10 traits of those who have moved to a new spiritual order.
Those of us who have come into divine consciousness have become the uncommon breed.
Several years ago the church that I was pastoring had moved to a new location. I am blessed to have a library consisting of over 3,000 books from my grandfather and the former pastor of the church I pastored. While unpacking the books and categorizing them a philosophy classic dropped off of one of the shelves. It had opened up. For some reason, I chose to read the page it had opened up to. The quote on the page read Cogito Ergo Sum, “I think therefore I am” by Philosopher Rene Desecrate. For some strange reason, I had never come across that quote in my educational endeavors and studies. I found it was no mere coincidence that the book fell and opened to that page. I deemed it to be revelation. From that moment on that quote has been the prevailing mantra over my life. It allowed me to intersect the two callings over my life. I bridged Descartes’s quote with God’s revelation to Moses in Exodus.
From that moment on that quote has been the prevailing mantra over my life. It allowed me to intersect the two callings over my life. I bridged Descartes’s quote with God’s revelation to Moses in Exodus: “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14). The potentialities that are bequeathed to us as human and spiritual beings are wondrous. The ability to reason, think, wonder, ponder, are amazing gifts. Even David exclaimed “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:4).
The ability to walk in such an awareness is not easy. I would venture to say that it is uncommon. Life has a way of forcing us into mediocrity and not accessing our God-given abilities and capacities. Bishop Paul Morton preached a sermon in 1998 called “The Demon Called Average.” There is absolutely nothing mundane and average or for that fact boring about the gifts and calls of God. Would to God that we would daily traverse in the miracle of thinking for ourselves and being mindful of the needs of a world that needs our voice. What are some of the qualities and traits of the persons that have moved into this new spiritual order of sorts? What makes them stand out? What is significant about them that do not seek power over an individual but power with? What makes them not be limited by the standards and prerogatives of this world, but choose to march to the beat of a different drummer?
Their Call is Greater Than Them
Regardless of their call, gifting, or lot in life, they realize that is greater than them. They do not seek the limelight, but rather choose to allow love to be the limelight. The love of family, friends, and the disenfranchised. They are not ruled by the need to be great, they realize they were born great. They continue in their call when no one is looking.
They Think Highly of Themselves and Highly of Others
They are secure and comfortable within their own skin. This does not mean that there are day and even seasons that they do not wrestle with life changes and daily struggles, but they persevere. They realize that thinking highly of themselves is not arrogance, but acknowledgement. It is the acknowledgement that they are unique, dynamic, intelligent and insightful. They do not wait for others to acknowledged it for themselves, They have looked in the mirror and looked deeply within and stated: I AM. This has allowed them to use the beauty they see in themselves, to see it in others. It is easy to articulate the negative in another person. It takes a person who has faced themselves to look to another and affirm: WE ARE.
They Have Lost and They Have Won
Despite it been enumerated in certain religious and spiritual circles that life can be easy, those who derive from an uncommon breed know that they don’t have to look for trouble, trouble often finds them. They have found the secret of “troubling their trouble,” and winning against all odds. There’s nothing wrong with a pity party every now and then, but a pity party weekly will not suffice. They do not wait for doors to open, they wake up in the morning kicking doors in. They network with others to generate job leads. They tithe into their destiny. They pursue all forms of education including secular and spiritual. They use social media to brand themselves and uplift others. If no one hires them, they become entrepreneurs. While they know the number of their losses, they focus on counting their wins.
They’ve Been to Hell and Have Lived to Tell
quoterighThey have received the phone call in the middle of the night telling them of the passing of a dear loved one. They are well acquainted with grief. They know what it means to change careers and reinvent themselves. They have been through the storm. They have had relationship, financial, and health issues. For many, it felt like hell, but they lived to tell. Tell what? To tell that the floor is no place for a champ. To tell that they now know what it feels like to be broken and put back together again. To tell that there are things in this life that are beyond control, yet it has to work, it will work, it does work together for our good.
They Have the Ability to Not Merely Sympathize with Others, But to Empathize
I recall a preacher telling me the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy will see someone struggling in the water and throw them a rope and say “I’m so sorry.” Empathy will see someone struggling in the water and simply jump in the water to save them.
One of life’s greatest assets is the ability to see the struggles and suffering of others. Our individualistic way of thinking has us so absorbed with what we can get and we can do with no concern for the needs, desires, and dreams of others. Yet those of an uncommon breed are sensitive to what others are going through. Have you ever been in conversation with another person and they always make it about them? You are sharing possibly your hurts or your joys with them and before you know it they have stolen the conversation away from you and made it all about them. To be fully engaged in another is a blessing in disguise. While assisting another, God will turn your situation around in the blink of an eye.
Their Words Have Power
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21). This is not merely speaking in platitudes and scriptures. It means the ability to use words in such a way that you can articulate your own sense of self and communicate your beliefs and feelings to others in the context of varying situations. My grandfather, when I first accepted my called to the ministry, reminded me, “Son, learn a new word every day. Even if you look like nothing, when you open your mouth they will know you are something.”
They Know that Before They Can Sit With Others They Must First Sit With Themselves
It seems at times that the people who are so eager to hand out advice to others, or always present themselves as being experts on every topic, have never faced themselves. Often this is done to escape themselves. Yet the beauty of true dialogue and interaction with others for the purpose of mutual nurturing is that both persons have something to offer. This is what I call power with. Love does not obsess neither does it control, it liberates. There will never be a greater form of government beyond self-government.
They Are Aware of Their Adversaries But Not Preoccupied With Them
Comedian Dick Gregory when speaking of his religious/spiritual upbringing states “They spent so much time telling me about the devil, they forgot to tell me about God.” Why are people preoccupied with the negative opinions of others? Most of us have lived long enough now to realize that there are people who plot against you. I used to be in denial about this. I believed that most persons genuinely were concerned about your welfare and well-being. Then one day I woke up. While that may be the case it is not the ruling order. Those of an uncommon breed make their foci the things of God. They look to the hills and not to their haters. They make their abode and dwelling place in God and tarry in his unsearchable riches.
They Have Authority Because Have Sat Under Authority
I recall when our family owned a daycare center, that one of the daycare kids would tell the teachers often, “You not the boss of me.” We would find this to be hilarious. At this tender young age, this child struggled with authority.
There is a valid life lesson here. Others may not be the boss of you but there are blessed authority structures that we all must sit under for our God. There are those who are not threatened by the authority of others because they know their own power or authority. Many blessings and miracles have been missed because we have failed to sit at the feet of the elders. We must learn that in certain situations we must quiet ourselves and be disciplined by others. It is not a matter of who the boss is, it’s a matter of discipline, and discipline always determines destiny.
They’ve Learned to Keep Loving
This is one of the greatest tragedies of life. We allow someone to traumatize us to the degree where we stop loving. The common thing is to repay evil with evil. Yet those of an uncommon breed have embraced the teaching of Dr. King: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” No matter how dark the day, or how deep the wound, Love becomes the liberator.
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