I went to church this morning. It is a Vineyard church. The last church I pastored was a Vineyard. Very laid back.
We know the pastor of this church and many in his congregation. We are friends. I visit there once in a while because, well, it’s safe. He is completely non-controlling. I don’t buy in to everything he says or what they’re about anymore. But that’s okay. I’m free to do that. And that’s what’s important.
Right? The freedom to be me amongst others! That’s what’s important.
There was a lot of God-talk flying around this morning. But I’m cool with that. I’ll explain why.
There is a thunderstorm with lightening, wind and rain.
When I was a child I was taught that this was when angels were bowling in heaven and when they lost they cried. I believed it.
Some people are taught that it is when God is wrathful and angrily terrifying and punishing the earth. They believe it.
When we grow up we learn the scientific explanation. We believe it.
No matter what we believe, we still see the lightening, hear the thunder, feel the wind and rain. Essentially we are experiencing the same thing. Add our beliefs to it and it amplifies it, embellishes it, and impregnates it with meaning.
So this morning during church there essentially was worship music, prayer, fellowship and teaching.
I could apply layers to this raw experience.
I could say I went in a sinner, got corrected in the hands of an angry God who disciplined me until I broke, and sent me out in to the world with the command to never do it again and to live right or else.
Or I could say I went in a wandering child of God, that the Spirit in his patient compassion gently eroded away my resistance to him and that through the holy words and intentions he re-yoked my spirit with Jesus. This would be the language they used this morning.
Or I could say that I went in hard-hearted from a rough week, and that through the music, the silence, the well said prayers and the gentle teaching, my heart slowly softened to the point where I could get in touch again with the openness, compassion and positivity that is the Universe and realigned myself with the source and flow of Life.
Whatever lens through which I experienced this, whatever worldview, whatever paradigm I understood it by or fit it into, or whatever language I use to articulate what occurred, the bottom line is that there was worship music, prayer, fellowship and teaching. And through the course of the hour I felt my hard heart soften, I noticed my mind open to hope, happiness and love, and I left the experience with a new resolve to be the better person that I am.
I believe we all are experiencing the same thing. But we experience it through our individual paradigms. We understand it through our individual beliefs. We articulate it through our individual language.
This is why I can relate to anyone. This is why I can sit through a Christian service. Or a Muslim one. Or an Atheist one. Or a Buddhist one. Whatever.
Because I see that we are all one and all experiencing the same thing.
She has her paradigm, beliefs and language.
And I have mine.
I hope this helps!
I’d love to hear from you. Just respond to this email if you like. I’m here for you.
Have a rich week my friends!