Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Quest for the Holy Grail: Falling Down a Rabbit Hole

The Quest for the Holy Grail, the mythical cup that Jesus was to have used during his last supper with his twelve disciples.  There are many legends in the Arthurian tradition surrounding this chalice.  Most of them tell of the Grail’s powers to give light, healing, and wisdom to whoever drinks from the cup.

This Grail is in but not of this world.  It represents the power of the Rescuing and Healing God who is both here with us and infinitely beyond us.  The Holy Grail’s value is so immeasurable and our needs are so unfathomable that we instinctively know that it is only in discovering the Holy Grail—encountering and knowing this God—that our hearts will be healed and our souls will be satisfied.
-- From my book, Legendary Leadership

I have spent much of my life coaching and mentoring people who have set out upon this quest. One of the first misconceptions that is usually encountered along the way is that, once you take a sip from the Grail and the God of Light explodes in your soul, this doesn’t mean all your doubts and troubles are going to disappear. The idea was that as my faith and trust in the God of the Grail deepen there would be a corresponding decrease of doubts and trials. The reality is that they often grow in direct proportion to each other.

The more I know, the less I know. The more I see, the more I see there is infinitely more to see. The more I see of the Great Light, the more clearly I see my own darkness. While drinking from the Grail does strengthen my faith, this does not translate into seeing all and knowing all. And it most certainly does not place me on a path where all dragons are chained, all witches behind bars, and all the treasures I seek are lying on the ground where I can easily retrieve them.

A man in search of God or for more of God has fallen down a rabbit hole and never knows exactly where he is or where he is going, other than toward God. He is holding on to the promise that those who truly are seeking God, will find Him. Sometimes the only hope he has left is that even if he has taken a wrong turn in his quest, God sees and is pleased with his desire to find and please Him.

The increase of faith we experience when drinking from the Grail does not do away with doubts. The truth is, the deeper our faith the more aware we are of our doubts. Faith is never “certain,” that is why it is called “faith.” A man of faith is assailed by doubts, because he knows there is a difference between faith and acquiescing to conventional wisdom. “Is this Truth, or is it truth?” “What if…?” “Maybe this is fool’s gold and not the real thing?” “If I can only see one foot in front of myself on this path, maybe I am going the wrong way?” The quest is filled with quest-ioning.

Drinking from the Grail is not the same thing as drinking an elixir. Faith is not something we use to rub on the belly of a Genie and all our wishes come true. Faith is not a pain-killer. Faith does not inoculate us from the vicissitudes of life. Faith rarely makes the storms we are experiencing on our quests, cease: it does, however, keep us on the quest, while the lightening and thunder makes the ground under our feet tremble.

The metaphor of drinking from the Holy Grail is about drinking in the God of light, healing, and wisdom. It is not about finding the cup and only taking a sip, but about continually drinking. In other words, it is about a relationship with God, who is also your Father.  As with any good father, He will not carry you down the path. He demands, rather, that you learn to toddle along, then walk upright and straight, and then to run. The obstacles you are facing are not meant to deter you, but to mature you.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2013

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