I’ve never been a religious person. An English major, avid reader and prolific writer I refused to own a Bible. This was my silent war against the frivolity of religion for years.
I’ve come to realize the same truth that compelled my rebellion against religion is the same truth that feeds the fire of my faith today. The truth is I’ve always known unequivocally there is an unfathomably infinite non-human power. The idea of communicating with, tapping into, worshiping that power through some man-made ritual seemed a total dishonor and waste of time.
I refused to define it. Refused to even buy into anything that I could rationalize. There would be no patriarchal, hierarchical, human-centered, punitive, judgmental, guilt-ridden spirit in my life.
Then I saw the same powerful argument through a clearer lens.
If you know in your heart there is a higher power on Earth and have an iota of sense or strength, how could you not live constantly and fervently drinking in the truth of that power?
There are things in life we’re powerless to, but for God’s strength.
I’ve always been the brunt of jokes because of my optimism and idealism. I was never a cheerleader but my disposition convinces most who meet me otherwise. I’m the person who believes the world will change. Who, when I hear arguing at my neighbor’s house prays for their peace, for love to fill their home. Who sits down to eat chocolate cake and throws housewarming parties when her home gets broken into. Who calms down in the eye of a storm.
That optimism isn’t blissful ignorance, intoxication, fraud, or misunderstanding.
It’s God working through me.
Funny thing is, I’d be a lot weaker today, a completely different person if I ever bought into those false ideas about God. If I started believing in myself more, believing those who say joy is shallow, or that I should be more serious I would have signed my own death certificate.
Finally, I know better.
We need God. There’s stuff we simply can’t do for ourselves. When we’re sad ain’t no amount of therapy, comic relief or liquor that will lift us out of it. When we’re filled with the more subtly destructive spirit of competition, insecurity, or lust we can’t turn the switch off like a light.
In those moments we are so weak and blinded.
We need strength greater than our own to pull through it.
The reality is if we just take ourselves, our ego, our body, our talents, our words and thoughts out of the way for a minute we open our doors to be moved by something much greater than we are.
The instant we unplug from that greatness we’ve lost a chance to touch someone else with it. We have no idea who’s watching us, who notices us in passing and sees the God in us. If we’ve unplugged and are caught up in the trappings and silliness of everyday life we miss a chance to connect with someone else spiritually.
What else are we really here for if not to form spiritual connections with other people?
Today, until midnight a powerful group of people are coming together to pray love over the entertainment industry at the Gibson Amphitheater.
I hope you’ll make it out, or pray from where you are.