Between Two Worlds Day 39 (of 40)
We’re coming to the end of this “Between Two Worlds” Lenten conversation. Of course I imagine it will continue in some form as the themes will continue to permeate my blog, our thoughts and questions, and our ongoing dialogue. Whatever this thing is that we are all in isn’t going to go away or be solved by one series of blog articles. I have a feeling we are in the for the long haul on this.
It does give me a chance to reflect a bit, however. There are a few things that have risen to surface that I think bear highlighting.
The intimacy of small groups
At the beginning of this series I was struck by how often you had expressed how important small groups in intimate settings were for you. Some of you said that while you went to church your real spiritual community was a group of friends that had been meeting for years on a regular basis–sometimes monthly, sometimes weekly. In those sacred gatherings you were finding intimate connection, support, a common commitment to growth and values, and the simple sharing with those who knew you best.
Religious demographers have been telling us this for many years–that the real experience of church for many is not in the mega church worship service, but in the small groups where people can be more vulnerable and honest with other. I think that is called “family,” in the best sense of the term.
The return of religious mysticism
The second thing that is abundantly clear to me is that we are either returning to a resurgence of religious mysticism. I hardly need to say anymore about that since the theme surfaced over and over again in this conversation. I have a feeling that I will be spending more time introducing you all to the history, writings and tradition of religious mysticism. Did you know that the Sufi mystic poet, Rumi, is actually the most purchased and read poet in America right now, even topping the great Walt Whitman? The point is that without our really knowing it we seem to have a hunger and a yearning for the “direct experience of God” which is the purest definition of mysticism. No longer are we just satisfied with “right belief” or the adopting of a religious moral code. We want to taste, feel, see and touch the Sacred.
The Trump Post
Finally (and you would never know this), I was struck by the energy around my “Playing My Trump Card” blog. On my blog I can track the amount of traffic and that post generated a 250% increase above my average traffic and quickly became the most read blog post since I started this project two years ago. When I wrote it I wasn’t sure how it fit exactly with my “exploring the landscape of the soul” theme for my work. I knew it had to be written, but I wondered whether I was detouring somewhat from my essential mission. It did remind me that was why I returned to the pulpit after a nine year hiatus into human service work ten years ago. I missed being able to add a voice of reason, moral clarity, truth and vision to the complicated issues of our day.
I am really glad that I wrote that post. Many people thanked me for saying what needed to be said, for saying what they had wanted to say, and for stepping into the ring of this terrifying Trump phenomenon. But it did surprise me a bit that I used my “Pedal Pilgrim” stage to do that. I have a feeling that rather than it being a one-time thing I will discover the connection between my soul work and political and cultural commentary. I am just not quite there yet. Your thoughts are welcomed!
As you receive this churches will be preparing for Good Friday and Easter services. While not all of my readers will be doing the same, I am struck by how deeply the themes of Holy Week are woven throughout my blogs. Good Friday and Easter are just the narrative forms of that ongoing human reality of despair and hope, death and resurrection, and “letting go and letting God” as the bumper sticker states. No other narrative better captures this great transition we seem to be living in.
I am absolutely convinced that history will one day call our time “The Great Letting Go.”