This I Believe

Earland - Elmhurst, Illinois
Entered on May 29, 2007

There is an old philosophical saying that says, “All Truth asks is that it be able to lift its head from time to time.” As i have grown in my Spiritual attempt to grasp and be grasped by the Truth, an outstanding image from my childhood is the picture of jesus standing outside of a door and knockingn on it.

What that imagery has come to mean to me is that Spiritual Presence or Power comes into my life, as I allow this Presence or Power to access me. Hence, the God of Spirituality never abandons me; rather it is I who abandons God’s Presence or Spirit in my life.

I believe that is primarily what the major Monotheistic Religions of the world, ie, Islam,

Judaism and Christianity have done. Each, in

its own way, had complicated the process of the Spirit’s entering into my Presence or Power by erecting a Godo in man’s own image.

This is a God of Doctrine, Dogma and Laws; a

God who is like a King and we are the King’s subjects, who are to worship and pay tribute that churches, mosques and synagogues be erected to house the relics of a violent past.

I believe that as long as there is an attempt to errect my Spirituality upon a set of Rules, Dogmas and Docotrines, we will be doomed to an on-going pattern of exclusion and a certainty that we have the Truth, rather than the Truth knocks at our doors until we open our hearts and lives to another way of living.

I believe that this other way of living is set forth by the Prophets of the Old Testament and

Jesus of the New Testment. People like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Lutherin King, Jr.

showed me how to respond to that knock by Truth.

It is that same way of living that is charted in the Mystical Tradition of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

Simply put, it is as follows: “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength; and your Neighbor as yourself!”

I believe that if we open our Hearts to Jesus’ Way of Love, we will do toward our Neighbors, especially our enemies, as hown to us in the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes.

What has been clear to me since I read the Myths of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel is that we humans have failed to take Responsibility for our own behavior, thereby enabling us to become our Brother’s Keeper.

Adam’s Sin is not having taken Responsibility for eatting of the apple, rather he blamed Eve. Eve in turn blamed the Serpent. When asked about the whereabouts of his brother Abel, Cain replied, “Am I my Brother’s Keeper?” By even asking that question, Cain pronounced himself guilty!

I do not believe that I am called to be perfect. I am called to take Responsibility for my behavior. What follows, naturally, is then I become my Brother’s Keeper!

When I fail at the former, I just ask Forgiveness of the one I have wronged. We become Reconciled; then I go on until I fail one of my Brothers again.

This, I believe, is the reason for the Church, regardless of your Beliefs. The Church is the Community where I am taught to be Responsible for my behavior. When I fail, I receive Forgiveness, as I continue to live in the Presence of others who are likewise trying to do the same.

Harriet Tubman was praised for the thousands she had led to from Slavery to Freedom. She merely scoffed, “I could have led thousands more, had they known they were enclaved!”

The final thing that I learned growing up within a Community that struggled to take Responsibility, to Forgive and to receive Forgiveness and to be Reconciled and move on

was to put Things and Money in perspective.

The purpose of the Early Church was “to care for the needy, poor, the widow and orphans.”

The Church was not to be a structure that accumulated wealth and treasures, rather a

place or a community that knocks at the door of the Hearts of people in need. I have spent my life helping those less fortunate stand on their own two feet.

There is a Spiritual Force or Presence that stands at the doorway of each of our Hearts, whether we be Christian, islam or Jewish and knocks at our Heart’s doors, asking us to let Love in. Why not give Love a chance? I believe it is worth a try!