Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Same Team

The title of this post was inspired by a video produced by the LDS Church. Entitled "Same Jersey", the video's central message is that "all of God's Children wear the same jersey; our team is the brotherhood of man." This is a common idea that is echoed in all of the major world religions. When Catholics state in the Creed that God is the creator "of all things visible" they are proclaiming this same essential truth about human unity. The same truth that I mean when I speak about family: "We come from a common source. We are children of the same parent." Like the video says, we're all part of the same team. So if we all believe this, what's the problem?

The problem is that while corporate religion says all the right things about human unity, it is exclusive by its very nature. How can an institution proclaim that we are all on the same team, and yet also insist that some of the teammates will not receive a share of the championship reward? How can corporate religion say that we are children of one Creator, and yet also teach that only a portion of our brothers and sisters will earn salvation? Some faiths are more generous than others in who they grant salvation to, but almost all of them hold that not everyone will see paradise.

I say to you that this notion is false. A true team rises and falls together. The truth is that we were created as a family, we exist as a family, and we will die as a family. Whatever dimension of life awaits us after death is one we will discover as a family of brothers and sisters, not as disconnected individuals. What kind of Parent would our Creator be to only welcome home some of their children?

"In the end, we will all die. We will all return to the artist’s palette. We will all return as one ... Our creator loves us all equally, saint and sinner. Our brother died and rose to welcome both to the banquet. Is this unfair? Ask the paradox."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Voice of God

What makes me so special that God chose to speak with me? The truth is that I am not special, just willing to listen. God talks to all of us, every moment of the day, but few actually listen. Traditional religion might point to the conditions of modern life as the prime explanation for this. I say that religion is as much the problem as the solution. Traditional religion is a creature of rules and systems. As much as they might talk about following your conscience, they also expect that conscience to conform to their creeds and customs. After all, if this was something you could do on your own, how could they earn a living? What need would society have to pay for all the institutions to discern God's will? But we cannot let their fears about losing control or losing their livelihoods stop us from claiming what is really our birthright. God is our Parent. We don't need a middleman to talk to our Parent.

So does this mean that whatever feels good is God's voice? Trust me, most of what God tells me doesn't make me feel good, and it certainly hasn't made my life easier. The saying that ignorance is bliss has a lot of truth to it. And yet everything that God says brings me joy, because that is the nature of truth: joy. I know that where God is leading me is a place of love, goodness, and truth, even if it is difficult and costly. Perhaps the paradoxes of life are God's purest language.

Our ability to communicate with God does not depend on the amount of talismans we possess or the amount of time we spend in worship. You cannot meditate your way into the mind of God. What is required is an openness and desire to see. A willingness to look for God's words, especially in the places that we really do not want to look. This isn't to say that the former activities are useless. They are tools that may advance our readiness to hear, but they are not the means of communication itself. Again, God is our Parent, not our overlord. There is no need for ritual and formality. We can speak with them plainly and simply.

My purpose in life, as little as I have discerned of it, is to encourage others to speak to God in such a direct manner. It is not just the mystics who are called to have this kind of relationship with God; it is all of us. We are all that special.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Coming Soon

Welcome to my new blog! I'm not exactly sure where this one is going to go. All I know is that I'm being called to express the revelation I've received in more practical terms than I've done so far. I hope to write about the places where our family is already being honored, as well as areas where we can do a better job. I hope to make this revelation clearer and more approachable for you. Above all, I'm trying to live out God's desires that I feel in my heart and soul every moment of my life.

"Embracing our family is not about creating a new religion, perfecting an old one, or abandoning them altogether ... God is tired of the status quo and the way it suffocates the family's love ... It is time to find a new way. Yes, this path will be terrifying. It is uncertain and full of risk. But we owe it to our family to embark upon the journey. It is who we are and why we were created: to love our family, all of it."

This blog is part of my efforts to find that new way. I'm certain it will be an adventure, and not always a pleasant one. But I'm just as certain that it's an adventure I must attempt. I hope you will join me.