‘Beyond the beyond’ is a phrase I have had come to mind in a number of recent conversations. I have thought on what it really means and will attempt to describe it.
I see life in three distinct levels or realms.
In the first realm we have everything physical, everything surface. This includes our bodies and our state of mind. This is where we choose how to care for ourselves and how we represent ourselves. As a PE teacher for more than twenty years I have a passion for seeing people make good choices to improve and maintain their health. I will often encourage people in my work for the church to start by making good choices. This may include eating well and exercising as well as getting enough sleep. We have a responsibility to look after the bodies we have been entrusted. We all know the benefits of a healthy body, not least the effect it has on our mind. I will often encourage people to add disciplines into their lives as a way of exercising will power. If we can do it with food and exercise, we will have more chance of doing it in the important aspects of life such as relationships.
Our second level is beyond the physical. It is where we connect in our relationships. It is where we have an understanding of who we are, and of the people around us. We may use a phrase such as ‘in our hearts’ to describe where this takes place. It includes our personalities and temperaments and is intrinsically linked to the way we feel about ourselves. It is drastically affected by the way we were brought up. We can carry scars and wounds that taint our view of the world and people. Feelings of depression, loneliness and hopelessness can have devastating results. As we gain knowledge of who we are and how we process and handle the many and varied situations of life, we can learn to make good choices and create healthy patterns of behaviour that foster good relationships. We can learn to put other’s first and genuinely seek the best for the people we care about. Much of my work operates here, encouraging people to understand the mechanics that go on inside and to make good choices with who they are and what they think and feel.
The ‘beyond the beyond’ enters into an unfamiliar realm for most. It is a place where we very often don’t have the answers and can’t see the desired outcomes. A dimension that is currently beyond us, although, In John 14, Jesus describes an advocate, the Holy Spirit, as someone who will teach you all things. This means we have a direct link to the beyond the beyond. For those that acknowledge God and have the desire to walk with Him and progress, I believe that God, through His Spirit, works in the deepest part of our lives to bring about changes. These changes involve us going to places that are unfamiliar and often uncomfortable and we don’t have answers before we step out. This process builds our faith and enables us to live in a different place. We're no longer controlled by our circumstances, our thoughts or even our feelings. We are able to be free of the things that once ensnared us, free to truly be ourselves and to serve.