Pilgrim: Eric Clapton and Love Wasted

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As we live spiritually, life can be a grace filled journey into love: living more and more in it, learning more and more about it. The best learnings come from the experience of love as we journey through life. Life is a pilgrimage of love into love.

On this pilgrimage we slip, we fall, and we fail. The ways of love, of a human life growing in compassion and kindness, can be illusive and even foreign to us. Fear and ego’s self-interest can take our attention away from the life of love within and around us. We can find ourselves focusing on a way of living that is more about meeting our own perceived needs for survival at the expense of others. Compassion can give way to a stubborn selfishness. This selfishness can assume that what we need is a finite resource which only the strong and well prepared can attain.

Christian spirituality says something different. Love is not finite – it is divine. A life lived in growing awareness and openness to this love will see someone growing in selflessness – no matter what their social and economic circumstances might be. Growing in love is an invitation into a life practice of sacrifice – living and giving of ourselves from that deep well of love within so that true love can be made manifest and be active in this world. Jesus is the Christian model for this sacrifice.

Love is never wasted, even when our experience says different. Love is always working, with great reverence and respect, on the human heart. All our experiences of life and our longing for love can become a part of the foundation for a truly loving life. The acceptance of the ways we have ‘wasted love’ can mean the chance to grow in the humility that love needs if this love is to hold and shape our hearts. Sometimes suffering is necessary if the ego’s self-centred hold is to crack and break.

When Eric Clapton, years ago, was in rehab in an attempt to curb many years of alcohol abuse, he came to the realisation that he alone could do nothing to stop the abuse. He realised, deeply, that some kind of power within him and outside of himself could only do it. All that was required of him was a yes to this power, a letting go into it so that the abuse could be curbed. He fell to his knees and became open to this power and all it could do for him in a way that he did not rationally understand. Christian Spirituality would say that he allowed grace to do the transforming of him, even allowed grace to help him do the allowing so that transformation could happen.

Christian Meditation is a transforming practice that anyone can be a part of. It can become a part of the pilgrimage from ego’s intractability into the transformative action of grace. All that is required is the decision to commit to giving attention to the one word. As we practice this giving, with growing faith and thoughtless hope, the emerging inner silence gives space for divine Love to be released in tender and freeing action. Divine Love wants our happiness. Divine Love wants our lives to be an ongoing, unique, and wonderfully creative loving expression of being.

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