Saturday, September 9th, 2017
TRY TRY AGAIN
So I lost my seemingly brilliant blog last week due to a different format for blogging here at my new website. I wish I could find it to see if it was actually just hogwash. But the same topic is nagging me, so here I go again (“I hear the trumpets blow again”–if you recognize that quote, you are probably my peer!)
My goal today is ‘blunt’.
I wrote my book I PRAY ANYWAY for me, not for readers or a market. Some people really liked it so I published it because it seemed to strike a chord. I had no specific goal. (So I thought,)
I tried prayer (my kind) when I was in one of those awful family times which we/I would do anything to change (pick your own example). My prayer was answered with what i would call a miracle. I was grateful and felt like a hypocrite for praying only under duress (which is a great reason by the way) and decided to continue. Thus the book which has 365 daily reflections and 12 personal stories based on my return to devotional prayer-isn.
That stance has changed in the last three years from my first meeting at the Cia Cafe in South Portland Maine to talk about publishing my book. Here is what I am clear about now that I wasn’t then:
—I know we are in a time of world wide turmoil. We are part of a historical cycle since the Common Era began. Every 500 years religious institutions across all religions undergo examination and renewal. Old things are discared and the essence is renewed and new forms come into being. Usually this is accompanied by geo-political upheaval as well. We are in it. We are the transition generation, like it or not. This leaves us anxious, scared, eager for easy fixes, ready for denial, and feeling incompetent to be powerful to get done what needs doing.
I know the concept or our understanding of God or Godness is shifting. We are losing common ground that keeps us working with the same understanding of values and actions and transcendent behavior that goes beyond our personal need. Religious institutions are faced with the ‘nones’ those people who do not affiliate or identify with any religion and are indifferent to it. The nones tend to be young but are also older people left yearning for something they have lost. Secularism is a new formal movement that fills many of the needs for affiliation,care for the poor and the earth and for global justice. Human compassion is the bedrock of many rather than Godness. If God is (and I think Godness does) our understanding transforms as we do. All religions are in profound transition.
I know that finding the new forms for the ‘sacred’ will take time and, more importantly lots of conversation to find what attracts belief and commitment. And the conversations will have to include people talking across profound differences. It will take skill and patience and a new core of common beliefs to be articulated. It will take an inter-faith, inter-culture, inter-political, inter-economical point of view. The key will be to maintain sharp differences with more than tolerance, but with deep respect while creating the bed rock of agreement on how to live and to what or whom to give transcendent authority.
I know that I don’t expect this transformation or emergence to gel while I am alive. But it is gathering steam with more and more stability and awareness in the marketplace of ideas and values. I know that I want to support the creating conversations that will knit the strands of renewed spiritual grounding that will be woven together in the future. And so, I have written a Spriitual Playbook that works in conjunction with my book I PRAY ANYWAY with questions, activities and resources for people to use to create their own conversations.
Lastly I know, that I will continue to pray anyway. I trust in the power of prayer based on my own experience. God? Goodness? Mysterious energetics? I don’t care. Prayer gives me the centering, the guidance and the joy and peace when everything in my world and the world sucks. And as we build to a new way of living together on this globe, there will be some pretty darn rough times. So I’ll pray anyway. I’ll pray in my own way, with doubts, with hope, with dry spells, and with glorious moments. Not spitting in the wind but adding my grain of sand to the hopeful pragmatic need for love (not the easy kind but the disciplined kind) in our dear world.
Every grain counts.