For years I have been searching, thinking, and writing of the many aspects of faith, life, and our place here on this earth. Having researched, visited, and tried many different churches along the way, we have been looking at different theological aspects of life and have come to understand and realize the value of people from all beliefs and all walks of life.
Here are some of the people who I have listened to and/or watched over the last number of years. Their words of hope and ... have helped me on my way.
This morning I decided to take our dog Teddy for a walk. As I went downtown and walked past the fountain at the park I saw a woman sitting at a picnic table writing some notes. Since I was walking in her direction anyway I walked over to her and made a comment, "Looks like you are writing."
This morning Emmy and I went to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Corvallis again. Emmy likes to get there early before anybody else does so that she connect with the environment before people get there. Once we arrived at church she sat down at the sofa and table and begin folding bulletins as she normally does. I went into the fellowship hall and set up the tables and chairs that people use doing the snack break.
When I'm serving others, then I'm using all the stuff around me and thereby connecting with those things, and the environment, in a much deeper and richer way than just sitting around and looking at stuff, and being served.
Doing one's best and giving the best service is a rich and exciting way to live. That means never being satisfied with just doing stuff the same old way, just enough to get by. Giving one's best is living our best life now. It means that our mind is ever active, looking how to do things better and better.
This article was prompted by my wife recently going back to work. With that came a need for a second car, which we just acquired. That second car is ten years old, but it is much newer than our year 2000 car. Now, who would get the "new" car. Of course, that selfish little kid who lives inside of me said, "Me! My car!" But I quickly put that little bugger back to sleep (although it never really sleeps. But I don't need to listen to it.) So, as I checked over and cleaned the car to give it to her, the beginnings of this article began to form in my mind.
One thing that I love about my being a self employed tradesman is that I can talk to my clients about meaningful and authentic topics. However, I do choose carefully who I will begin an authentic conversation with.
For many years I have felt like I've been muzzled in church. I did not feel the freedom to speak of what I was really thinking, feeling, and believing. I did not feel that it was acceptable (by the church staff and members) to just be real.
I have been searching for many years for a church where I could be real, where I could be accepted for who I am, and where I could openly express my thoughts and ideas and questions about religion and life. At times I have been so discouraged, thinking that I was alone, so different and so strange.