I spoke to someone this morning. Someone I barely knew. She and her two little boys have been miserable because they’ve only had a single small window unit air conditioner in their 2-bedroom apartment. She’s a very good lady in a messed up world and does all she can with what she has for her children. What a wonderful gift it was to be in the position to do something for a deserving soul.
Two hours later, as I was installing her new air conditioner, it occured to me that the inherent flaw in religion may be that it requires one to denounce all other religions as wrong. This, to me, is hypocrisy in its purest form. Too be a good muslim, one must have have no faith in or love for Jesus. To be a good christian, one must have no faith in or love for Allah. Same goes for Judaism, Hinduism, right on down the line. This simply can’t be. I’ve always felt that it’s completely illogical. If religion is truly the opiate of the masses, then I think spiritual philosophy must be the antidote. Some form of spiritualism other than organized religion, anyway.
I believe in one God. I believe He (..or she. I’m pretty sure God is genderless, though… and bodiless, too, for that matter. Honestly, what the would you need genitalia for if you aren’t going to mate?) has presented Himself to each people in accordance with their ability to understand Him best. He’s smart like that. One God…. many names. If this belief makes me un-Christian(and technically, it does), then I choose to accept my fate. This alone makes my argument for following the spirit of the word in religion, rather than the letter. Behind the words, all religions are quite simple. It’s the words themselves that make them so messed up. I’ll ponder the spirit vs. word thing another day.
Personally, I was baptized a Christian. Hell, my mother even named me Christian(follower of Christ). To me, switching religions would be a waste of time. To me, they’re pretty much all the same. Besides, I’d miss Jesus a hell of a lot. I like following him. He’s the Brett Favre of religious dudes…. and definitely one bad-ass jew. I’m nowhere near a fanatic, though. I can’t recall the last time I darkened the doorway of a church. Last winter sometime, I suppose.
When things go well in my life, I give credit to my Lord whenever queried (bearing witness). When they don’t, I accept the failure as my own. Always have. Always will. I know I’m not doing it alone. I know I’m not the driving force in my existence. I may be in the driver’s seat, but God is riding shotgun and I’m damn sure he’s doing all the navigating. He’s taken me on many great adventures in my life. I never know where I’ll end up next, but I know for sure I’ll see signs that He’s there with me and that I’ll find out why we went there down the line… and be grateful for having been sent. I suppose when you boil it all down, that’s what faith is.
Spirituality itself is strong inside me, however. Always has been. Not the preaching crap. Not the repetitive prayers. The doing. The world is FULL of people who sit around praying and talking about being god-like, yet never actually doing a damned thing!
So anyway… there I was on a Sunday afternoon, sweating my balls off while installing an air conditioner that I bought for someone I’d only met twice… when the thought dawned on me. This is my religion. One of acts, not words. One of understanding, not judgement. Utilizing my gifts to make other people’s lives more pleasant(Hardly a selfless act. It truly is better to give). Random acts like this may or may not get me into heaven in the afterlife. Hell, there may or may not even be an afterlife. What’s significant about it to me is that it brings heaven here. Now. The intangible becomes tangible. It’s a win-win-win situation. How can one not be moved to action on these terms?
Tonight, two little boys and one great mom will sleep comfortably and peacefully. Across town…. one man will sleep more comfortably and peacefully, too, knowing without question that he did something undeniably right.
God is happy.
Thanks for giving me another opportunity, Big Guy. It’d be a lonely road without You.
I’ll see you in church. *wink*