I had a post all ready to go, but God got in the way.
Let me explain. Last week I wrote a post where I acknowledged that despite our culture’s distaste for religious proselytizers, I really am one at my core. I am so utterly convinced that there is a Sacred Presence that I can’t help but to invite her into my every encounter.
I spoke of this in my post titled, “A Theology of Presence.” I wrote that post just a few days after I also wrote my first newsletter article for the church where I now serve as an interim pastor. I had decided that my next post would simply be a copy of that newsletter article (http://bethanypres.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/June-2015-Epistle.pdf) with a simple introduction such as, “A follow up to my Theology of Presence post.”
Only I encountered a problem. I read through the post and one line got stuck in my throat. Half way through the post I had written, ” I don’t think it is an accident that God has brought us together in this time.” I immediately realized that the language that I use to communicate spiritual realities to my congregation is different than the language I use in my blog where my readers include spiritual seekers, humanists, Christians with Celtic influences, atheists, progressive Catholics, and a few dyed in the wool Presbyterians.
I realized how important this thing we call language is. What I want to communicate is that I believe there are deeper psychic, spiritual, and even unconscious forces at work in our lives. We don’t choose everything we do in life; sometimes life chooses us.
In the church we are accustomed to using the language of God in order to communicate that reality. But I realized that, had I relied on that same language by default in my blog post, not only would I have lost a few readers, I also would not have been successful in communicating my basic message.
I played the scenario out in my head. Had my original audience been my Pedal Pilgrim readers I would have said the same thing with words similar to: “I believe that it is no accident that Life (with a big “L”) or the Universe has brought us together.” Such language might make a few church members roll their eyes and say, “For goodness sakes why can’t you just call that God!” But to my broader audience God can get in the way. The language of God can dredge up images of a puppeteer-like figure floating somewhere above the clouds moving people around like pieces on a chess board.
I don’t believe in that God in the church or in my blog. I believe in a presence that seems to move mysteriously through our lives leading us into ever deeper realities of Love and Awareness. Some may think that I am wishy washy and that I speak out of both sides of my mouth. But it’s just not true. My goal is to speak of and embody the Sacred Presence I have felt in my own life. For one person the language of God is the key to this sharing this; for another the language of God actually gets in the way.
I will close by offering a simple blessing:
May the Universe enfold you in her arms! (Translation…………God bless you all)