Posted by: Lisa | November 6, 2011

Signs Seen and Unseen

Driving around Norfolk, I’ve come across the following messages on church signs:

1.  “Our God is an awesome God.”  John commented that this is the problem with many churches – they act like they’re the only ones with an awesome God while everyone else has some kind of silly, phony God.  I said, “Yeah but it depends on how you take the message.”  For me, “Our God,” means “everyone’s God” because there is really only one God.  Underneath the external beliefs and practices of all religions/churches, there is the same one, true God.  Even if the religions/churches themselves don’t believe or promote this, it’s still true.

2.  “If you are lost, come inside. We have the map to get you home.”  This sounds like the particular religion/church knows the way to heaven, our true home – so all we have to do is join them to get to heaven.  My reaction is, “Beware!”  Not because they don’t have the map to heaven, but because they seem to be selling the map.  And because there’s no single set of believers who make it to heaven while everyone else is condemned to something less.  I believe there are many authentic paths to heaven, liberation, salvation, enlightenment – whatever we may call it – but the difficulty is finding the authentic in the midst of the faulty and deceptive.  It takes great courage to “get out” (or more accurately, dig deep within) and seek the path. 

One of the things I love about Hindu-based spirituality is that it deliberately teaches there are many paths to God; it’s up to each individual to find the path that works best for him or her.  This requires an open mind and a desire to seek rather than become comfortable with “answers” that are given by individuals or institutions.  It requires each one of us to take responsibility for our own spiritual lives.

What every authentic religion includes as part of the path is some form of prayer and/or meditation.  So we can’t go wrong by beginning and continuing there.  May we persevere – and trust that God guides each of us through our intuitive understanding of the signs sent to us in our hearts.

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