My own personal minister seems to be taking on a traditional preacher role.
He’s talking about God. As a result, this sermon is getting lost on me. Why is the minister of myself preaching about God? How applicable is this sermon to his intended audience? I trapse, tiptoe, and tightrope walk around adopting the tag of agnostic as that doesn’t seem to quite apply. Is it because my spirituality is so pervasive in my lifestyle, in my approach to the way I live, in my ideals and ethics and morality? The answer is yes with an if, no with a but…
I like the idea of considering myself spiritual because it seems to be an all-inclusive yet amorphous categorization for that perspective that extends beyond chewing food and punching clocks. However, my sense of spirituality often extends an invitation to the banality of eating and working, inviting them in for a warm place to sit and a hot cup of coffee.
Meanwhile there’s a posse with pitchforks and torches ready to lynch any and all religious folk from the highest branch of science. I may shake my head and bear my ID card that shows them I’m a member of the spiritual community, but then the posse points to the religious group on the other side of the DMZ that all claims their own spirituality. Once I explain to them that spiritual is not necessarily synonymous to religious, they menacingly shake their crosses at me and push me back out into the wasteland of seemingly ambiguous systems of belief. I have to take refuge with the Wiccans, Buddhists, Secular Humanists, Pagans, Neo-Pagans, and any others that adopt a belief system that doesn’t come with a rule book.
Then my minister creeps into my tent in the middle of the night and tells me to remember God. Of course I shudder as the idea smacks of an arrogant gender specific deity that crosses his arms and shakes his head at any and all infractions from the rules laid out by channels that distorted their perceived message for power and control. Yet my minister points outside the tent to the wind carrying grains of sand through the air, of trees genuflecting with bent tips and bowed trunks, with birds searching for a meal that they may or may not find that day. He indicates the clouds that vacillate between what shape and size they will maintain at any given moment, never to repeat it again.
Why now? What is the point of this sermon? It’s clear I need some sort of message right now, as I have as of late been rushing headstrong into the battle of my endeavors, my steed at a full gallop, my banner emblazoned with the symbol of all I want to accomplish. I have commanded my phalanx units to take formation behind me as I prepare this great onslaught and await for the horn to be blown to signify the melee to begin. But there is no castle to siege, no front line to face. So my soldiers are restless and anxious, morale is fraying at the edges as is the banner I carry. I have a veritable thunderstorm trapped in a jar. But I must press on lest my crops die, my land be laid to waste, my army routs and leaves me vulnerable to the wolves of doubt and lethargy, feeding on what was once great ambition that is merely meat to carry their lean bodies through another harsh winter.
Then the minister indicates my army. They are all staring into the face of God. Yet they did not drop to their knees to then fall prostrate. They did not become blind by glory. They did not turn and run in terror at Its magnificence. They simply plowed their fields, played with their children, loved their spouses. They carried water into their kitchens and laughed around campfires. Meanwhile the wind whipped at the mail of my armor, chilling it, snatching the tiny pieces left of my flag.
I needed to have faith. I did not need to believe in the existence of a god, I simply needed to allow the Universe to let everything unfold in its time. I had taken the thunderstorm and attempted to bottle it to harness its power, yet a thunderstorm has no function in a bottle. My minister was telling me God is Now, God is the Present, God is the very moment in which I reside. When you stand ready for battle and you see no enemy, you create an enemy so you are able to expend the energy you have created in anticipation of combat. But there is no fight here.
There is only this moment, and to try to rush full force into a future endeavor whose room has not been made ready yet will leave me stranded in the lobby carrying my own baggage from one corner to the next. Time to check my bags and take a stroll, maybe soak in the hot tub. Trust.