One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Belief, Reconsidered

Could you live without explaining your beliefs?  Really, in a world of constant tug and pull on your moral compass, would it be possible to not concern yourself with getting the beliefs straight and still be religious?

I sure hope so.

In a recent submission for Quest entitled "Religion Beyond Belief" Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, contends that "belief is the enemy of religion."  Given that I've spent quite a good portion of my life studying belief, I was intrigued.  Morales argues that conversations about what we believe generally move us away from the heart of religion, which he defines as "faithfulness to what we love."

"Faithfulness to what I love" helps me get closer to the transformative religion I seek.  Instead of debating with people, suddenly sharing what I love helps me move toward people and toward transformation.

But how are we faithful to what we love?  It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the shear mass of commitments, calls, and cascade of news.  There is so much to do sometimes.  I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately watching the news about the economy, immigration rights controversy, poverty rates, wars, hurricanes, floods,... do I really need to go on here? I would bet you've felt overwhelmed at times too.

Jon Stewart surprised me recently by offering the most powerful salve to those feelings of powerlessness.  Well, actually it was Arianna Huffington.  During her interview on the Daily Show, she explained that she is astounded by all that average Americans are doing in the midst of the unemployment crisis.  It's not just the elections and big rallies, but also the daily steps, Huffington reminded the audience.  Like creating networking sites for unemployed Americans to barter services or how neighbors are trading skills in the absence of money.

It's not just the big leaders and big events that make changes, but it is the daily acts that compose a life well-lived.  It is the daily acts that ultimately bring about the shift in consciousness we need.  It's those little acts, which give us the courage and resolve to take the big steps, sign the petitions, and stand in the public square.  In the words of Forrest Church, "Begin small. Dream possible dreams. Set out to climb a single hill, not every mountain. Soul work needn’t be strenuous to be high impact. You can begin transforming your life with a single phone call. Or by writing a kind letter. Or by opening your blinds to let the sun flood in. Don’t say it’s nothing. It’s everything. For you have now begun."

So when you wake up tomorrow, sit up tomorrow, and step with your feet on that floor for what will you stand?  What is the one step you will take to be faithful to what you love?


Sam Treadaway said...

"Belief is the enemy of religion"... that really sums up,in large part, my disappointment with mainline faith traditions. They seem to promote a life unexamined, which imprisons the mind and spirit with a "one size must fit all" shackle. But I am not ready (at least not yet) to give up on the value, and heeling spirirt, of faith.


Sam Treadaway said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beverly said...

The best thing I've read this week. Thanks.

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