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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Sincerely Yours
Our Morning Moon
Doing it Sincerely
This little bit is about sincerely speaking to each other.
Good day to you. So the young boy was going with his mother to meet some lady at her home. Mother was giving directions and reminders of how the boy was to act. It was right around noon. The mother reminded the boy to say “good morning” to the lady. The boy scrunched his face and remarked “but it will be afternoon when we get there”. The father nearby told the boy that it was always fine to say “Buenos Dias” or “Good Day”. And the father reminded the boy that in his Vietnamese he could always say “Chào anh” which is the same for morning, day and night. It is understood that the boy decided by himself on “good afternoon”.
How do you greet another? Certainly the actual language used is unremarkable. How do you greet your God? Certainly the actual language used is unremarkable. And assuming that time means nothing to your God as with mine, the time of day is irrelevant.
But there is a difference for many in that they greet and pray to their God differently in the morning than in the night. For this preacher man it is “please” in the morning and “thank you” at night. Of course this has the caveat of the repeated prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I ‘wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Funny how growing up I never thought that morbid, because it kind of is. Perhaps around 8 years old it is appropriate to teach a child that prayer, along with “good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”. Strange things what Grandma taught mom who taught me who taught my children. And we must assume someone taught Grandma, etc. etc.
There are two fine salutations like Aloha to use coming and going. We do not use them all the time unless we are kind of freaky. Saying these to a store clerk after checking out is a good thing to do, but it is just kind of weird in that setting. “Namaste” and “May the peace of the Lord be with you”. What is freaky and weird about it is that it just cannot be sincere in such a circumstance. Well there are exceptions like Iggy my favorite clerk at our local grocery store.
So let us look at sincerity.
We Think Harder About That Which is Harder
My Son Captures the Morning
Is It; Say It Like You Mean It or Mean Like You Say It?
To be truly felt? To be honest? To really mean it? To be done after careful consideration? The opposite of flippant? Perhaps sincerity requires one of these or perhaps all of them. Do you sign your letters “sincerely” or “yours truly” or “signed”. For just a second let us back up and consider the boy who thought about it and decided on “good afternoon”. It would seem that that greeting was sincere as the boy actually put thought into it. On the other hand was he just doing it because he was told to do it?
Do we just greet one another to be polite? Do we just greet God because someone told us to? Do our words have sentiment that back them up?
Christians are taught how to pray from the Bible directly from Jesus Christ. And it starts out in some form “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name”. Of course this has been prayed billions and billions of times sincerely. And just as much a fact it has been “prayed” billions and billions of times without sincerity but just said. It gives pause to wonder if it is better left unsaid if not with sincerity.
“I love you bro” and “BFF” and so often “thank you” and “please” really lack sincerity. Most assuredly it cheapens their meaning if done via auto-pilot.
There are areas that we should really evaluate. Does a certain action make us thankful? When I get a phone call of the normal nature I am always grateful that someone reached out to me to communicate. Good, bad or indifferent. I may say “thanks for calling” at the beginning and the end and I mean it. I am not using this term lightly, I love when people comment on these sermons and I am thankful for it and most normally express it. It is sincere.
Is it possible to communicate with someone without regard for how it is received and still be sincere? I call BS on that one. We are afraid that most day to day communication is done without aforethought as to how it will be received. Maybe it would not be too wrong to say that we do not have time to think.
So what do we make of sincerity in the spiritual settings?
The Best Singers Are Sincere
When We Really Pay Attention
I Pray You Have The Time
Shall we accept that those things that we resist the most are the things that we must do in the creative area of our life? In our spiritually motivated creative endeavors it seems that fear rules our actions so much that we can conclude that if we are fearful of something then we must overcome it or be eaten by it. Much akin to this are our sincere feelings be expressed to another. Really telling her that you love her and consequences be damned. Sucking it up, doing a gut check and then accepting our responsibility in something and apologizing and saying sorry and meaning it. That may be the hardest of all things to do, and for sure it causes fear. But when that fear is overcome the freedom is as expansive as the sky itself.
It should be understood by all that fear is not the opposite of love but it is the greatest impediment to it. True love of any character requires vulnerability. This is scary. If it is to be meaningful it must be undertaken with sincerity. Again “To be truly felt? To be honest? To really mean it? To be done after careful consideration? The opposite of flippant?”
We must remain cognizant of the fact that self-love requires this also. I must go ahead and feel the guilt, the remorse, the fear and the self-loathing. I must not confront it but rather run it’s coarse with it. And that hurts like hell. But in order to really move forward we cannot set this vulnerability aside or stuff but treat it with respect and sincerity.
So now we speak directly to sincere love. It may sound funny but one of the most important functions a person can perform in order to love is to concentrate. If attainable to the exclusion of all else. One must concentrate on the love, within and without. Do we think of prayer and meditation here or something more to be felt than practiced? Can we concentrate our feelings?
This is my favorite type of “sermon”. It is so much up to the individual without universal truths that the best we can try to do is to ask ourselves the right questions. Our own answer today about being sincere in a given situation may be totally different tomorrow in another situation. Sincerity maybe be near instantaneous or it may require weeks, months or even years. Personally procrastination and avoidance are my favorite deals.
We would all just hate having our last words to a loved one who passes to be less than loving. And I suggest that for me, that which I most fear is that the last words I spoke to that someone were insincere. I pray you take the time to make the time to “thine own self be true”.