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- Non-denominational Beliefs & Practices
Eric's Sunday Sermon; A Need That Burns Inside Us
Ah come on, kids growing up is that half as fun as growing with them.
I hate the end of a long back country hike. Sure I need the rest but---
You know that you have a burden on your shoulders which you have created yourself. Or maybe nature put it there without your permission and it is a part of your self. The burden is that you are not pursuing a goal that you want to achieve but have something blocking you from pursuing it. There is something going on that prevents your actualization of a “dream”. Probably the most common of these blocking thoughts is fear. And probably that fear is of failure or disapproval of society both large and small. Perhaps we should try not looking at the result but of the journey.
I suffer from a very common disease. I am getting older. My dream is to get in great physical shape. And that is stupid. My goal should be to work hard at attaining my goal; that I can do no matter what. I also want to maintain mental acuity. And that is stupid, I should be enjoying the activities that promote preservation of that capacity. My goal should not be the end result waiting at the end of a very straight line. My goal should be in attaining progress toward the end result. Most are familiar with the notions set out by Thomas Edison and they are a three part concept that leads us to understand how great goals are attained.
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Perhaps we are not supposed to reach Mars in a manned craft. But for sure we are to try. Probably reaching perfect harmony with nature is unattainable if man is not part of nature, but we must make the effort. We just must change the paradigm and make the “goal” the effort and actions rather than the result. The mental walls I have placed in front of me must be torn down like the Berlin wall. The confinement of my own humanity to a set of standards that I created is akin to being held captive. We do not attain freedom from reaching our ultimate goals but rather by making the effort.
Excuse me now as I drift into the sermon aspect of this concept.
One of my mom's favs
Peaks and valleys must not really change our perspective
There is a mindset that eschews the belief in some entity being a creator and companion in life. You can call it Atheism, although just that word sets up walls between people. Normally the goal of such a mindset revolves around proof. It makes sense actually. More “sense” than believing. It is readily apparent that proof in such matters that leads to a conclusion is to date unattainable. But by golly a person of conviction must search for such proof. The goal must be the searching and not the conclusion. The conclusion, if it comes, is probably just a mindset and not real existence of proof.
The strange notion on the other side of the belief concept is when the spiritual minded takes off on a quest to prove a deity existence. We really only know a story about doubting Thomas who obtained sensory proof. And that was just specifically at that time between two. So sometimes we must question whether or not a pursuit is actually realistic. For me I just have a mindset that sabotages my desire of wealth. And sense I do not want to change that mindset I most likely should not think of that goal as realistic. But that does not mean that my effort to attain wealth is not worthy. The effort probably balances out my pension for ethereal and spiritual aloofness. I need something to tether me to earth as my head resides in the clouds.
So it appears that a reasonable evaluation of what we are doing to achieve a “dream” is appropriate. Certainly we can see that a focus on the big prize is not really so helpful as the cliché “keep your eye on the prize” is really pretty much poorly conceived.
Sometimes just standing on our own to feet is an accomplishment
I like this concept -- knocking on the door to get in, when we could just as well hangout where we are.
The good life is in the life not in it's finished product.
So now we reach a point of discussion about being in the moment. Remembering that we do not call it being in the now as that is a losing proposition for as soon as we are in the now it has passed and we could never catch up. A moment is a combination of nows that flow seamlessly together to create what we would call a moment. I still remember the moment my wife said she loves me. But not the second as that would not even be enough time to get the words out. So the now is illusory but the moment can be a rhythmic tapestry of time. Which brings us back to the being in the work or in the goal. I remember the time when I kayaked my first very large rapid on the Colorado in the Grand Canyon. I must admit I do not remember the completion but only in the rapid. Thanksgiving dinners; I can remember many of them but I do not remember the end of them. I have pondered remembering the birth of my wonderful children and I was in the room cutting the chord for each of them. At first it seems like the end of pregnancy, the goal, but I am a man and it actually was the beginning for me. And of course that brings us to the wonderful notion of the end and the beginning usually be indistinguishable. Two impostors that we must treat just the same.
Most my life I have been a project worker. You could say that the faster I completed the quicker I was unemployed. A human planned obsolescence. So much pride in completing the project met immediately like a cold shower with no job and a feeling of loss. But no time was lost as with or without a project I could keep on learning to better do my vocation or avocation. Yes, to me they have almost always been the same concept. Just lucky I suppose.
So most wonderfully we come to spirituality. A wonderful pursuit which has at it’s goal no goal. Spirituality is a process not a thing. It is movement not sedation. It is the ever present movement forward toward a higher plain and not one meant to be obtained in any permanent sense. It is a word that I love, it is momentum. Some kind of moment in movement. Not ever to be captured or repeated. It is like reading the same book ten times and getting ten different meaning and looking forward to reading it again. (yes that is how I view law texts and the Bible, and stuff like Plato’s work and Descartes’s treatises – call me weird but don’t think me the same weird tomorrow as you conceive me today) Grow with me please. And hopefully you will grow also and so we will never have exactly the same perspective tomorrow as we had yesterday, for if we do our feet are in the mud while our head is in the sand.
So I ask you please to keep moving and growing in your passions, your craft and your spirit. Leave not one unattended, and never stop moving even when you have reached your “dreams”. Let yesterday teach us, today be us, and tomorrow bring us hope.
Can I get a big old Amen ;-)