Reverend David McArthur
Ceremonies will undoubtedly last as long as the Earth herself lasts. We use ceremony to acknowledge our unity, that all humans are related. We use ceremony to honor and acknowledge our unity with everything to the four points of the Earth –East, South, West, and North. And we seek guidance in ceremony. In a very critical time, the ancient Ojibwa elders sought guidance from Spirit, and the Ojibwa moved into the reality of the vision of their elders by following the Megis. It appeared daily and led them on a journey to a land of food and water, health and happiness.
The wisdom of the elders also guides each of us to seek answers by undertaking our own individual journey, no matter how arduous. We might slip and slide backward, climb seemingly vertical obstacles, go up, down, and around. We might feel tired, wet, and scratched, as if our emotional “clothes” are torn. Yet the wisdom of our elders will guide us to a place where there is a connection to Spirit, and we find our answers are right in front of us, that they are inside of us all the time!
A favorite wisdom story from our elders tells that the first humans were confused. They didn’t know their purpose. When they looked around they saw that the animals didn’t ask their purpose. They just did the things they knew to do. The humans decided their job, then, was to learn from the animals and every other thing that’s here. That’s our job – we are learning.
And when we look around, we learn that people everywhere honor Spirit in what ever way they understand Spirit. And they have learned that they should be grateful. Many of us, too, are grateful, and say thank you every morning and every evening. But during the day we are busy and we forget. So stop even with the simplest things and give thanks. Stop and look. Say, “God, that’s nice!” Our first Americans would even stop on a journey or a hunt to look at the beauty around them. They would give thanks, and then go on their way. When you notice something nice, think of God dropping bombs that hit you so that you can stop and say “Thank You!”
And remember, we are all one!