Monday, November 14, 2005

Choices

I have nagging thoughts in my head about life and the Divine. Throughout the world and through the ages men and women have been creating religions, rules, temples and rituals. These seem so vain and useless and corrupt.

My nagging thoughts involve a young child, about three years old, who receives a gift from a parent, some gift of great attraction and mystery and unlimited fun and discovery. The child takes the gift and, shouting and running and leaping, beings to examine the gift and enjoy it and wants to share it with friends. In his excitement, the child says nothing to the parent and forgets the parent is in the room. The gift holds his attention captive. The parent watches and has an expanding, warm and filling emotion of happiness and joy. You know the feeling -- the one that makes you think life is so good that you will explode. The parent's joy comes from seeing the child's elation.

Another child receives an identical gift, looks at it with little emotion and then, with practiced tone and actions, says "Thank you, father, for the gift. You are truly kind and loving." And the parent feels . . . ?

Personally, I don't won't to be the second child who is cold and lifeless. I don't want to waste my gift in heartless temples worshipping a god created and given to me by old men and women who had the life extracted from them by their ancestors.

I choose to be the first child. I choose to be so caught up in life that I don't have time for prayer and rituals and reading dried ink on yellowing paper. I choose compassion over rules. I choose people over temples. I choose life over death. I choose risk over safety. I choose community over isolation. I choose gratitude over pride.

The act of living my life is my act of worship.

10 Comments:

Blogger George Breed said...

You are a true outlaw, living outside the camp! Lest you misunderstand (which I think you won't), that is about the highest compliment I could give.

11/14/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I wonder-

Thanks for visiting our blog.

Nice to have a blogger around who is actually off the grid.

Good work...

...and keep on with the worshipping of life thing.

I'm going off to read more of your blog.

11/14/2005 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

So many people our age have concluded as you have, that to be genuine in one's own self-expression is what keeps us alive. The trick is to find a personal theology that is universal, which can be shared, and in so doing gives the connection of the religious impulse...you are doing this.

11/14/2005 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

You speak words of Wisdom! Personally, I want to be the first child, too. I always want to look at things with the wide-eyed wonder of a grateful child.

11/14/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

This post seems to tie in nicely with George's post today, "Children of the living God."
Hopefully some interesting themes are emerging amongst our seemingly diverse group of bloggers.

11/14/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger RedBark said...

Dualism is here to stay.

11/14/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Round Belly said...

I agree the best way to worship our createor is to be, and enjoy being.

Oftentimes enjoyng truely being is helped along with the knowledge of who we are and how we can serve others. For those items who best to turn to then our creator?- adn that is the purpose of true prayer and worship.

11/14/2005 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gaye said...

It's ashame that rituals, rules, corruption, and politics within churches drain the essence of the spiritual experience.

My Divine wants me to live my life with dignity and respect for others; often times you find an absence of compassion in the very setting that is supposed to symbolize it.

That's why these institutions need to be shook up by people like YOU--keeping them on their toes--and reminding them that "loving thy neighbor" aren't merely words; but a way of life meant to be practiced.

11/15/2005 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger George Breed said...

One has to be careful not to let one's self become an institution. Or one's point of view.

11/15/2005 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I'm in a non-commenting mood thes days, but I have to say this is a very good post. Your thoughts give me a new way to view what has become my own path.

11/15/2005 08:07:00 AM  

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