On Wednesday, we watched the movie The Imitation Game. This is the story of Alan Turing, and his struggle to help break the German coding system during WWII. Not only was his work instrumental in developing computers into a digital stage that we know, today, but it was also instrumental in turning the war to Britain’s favor. Turing named his computer Christopher after his only childhood friend.
The following scene takes place after the war. Turing had been convicted of having homosexual affairs and elected to have hormonal therapy rather than spend 2 years in prison. If imprisoned, his work with Christopher, the computer would have come to a halt.
Show Video clip 1:43:49
We all come into this world with the divine purpose to explore, experience and express our true spiritual nature. We are human beings engaged in the process of learning who we really are. We are the expression of God. We don’t know that, or we know it to a limit degree. But, that is what every experience in our lives comes to teach us – that we are Spirit expressing.
We grow up knowing that we are different from the people around us and we try to make sense of our difference. At the same time, we try to fit in by acting and even thinking like our parents and other authority figures. We do the same thing with friends trying to find the group that we belong to. Do you remember wearing the same clothing or hair styles as your friends? In my teens it was torn blue jeans. We all wore them and yet somehow we thought we were being different. We thought we were unique. Our understanding of our own individuality and uniqueness hadn’t yet developed.
Over time, we developed a greater sense of self and we began exploring, experiencing and expressing who we are. We gained and lost friends and we stayed with people who had the likes and dislikes similar to our own. We liked the people who brought out parts of us that we liked. Soon, we had developed a personality, a way of being in the world that was comfortable and announced to the world, this is who I am.
Because you are in this room today, I know that you have come to know that you are an individualized expression of God. As Teilhard de Chardin said, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." At some point in your life, you reached an understanding of this and of your uniqueness. So, you began the process of exploring, experiencing and expressing once again. This time, it was about your true nature. You still hung out with people whose likes were similar to yours and who brought out those parts of you that you liked. But, this time it was on a deeper level. This time it was about your spiritual nature, your Individuality with a capital “I.”
As we come to know this aspect of ourselves, we discover that we not only are unique, we have a unique purpose in life. We have a reason for being and without us, things wouldn’t be the same. I reached an understanding of this in my 20’s after I ended my drinking spree. After being sober for a while I started to think about things I’d done. It occurred to me that “God must have a special purpose for me because I should be dead.” Since that time, I’ve gained more and more understanding of why I’m here. Gradually, I’ve expressed more and more of who I really am and that’s also true since I’ve become a minister.
I know that some of you think it would have been better if I had left with Cynthia a few weeks ago because you don’t have confidence in my leadership. And I’m ok with that. I even understand that. I had some concerns myself. But since Cynthia decided that she was leaving and since she’s been gone, I’ve noticed that I am coming out.
Cynthia and I made an agreement a few years ago that she would be the lead minister and I would do the things that come naturally, which includes the spiritual care of the ministry. As an unintended result, I suppressed parts of myself so that there would be one clear leader. I don’t regret that decision. But, now over the past weeks, there’s something in me that’s reemerging. There is a power and vision surfacing inside me that has me excited about doing ministry and creating a future with and for you. I read somewhere that “Some are born to success, some achieve it, and some have it thrust upon them and develop the opportunity at hand.”
So, I am developing the opportunity at hand. I am exploring, experiencing and expressing a new way of doing ministry and a new depth of who I am. As Diana Ross said in her song, “I’m coming out! I want the world to know. Got to let it show. I’m coming out.”
We all are. We all go through these stages of being our unique selves. We get to know who we are and then discover that there is something new emerging. There’s a new you coming out everyday. Alan Turing had a grasp of this unique self that was unfolding and he fought for its expression. Years later, Joan, his nearest and dearest friend could look him in the eye and say, “The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you were not normal.” You are not normal either. You are on the cutting edge of spiritual evolution. You may not know it today. You may not know it tomorrow. But one day, you will know that the world is an infinitely better place because of you, because you had the courage to explore, experience and express yourself, your True Self.
We each have a purpose in life. We have the common purpose to be the light of Spirit. But we also have the purpose of knowing and expressing our uniqueness. We have the purpose of being a unique ray of light. And when we shine our light, we will make a lasting difference in the world. So, remember, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one." Explore, experience and express your true nature and fulfill your obligation to make the world an infinitely better place.