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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Where To Learn How To Learn Your Faith
Little Guy Prepping For Surgery
A Starting Point?
Just how do you learn or where do you learn and from whom do you learn in order to understand your beliefs. Yes we know that sounds backwards but it is mostly true. We start out just believing. I know that I did as a prepubescent boy. It was just what we as a child society did. And it was a great way to live. Covered by the love of Jesus. But then you get into Junior High School and questions arise. So the first thing you must figure out is just where to learn.
This may seem kind of rude. But it seems to me that parents stink at this job. They get caught between the rolls of parenting, teaching and doing. Parents do not normally discuss their faults and actual sinning with their children. Insecurity I suppose.
Do we actually look toward priests? Here I refer to the ordained by some kind of religion and or their sub sects. From Catholic to Joel Osteen. From small home churches to revivalist Bible thumpers. And this is a tough one. Those folks kind of tend in a major way to promote their groups agendas.
So it is not the roll that we look for it is the appreciation for how another runs their life including how they speak and handle their money and time. It just would not be good to go finding out how to learn from someone whose life is a mess. Foul language, hot explosive temper, excessive in all things imbibed. So yes a parent or a priest can be great people to learn from, but not because they are a parent or a priest.
There was a great biology professor who would use known science to discuss but on questions regarding “why”, his eyes would get all big and he would shrug. Which clearly suggested that there is where we find God. “Why”. Not how and not because, but why. And perhaps knowing what questions to ask is how we begin our journey of learning.
Sometimes All We Get Is Faith
Faith That Dad Will Be There
Now when we begin to understand that we do not know why we have faith we are set to begin learning. If someone believes they know everything about something then why would they continue to learn? All boring people share that one character trait; they are done learning. All very accomplished people share the opposite character trait; they never stop learning. Have you ever met a great cook who was not constantly trying new recipes? Have you ever heard of a professional athlete who did not practice? Licensing for Lawyers and doctors require that they attend so many hours a year of continuing education.
Let us consider that in learning of our faith we must not look for the one who has “gotten there” we must look for the one that is still learning. In my short life I have never taught someone where I did not learn something. In graduate school I had a friend who was a TA (teacher’s assistant) and he revealed that his professor still used a lecture script written 10 years before. Probably reading a fat textbook would do a student better. And just think if the student got a 3rd revised edition on a book ten years old. Who would know more the student or the professor?
Alas at this juncture we can see that books are invaluable while learning about our faith. And that that study combined with a master who continues to search and learn would be good.
Now be sure in this: Continuing to learn and strive must be handled so as not to be disruptive to our inner soul and being. Being comfortable within, having peace and love, joy and harmony is not to be disturbed by learning, it must be our base and spring board to greater understanding. And as an inverse our learning must enhance that inner space or it is not about faith but rather about logic and history and the like. Learning about our faith cannot hurt. For faith does not hurt for if it does, it is something else not faith.
Wouldn’t it be great if we busted out with a Wiki definition of faith right now? With any contemplation one would see that there would have to be billions of definitions. Billions of people have faith in something. One would hope they are like snowflakes, no two identical.
But we can all probably agree to a few things we believe in universally. Or possibly not. Maybe we should consider some beliefs.
Maybe Music is You Way Into Faith
Morning Is Not Promised
Maybe Not Really Learning, Just Infusing
Examine some matters where there is not agreement:
- That there is a God,
- That all humans make mistakes,
- That we are created equal,
- That God is Love,
- Which religion(s) are truth,
- Is there a Sabbath?,
- And on and on and on….
Now some are inclined to believe that others must believe in such a way in order to be saved from hell. As is so obvious that it is not listed above, not all believe in hell. So in the sense of saving souls we all should care “about” each other. But we must accept in loving kindness that not all we see it our way. I have read about it, but I have neither witnessed nor met anyone who has learned a faith by someone insisting that another believe in a certain way.
We are back to just where we learn our faith. Could it be that this sermon is an elaborate hoax? That you have no choice over what to believe. That it just is and there is nothing you can do about it? Do not be tempted to think that an atheist does not have faith in anything. If they deposit money in a bank for later use they have faith that tomorrow will happen. And science cannot assure the future. It can predict but not assure. As a matter of fact science cannot with certainty assure that tomorrow did not already happen. That quantum whatever and string whatever throws a quark in all things provable.
Seriously though we can learn about the logic and construct of our faith. We are wise to seek counsel on such matters and listen with an open mind, even from idiots? Obtaining knowledge accidentally is still learning. Personally I go with children for the most part. Yes I have Yogi and Priest type friends also.
But the greatest teacher of all things regarding faith is ourselves. Mind, body, soul and emotions. We get in touch with those and we are on the Road To Faith. Now, reading and praying, meditation, nature and exercise will not teach us about our faith but it sure can get our being ready and receptive to the universe and for oh so many God.
And let us be real clear here, learning from God is not a hearing voices thing. Faith does not work through our neural preceptors. Faith fills our heart with love and that is all the faith we need. Learning stuff is not about faith in either traditional sense. Learning is about expanding our understanding. But faith is a creation between us and our Lord. Faith is a two way highway, and you only get to travel it with an open peaceful self and a healthy dose of love.