This is more toward the original sonnet that I wrote in 1987 because I was going through turmoil during the church scandal crisis of Jim Bakker, Tammy Faye and Jessica Hahn and Gene Profeta, Hahn's pastor.
It's a difficult lesson to learn, but necessary for those who want to follow Christ in spirit and in truth. Obedience, following the Lord's will (manifested in the commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and might; Love your neighbor as yourself.). Of course, that means turning the other cheek when someone goes to smack you on one cheek; you offer up the other for the person to hit, and this is important...sincerely mean it. As if to say, "Look, if you must really hit me, it's so important to you, then hit me on the other cheek also. Whatever makes you feel better. I understand.")
1. Can you do that to someone who is family? a sibling? a boss? a co-worker? The commandment says neighbor. What does that mean? If you are a billionaire, then your neighbor is likely to someone of your economic class. What does neighbor truly mean? Someone with the same values and spiritual beliefs? It is easy to bend and twist the commandment to mean what we want and end up, then, justifying our own brutality as kindness and our lack of forgiveness as a blessing. Sorry to use the pronoun "our." If it's troublesome, then please assume that I am talking about myself, because I am.
To follow the commandments, especially the second one, takes great understanding, divine understanding, and great personal power WITH humility. I can't do it alone. I need God's help and power to even begin to get the wisdom behind the commandments. In any case, this sonnet was an attempt at realizing the difficulty of obedience to God. I guess the Dali Lama has something when he discusses decreasing one's ego and self. But how do you do that when you are celebrated world-wide? If he were no longer heard from ever again, maybe that would be a beginning? Anyway, this was written in 1987 the time of church scandals.
To follow the first commandment, loving God, one is essentially alone in Him in one's walk. Only the person himself/herself has the relationship with God. No one can tell him/her how to establish that relationship. There can be guidance, but one has to establish it face to face with God, so to speak. And part of the process includes how obedient one is when the Spirit of God is leading him/her. This is tricky. If Spirit of the Lord is telling you to take a stand when no one else is doing it, or worse, others will point the finger and criticize and condemn for one's obedience, this is a hard road. However, the Spirit gives strength. Also, The Lord will not contravene His word (i.e. by insisting you murder or break his other commandments.). He will direct a person to seek the truth when others are lying. These others may have the "appearance" of righteousness and may come in sheep's clothing, but are actually wolves. If one is obedient, the Spirit of the Lord will reveal the truth, and will lead down an irregular road to get to the truth. But one will get there. I did. But it was very hard and the road had no light but the inner voice to get to another path that was smoother and in Light.
Oh Lord! Obedience is all You ask.
Submit ourselves as living sacrifice.
For then we are as lambs to do Your tasks,
To shed Your glory forth, to shine Your Light.
How does Your sweet, dear Light then shine in us?
We do Thy will. We do Thy way, Thy Truth.
We do die daily as in You we trust.
Flesh* crucified, our soul is misconstrued,
To look a fool, so people break our heart.
To uphold truth in goal and quest for Life
Is to be sacrificed to take Christ's part
In secret. Spiritual force destroys Hell's strife.
How is this Light revealed? Reproach is made.
For through God's son, flesh dies to people save.
flesh: carnal nature: ego, pride, self-interest, one's own agenda as paramount