Monday, November 8, 2021

The Sunshine Chapel

I often write about things that I see around me in my own walk through life.  Sometimes these nuggets come from my religious experiences, one of which I will talk about today.  

The older I get, the more I seem to find comfort in a natural approach to my belief in God.  What I mean is, I find spirituality in simple and natural things like the woods, the beach, family, friends, etc.  These things touch me in deeply spiritual ways because I feel God's presence in them.  I believe that God intends us to be in harmony with one another and with the goodness of the earth he created.  When I hug my family and I feel that love, I am one with God.  When I walk on the beach and enjoy the magnificent creation in front of me, I am one with God.  When I go to work every day and serve my fellow employees by keeping them safe from harm, I am serving the purpose God intended me to serve. I'm at peace with this now like never before.

On the flip side, as I find myself more in tune with this natural approach, the less I feel in step with organized religion.  Overall, I believe that organized religion has become lost in the trappings of the material world.

Sunday we discussed how we are to use truth and dedication to God as our armor against evil and sin.  A message that I certainly agree with.  We all sin and we all lie, but if we all dedicated ourselves to trying to always be truthful, we would find a world that could turn itself around.  We talked about how what we see everyday through news and advertising is made to bend the truth, twist it, and use it for underlying purposes. get no argument from me.  Now more than ever, we are being taught that stretching the truth is normal and acceptable.

But organized religion does its own form of deception and fails to fully take account for it.  The Catholic religion is still finding the depths of their sexual abuse toward children.  Imagine how many lives have been destroyed by the very thing intended to save them.  Turn on your television at 6am on any Sunday morning and I promise you that there will be "preachers" telling you to sow $1000 seeds and you will suddenly have the bank forgive your mortgage and checks appear in your mailbox.  Evangelicals still nearly unanimously support the Trump administration who are deeply undermining the country by lying about election fraud that has for nearly a year been disproven over and over and over again. I've yet to hear this addressed by religious leaders.  

Organized religion hasn't attempted to harm anyone, and it certainly does have many wonderful people who do many wonderful things within it, but make no mistake, as an institution it chooses its battles very carefully.  Lies are to be called out as long as they are certain lies, but not others.  Politics and religion run very closely together, although they will largely deny the co-existence.  Being outspoken about certain sins from certain people while quietly turning away from others is a pattern that has become more and more the norm.  

This is where I look at my son and I think about what brings out the good in him.  He is at peace when he walks in the sunshine, when he feels the love of another person, and when he feels security around him.  I believe that he is a shining gift from God because he is allowed to live in a simple way, free from the desire to be deceptive or feel the hurt of being lied to.  He appreciates the beautiful things he can see, without the noise that the human world has established around it.  Is there any reason why I wouldn't want the same for myself?  As has been the case so often, I've so much that I learn from him as life goes on....

Be well and God bless.   Tom

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