From Rules to Relationships

Dennis - Portland, Oregon
Entered on December 22, 2008
Age Group: 65+

My life has been a journey from a strict adherence to rules to an understanding of freedom, founded in love. I believe life’s purpose is to comprehend God’s love through a responsible freedom. I can only state the word freedom if integrated with love. Likewise, I can only state love in concert with freedom. I realize why so many hang onto a lifestyle of dogma, obeying compulsively. In its black and white characteristic it has an attraction, except the human spirit craves freedom. The obvious setup for attempting to follow law is the likely result of phoniness, a lack of authenticity. In freedom and love there are these convoluted, paradoxical components that are mysteriously difficult to swallow, until it’s realized that we are privileged to make choices.

By awareness and intention I have moved from anchoring my life in the “correct” knowledge and interpretation of biblical content to a dynamic relationship with God as Lover, as re-presented on earth in Jesus, the Christ. While the Scriptures demonstrate God’s lavish love and God’s desire to relate with humans intimately, I have found that connecting with the Creator comes through active faith, staking my life on God.

From being bound, judgmental, critical and all that signifies control, I believe the more enjoyable, happy, and exciting life comes through release to Almighty Spirit. This includes confession, an acceptance of self, and an openness to receive others as they are, knowing that all of us are on a path of “becoming,” not there yet. For me jazz epitomizes the passion and freedom of which I speak. The unforeseen element of improvisation, prevalently found in jazz, expresses the meaning of faith. It’s the giving up of control and letting go.