Aug 6, 2011

Transistors and Resistors

It seems that every 3 years, churches known as Bible churches get swept up in a new "direction" or "emphasis" - Connectedness, Community, Fellowship, Relevancy, Transformation. In the Orthodox Church, the emphasis has always been the "transfiguration" of our lives into the life of Christ. Not upon entrance into heaven, but here and now, in God's Kingdom. But there are many things that we carry around in our lives that hinder this process. Fr. Joseph (monk at Mt. Tabor Monastery in California) used a great illustration in a recent post of his blog.

"Now, if you can remember back to the Dark Ages of humanity - before the invention of the microchip - they used to have, in electronic devices, circuit boards which were wired up with all these little components which would somehow either store or regulate the flow of electricity in the device, so that the thing wouldn’t burn out or blow up in your hand. Now, one of the things they had in there was called a “resistor”: it keeps the electricity from going too fast, or where it’s not supposed to go.
"Our souls, however, are not circuit boards, so we don’t need all those resistors. As a matter of fact, that’s what the problem is! The reason that our faces are not shining like the sun is because we have in our souls too many “resistors” to the grace of God: too many things that are impeding the flow of Divine Energy that God is trying to communicate to our hearts. We don’t need them - we won’t burn out with an unlimited flow of grace!

"We have to look and see what these “resistors” are. We have to do a serious examination of conscience - not just the daily examen where you look over the day and see how you screwed up today and then make your amends, but we have to look at our whole life and see what’s wrong with our life: what are the main areas where the habits are - the resistors to divine grace in our souls - whatever they might be? It could be pride, or sensuality, or selfishness, or some sort of addiction, or some idol that we create and cling to or put between us and God just for our own satisfaction or ego-building, or whatever it might be. Those are the things that we have to clip out of our life - a circuit board might need resistors, but our souls do not. We have to get rid of that stuff. And then, once we are cutting these away, one at a time, we will notice that the divine grace is able to flow more freely through us, and that is the transfiguration we’re looking for."

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