Honesty…

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The most freeing event a person of faith can encounter in my opinion is the moment when they suddenly realize they are in a true relationship.  This moment in time lifts the emotional chains that keep us beholden to an all or nothing God and sets us free to evolve in the fashion the master offered.

In any relationship when a person has to hold back certain feelings, beliefs, or desires in order to maintain a clam steadiness, one person by not being honest never gets the full enjoyment of the relationship.  For that matter the partner will never fully enjoy all that is wonderful in the other with this type of arrangement.

Our faith is a relationship.  Opportunities to further embrace, peace, calm, kindness, love, generosity, and other mystical characteristics of wholeness await the willing consort, but do require total honesty.  My personal belief is that my faith remained at a infantile standstill until the day came that I felt the freedom to be completely honest with my heavenly partner.

I had issues with my beliefs.  I found some of the teachings comforting but many others deeply disturbing and divisive.  The inner turmoil kept me from embracing this relationship deeply as I didn’t feel I could be honest.  When the day came I first questioned something I was told I must believe in I was afraid of the repercussion of an angry and disappointed God.  Instead what I got was a freeing breath that encouraged me to embrace deeply this one I loved.  One question led to another and then to many, eventually the willingness to confront became a vital part of my very being.

Why more people don’t ask questions of their faith?  Its all about fear and security.  If one allows a single area of cemented belief to be considered fragile then a spiritual house of cards could begin to falter and eventually fall.  Deconstruction is hard, deep work that many feel unable or unwilling to undertake.  For me, meeting God again anew without so many opinions has been the most refreshing experience this poor chap has ever encountered.

Bear…

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Intense slumber, not a single movement,

face deeply impressed in the pillow.

Sleep too deep for dreams,

transported to blackened nothingness.

A safe and tranquil place.

An unnatural sound, too loud to excuse,

bursting forth outside my door.

Sleeping dogs spring forth to alarm and protect,

my Zen now over.

Illuminating the night, a dark figure appears,

a fiend tossing my garbage can about.

Undisturbed by my arrival he looks at me,

holding an immaculately clean jar of jam.

So this is the way of life,

we agree to not change a thing.

Letting me see such a noble creature up close,

I gladly accept cleaning his mess in the morning sun.

Sh*t…

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I spent time writing the most heartfelt acceptance of my daughters introversion only to accidentally delete the whole message.  Rather than attempt to recreate it I’ll just sit here and pout about it’s loss.

Interpretation…

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First off, I need to clarify that I have no claim to biblical scholarship.  While I do have a theological degree from a respected (?) seminary under my belt, I confess there is much in the scriptures that just plain baffles me.

While Facebook and blogs alike are littered with personal directives and opinions on what the bible tells us about how to live our lives and what we should and should not consider worthwhile we probably might plan to dig deeper for real understanding.

Offering oneself as a biblical literalist, while seemingly a badge of great honor, is really just a lazy mans effort at self promotion and lack of original thought.  Forcefully demanding allegiance to certain passages while conveniently overlooking or avoiding others is disingenuous and dishonest.  From this mindset,  instantly a person can be the director (or dictator) of social thought based solely on ones personal beliefs and agreeing opinions.  Statements like “the bible clearly says” means everyone else with differing perspectives or views is wrong or even an opponent against God.  For every statement that is clearly “what the word of God says” there are equal or more that can mean something different or even just the opposite.

Issues that seem to offer pastors and church leaders the most job security (abortion and gay issues) somehow are absent clear teachings on the subjects.  With that in mind I thought I’d share how I interpret passages that aren’t completely clear.  I start with number one and then determine if I need to go any further down the list of possibilities if the issue can’t be addressed.  Almost all the time, we can stop after number one and then look and see if we’re creating a manmade dissention to divide and create self importance.  I offer these in descending degrees of importance.

  1. Did Jesus say anything about it?
  2. Did a disciple say anything about it?
  3. Did anyone who spent time with Jesus say anything about it?
  4. Did anyone who knew someone that spent time with Jesus say anything about it?
  5. Is there a context for the issue or just an isolated mention?
  6. Is the issue based on cultures and customs of the time?
  7. Is there a modern understanding that evolves a previous understanding?
  8. Does the issue fit within a certain sub-cultures directives and not others?
  9. Does the issue happen to fall in a political persuasion?
  10. Does it really matter?

Maybe if we filtered these topics through the funnel of love instructed by the Master instead if divisive desires of self-righteousness these conflicts could ease and even disappear in time.

Imagine that.

Friend…

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He tries to listen without an answer.

Stare…

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As he stands there staring off into eternity he sees it.

Colors…

Colors once so vibrant and true

reluctantly begin their assent towards the ground.

No longer able to draw the attention of my eye,

instead choosing to wither and drift away.

New shades, much more subdued but no less beautiful

replace the former.

Dancing colors of summer make way for the soothing comfort of autumn,

dark purples, muted oranges, and deep reds painting the billowing canopies.

Hues intended to drawn us close to each other and this lovely creation,

Fall brings out the best in us all.

Awaits…

 

My mind fighting to remind me of all it considers important,

while my heart patiently awaits the opportunity to clarify.

Breathe…

 

As the challenges mount,

breathe.

As the battles grow,

breathe.

As opposition increases,

breathe.

As frustration seems insurmountable,

breathe.

When backed in a corner,

breathe.

You can do this…

just breathe.

Turtle…

On the way home today from the Post Office, I noticed a turtle sunning himself in the middle of the road.  He didn’t seem to mind the peril that faced him as traffic barreled by in both directions.  I admit, laying in the sun is a relaxing encounter and provides plenty of peaceful calm.

However, this dude would be dead in a short period of time unless he was removed from the road quickly.  I pulled my car to a stop in the road and got out and picked up my placid friend.  He seemed rather disturbed to have his mellow harshed but I picked him up none the less.  After carrying him to the edge of the woods he seemed to look back with gratitude, maybe that part was just in my head, but one never knows.

Life is valuable, all life.  Until we can see the worth of all life, no matter how small and insignificant one can never fully appreciate the meaning of any life.  To do for those who cannot benefit us raises our awareness with the universe that surrounds us.

Compassion.

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