I have faith. It’s always been this inner well of longing that eventually links up with an amazing tool called — the mind.
My mind, your mind our ability to think of what we want and hold on to the notion that it will play out just as seamlessly as we saw it — that afternoon when the blue sky became charged with your dreams.
I wasn’t asked if I wanted to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died in order to guarantee that whenever I screw up — I still have the privilege to pretend it never happened.
I was born into the knowledge that this was my truth and I had to accept it or else burning hell would be my eternal fate.
Yikes! Hell no!
I’m not down with the fire and brimstone narrative — so, I guess being the Lord’s favorite child will have to suffice.
It carried me through for as long as I allowed it. At first it was all about Sunday school and wearing dresses that made my skin itch. Then I graduated to the level that gave me access to the main sanctuary.
That was where the fun really began.
The hymns were always my favorite. I’ve always loved the traditional renderings that go beyond the actuality of what it means to be Christ-like.
Stuff like “I Vow to Thee My Country” or the love ballad, “And Now Oh Father Mindful of Thy Love” and even “Jerusalem” — they each represent the uncanny brilliance of authors who were moved by the mystifying echoes of passion that aren’t necessarily focused on the cross where Jesus wept.
The implications of those verses could apply to anyone who navigates through life adhering to its beauty and wonder — which inevitably allows the tunnel of hope and endurance to flow through.
As an avid explorer — I’ve been to Tibet and switched over to the divine canals in Venice just by closing my eyes while keeping them wide open.
I was a Muslim in boarding school and nobody knew it.
My quest for deliverance was never quite serviced from the itinerary of Sunday mornings and afternoons. Sunday dinner — however was more than fulfilling.
The ritual was the same in boarding school — except the dinner and my unholy distractions.
Boys during school debates and my school mates who participated in a performance that looked like a spiritual dance that only attracts the anointed.
I prayed with them every time they retreated to a corner and used their body and soul as instruments of dedication and honor.
It was a gorgeous display of discipline that set my senses on fire in a way no prayer session had ever achieved.
Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, or all the above.
Buddhism is my latest expression and it happened just as naturally as discovering that you do in fact prefer living in a place that undergoes the change of seasons — despite your loyalty to warmer temps.
The principles of Buddhism are appealing and only add more delight in the mystery of why we are determined to alienate based on our beliefs — rather than highlight the areas where there are virtually no gaps.
This is what faith has done.
It has opened my heart to the possibilities and propelled my need to exercise my right to believe in what I’m saying and doing — without the judgment of humans who are manipulative creatures to a fault.
I am my biggest supporter. Nobody wants me to succeed and prevail against the symptoms of mental torture more than I do.
So, the search for contentment and validation ends here. The power we wield as keepers of our trust — should be maximized beyond the promise that when we die the gates of heaven will receive us with festive grace.
It should be the value in being excited at the prospect of no knowing what exactly happens to us when we leave this earth — because that’s the measure of a mind at ease with the speed of spiritual growth.
That is what faith permits when you venture willingly into the realm of understanding that you are your religion — and your god can’t save you unless you know yourself without prejudice and exact that same treatment to others.
Remain faithful and tolerant.