Before I tell you about my unusual but very uplifting spiritual experience this morning, a little background is required.
For many weeks I have been reflecting intensely on one of Jesus’ teachings; namely that we should be perfect just as our Father in heaven is perfect. Now, I’ve thought recently about a lot of other things too, including other commandments and teachings, but it’s true to say that this teaching has been up there above the others.
Why? Because we know that no-one who is human is perfect. However, we do know that Jesus was the only human to live without sin. When He was alive, was He perfect though? Well, in Luke 18:19, Jesus clearly says “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except for God alone”.
So, how exactly do we become perfect? Now, I have a confession to make here which will make many Catholics uncomfortable, that is that I am inclined to agree that the theory of reincarnation makes a lot of sense to me. Do I believe in it? Not necessarily; but it does make a lot of sense. One of the aspects I am most drawn to is the idea of karmic debt and the ability for the soul to be purified over many incarnations, as well as gaining a wide experience of life. BUT, the problem I have with this theory is, no matter how many incarnations one has, I still don’t see how one becomes perfect. Only if a soul becomes One with God, can it be described as perfect.
Anyway, back to the story of my experience this morning. I woke up much much earlier than I would normally do and could not go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. I looked across the bed at my wife’s alarm clock to see what time it is: it was 5.48AM; for some reason I cannot explain, I felt an overwhelming urge to go online at that very minute and tap the time into the Google toolbar and see what came up.
Now, though I do read the bible a lot, I am absolutely not someone who can remember chapter references. However, for no particular reason, I had a vague hunch the 5:48 might be a reference to Matthews gospel.
When I typed 5:48 on the keyboard and pressed enter, the first or second Google result was the following:
"Matthew 5:48 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
This is certainly not the first time I have had this sort of experience; I truly believe this happened for a reason and thank God it did. But, again, the question remains: how does one become perfect in this life?