'When I [Mitch Albom] asked the rabbi, “How do you account for all these different faiths? How can they all be right? Isn’t just one right, and the rest wrong by default?” He gave this example of trees. He said, “Do you believe that God made trees?” And I said, “Yes.” And he said, “So why didn’t he make just one tree? Why did he have to make a bunch of different kinds of trees? He’s God, and if he’s going to call this a tree, why wouldn’t they all look like this? But he made oaks and pines. Why? Because they’re all varieties of God’s creation. Why can’t you look at faith that way?”'
I am discovering that I'm a mystic, a contemplative. I think that I've always known this actually, but the reawakened poet in me is resonating with this form of spirituality more now than ever. My faith and my spiritual journey have become far more real to me and I'm finding this silent contemplation and the quest for deep spiritual connection to be the only things that truly fill my soul or fulfill me as spiritual being.
But apparently this is the stuff that scares a lot of Christians.
In my experience, something about the possibility of being wrong, or the possibility that God is more than a series of rituals, rules, or religion terrifies those who've been raised in the "Christian" church. Because to most people, admitting that we've missed the point (by having assumed that organized, mainstream "Christianity" is the only true path to God) means that we've somehow wasted our lives. But the thing is, nothing is a waste if it's leading us to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the Lover of our souls.
I think the problem is that at the very core, all of humanity is filled with the same "collective consciousness" ~ an awareness of the supernatural ~ because we're all created by the same Supreme Being, regardless of what we call Him/Her or how we express that awareness. There's the deep yearning for something more, the need to search and sort through the great questions of life, and an innate desire to connect on a spiritual level.
And it predates Christianity. It predates religion in general. It goes back to the very beginning to the "God created..." where it was simple ~ a relationship. There was simply a man and his God, until the relationship shattered, and the distance was created. And as time moves along, that distance widens and deepens and humanity struggles to find that path back to God.
And we do what we can to find it. All things lie within our hearts; placed there by God. I think a true desire to find God will lead one to the appropriate path.
Jesus declared Himself to be the ultimate example: the way, the truth, the life. He lived a life of servitude, a life of humility, a life of love, and a life of contemplation. And He is the embodiment of this way to God. Those who KNOW Jesus will find God.
But what of those who never had the chance? How about those who spend their lives seeking God and never hear the name Jesus? What if we've entirely missed Jesus' point? What if those people know Jesus better than all of us who fill the chairs in our sanctuaries every week, sing our songs, and pray our prayers?
I'm not offering answers here. I truly don't have them, but what I do know is that it's ok that I don't. If I did, I wouldn't need God. I would assume that I've "made it" and I would be no better than Lucifer who decided that he was "like God" (leading to his expulsion from heaven).
I will walk the path to God without apology and without fear.
I will continue to seek and use any tool from any religion that is available to me to do so. I'm not afraid to admit that God is bigger than Mere Christianity. I'm not afraid to walk a labyrinth, or light a candle in memory of someone I love, or see God's fingerprints in the sky and hear the voice of Love in the wind. I'm not afraid to challenge the status quo of Christianity, to throw off the rules and regulations set up by those who have bought into "Christianity" being the only answer. I am not afraid to allow my spirit and my soul to explore concepts of communion with God and others through "non~traditional" means. I'm not afraid of the "new~age" movement which is, for the most part, little more than a reawakening of ancient spiritual practices on the road to understanding God. What goes around, comes around and the wheel of time keeps turning.
For those of you who've read this far and are now praying for my soul, I will reassure you that I do believe in the the basics of the Christian faith. I may not interpret everything exactly the same as all of my Christian friends and family, but in what matters I can agree.
I just know there's more to this "abundant life in Christ" and my God created me to be this way for a reason. I intend to find it... or die trying.