Sunday Morning Musings: As I write these musings I find myself listening to the news (maybe too much). It seems that everywhere I turn I find concerns. There are concerns about the effects of tariffs; there are weather concerns (too hot, too cold, too much snow, not enough snow); should the POTUS meet with the leader of North Korea and why; pundits wonder who will win elections and movie awards and what people will be wearing. The list of these concerns seems endless. And as much as any or all of the above will have an effect on us personally, the list doesn’t even go into individual concerns about individual health.
Even more important, is the effect that all of these concerns have on us spiritually. (May I remind you, that I do not necessarily interchange the term spiritual with religious?) Religiously, I have been told that there is no concern to worry about. God is in control and that is all we need to know. An old bumper sticker tells us: If Jesus is in your co-pilot, you are in the wrong seat.) I can accept this concept of God to a certain degree. No matter what happens in the world, in my community or in my own personal life, I have no doubt that there will be a presence with me. I may not know how or even why, but I know it, I believe it, I live it.
Of course, the question is often raised as to why an “all-present” God could or would allow terrible things to happen. (If you haven’t read Harold Kushner’s book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, please do). A god who controls life, and blesses and curses our behaviours is not a god worthy of our worship.
I am not saying that belief in “God” is not good. Rather, I am suggesting that for spiritual growth to be helpful in difficult times we need a fuller understanding of our own spirituality. I will admit that when we encounter difficult situations we first look for a cause. We ask: why is this happening? Even if we don’t add the “to me” the thought is likely present. As if we were to think that it should be happening to someone else? Too often when we can’t find someone else to blame it must be “God” punishing us and so we rail against whatever we can, or passively accept our punishment.
When I allow myself to continue to grow spiritually, I can still have questions but they are not a frantic searching kind. Nor is my belief a simplest one that leaves it all up to God. True spirituality grows toward an oneness or unity with “that which is beyond understanding”. Such an understanding does not mean I will not experience “tough times”. It does mean that I am never left alone to face whatever comes my way. Spirituality means that I am a part of life and no matter what life throws at me, I don’t have to face it alone.