you remember how great thou art.

Wherever you do not feel love in your life, wherever you do not feel that nurturing, nourishing, all-embracing, all-accepting energy of creation, breathe it in. Allow your breath, your connection with the Divine Being that you are, to embrace you, to nourish you, to nurture you...to love you

You are the God That You Are, and that God, all triteness aside, is love...the infinite and ultimate expression of love.

There is much baggage around the word God. Yet it is simply a three-letter word we have chosen to describe an energy that our minds cannot, at this time, comprehend.

How can your mind comprehend the infinite nature of all that is? How can your mind comprehend love as that infinite expression?

So we create words like God -- or Universal Spirit, Great Spirit, Goddess or All That Is. The words aren't important. What's important is that you attune yourself to what that energy represents, an energy that is beyond your mind's grasp.

Your mind is an important part of you. But it is only one part of you. Honor your mind and the roles it plays in your life. Don't allow your mind to be your life.

Your life is the energy represented by the concept of God. Your life is the energy represented by the concept of love. Your life is the frequency of your highest potential, a potential that your mind cannot begin to grasp.

So step out of your own way and into the God That You Are. Or better put: Get out of your own way and allow the God That You Are the freedom to step into your life.

Many evangelical Christian religions talk about accepting Jesus, which can sometimes, in some situations, be off-putting.

Yet if we take that call as a metaphor for opening your heart to let the love that Christ represents flow through you, then we're essentially talking about the same thing.

We're talking about opening our hearts to allow the highest energy to express itself through us, not only in Sunday church, not only in meditation, not only in the midst of some other experience of touching the Divine.

We're talking about being that Christ Light. It's being the Jesus within you, the Mother Mary within you, the Buddha within you, the Moses within you, the Allah within you, the Great Spirit within you. It's in being those energies in every moment.

Too easily and too often, we disempower ourselves by seeing those God energies as separate from ourselves. We sing How Great Thou Art to the outer God.

We do that, in part, because our minds cannot grasp that these energies reside within us and are part of us. We also do it because our minds, or some fearful parts of our beingness, cannot accept that we are that love, that we are that greatness.

So your assignment for this moment is to surrender to the concept that you are great, that you are love, that you are God.

Your assignment is to read or sing the words how great thou art and apply them to you. Your assignment is to see every expression of the word God as an extension of who you are.

The Divine God of your beingness is you. Not your human body or personality mind but the God That You Are, which encompasses everything -- all that is, was or ever could be -- and brings it together in a greatness that longs to express itself through you.

So open your heart, mind and soul to the greatness that you are, to the God That You Are. And in doing that make the choices for that higher resonance. In every moment.

When you stand at the crossroads of any choice, notice which fork in the road carries the higher resonance, which choice is the God choice.

Do your best in that moment to take that path, the God path, the Jesus path, the Allah path. Take that path as the Divine-in-human form that you are, and move forward in that energy, spreading the love and greatness that you are through each word, thought and action, in each moment.

You are the God That You Are. Repeat that:

I am the God That I Am.
I choose the God That I Am.
I surrender to the God That I Am, and I allow that highest potential, that highest presence, that highest expression of who I am, to live through me, to love through me, to act through me, to speak through me, to breathe through me.

I am the God That I Am.
I am the God That I Am.
I am the God That I Am.

Bless yourself with that energy in every moment of doubt, uncertainty or fear: I am the God That I Am.

The word namaste means I greet the divine in you, I greet the God in you, I greet the God That You Are.

And so I complete this by blessing you, by honoring you and by acknowledging how great thou art, by acknowledging the God That You Are.

I know who you are. I know the Divine Presence and God Potential you are. I know the miracles you are capable of. I know the love that you are. I know how great thou art. And I believe in you.


Photos by Mark David Gerson: #1 Albuquerque sky; #2 Yucca in bloom, Sandia Mountains; #3 "Bridge to Your Potential," Albuquerque sunset; #4 "Rough Crossing," Brookfield, WI; #5 Stone cairn, Meditation Mount, Ojai, CA


Alyx said...

Mark David,

I've been a fan of yours for many years. Your thought patterns and writings are not only brilliant, but respectful.
Thank you for using a much loved gospel hymn to capture a basic truth in us all.

Autumn Heartsong said...

Ah, Mark David...this is beautiful! How great thou art...how great I am...how immense and unknowable and yet as close as breath is the whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. What a beautiful post!


GentleLavender said...

Hi Mark,

It was so beautiful to read those words. I really loved that. Keep writing the spiritual gems.

Mark David Gerson said...

Thank you so much for the comments. I'm glad the piece inspired you as much as the song inspired me to write it.