Sunday, December 16, 2007
But I don't believe in God....
How can one be seeking the will of God if one does not believe in It?
Wrestle with that until your hip is out of joint.
There are all kinds of voices that we hear and just because they are spiritual doesn't mean they are from God/the divine/whatever. Mara/the Devil/Id screams at us every day, urgently.
The key is what I hear in the words of a contemporary prophet, that were written, as I heard the tale, before he was baptized in Pat Boone's swimming pool:
"I cannot think for you,
you will have to decide,
Whether Judas Iscariot,
Had God on his side."
I used to think that if the voice was speaking to me about me then it was God, but if it spoke to me about others it was not. But that doesn't say much for Amos or Ezekiel, does it?
I heard a dharma talk once in which the speaker said that a thought bubbled up out of his psyche and I thought, "Ha! It did no such thing, it was the voice of God you heard." But in coming to that conclusion I almost missed the voice of God in his words because I could not get beyond his attribution of them.
Whether someone "believes" in God or not it is my experience that "God" believes in all of us enough to speak through all of us, to each of us, at times.
What is the fruit of the words?
Even if I am an atheist and deny that God speaks to or through me, where does my ministry take me or take others? (Don't have a ministry? Really? How many moles do you have on the back of your neck?)
It's a religious society--not an ideological movement. Perhaps the "ism" on the end of Quaker misleads some of us most comfortable with Christian symbols into the kind of "Christianism" with which evil can do so much work.
It doesn't matter the package, I am thinking/knowing, so much as whether, under the ribbons and bows (or the dirt and grime), one finds that which the Christian tradition describes in Galatians 5:22.
Whether I/we am/are inclined at the moment to "work" to escape rebirth (polishing that mirror, are we?) or seeking everlasting life, our "success" is described in that passage, our failure described in the passage above it.
We live between two lists (whether we think they come from one God or another or from our "reason and experience" as human beings)-- both speak to and through us. Turn down the one, said Mr. Penington, and turn up the other. OK, OK, he said to beat down the one...but "beating" is so violent and we never beat even an egg or our cross town rivals...
In the words of that same contemporary prophet I quoted above:
"Tie yourself to a tree with roots,
'cause you aint goin' nowhere."