The purpose of my life today
Yesterday I visited a new blogging friend. He’d asked me to stop by and comment on his post. I don’t always get carried away when giving a comment. But this was different.
The post conveyed why it’s increasingly difficult to believe in deities. All religions take part in the madness of history, including present-day versions of old wars and massacres. Each in the name of its particular god, gods or God.
Here’s my response to the post, with minor changes and corrections, no additions. It helps me describe what it means today for me to live as a follower of Jesus who, after all, had no ‘Jesus’ to follow.
My journey has given me the gift of acknowledging a power greater than I, and I have chosen this way of living. I’ve also, thanks to my higher power and friends who supported me, discovered many new ways of naming and thinking about this being we call God. There are many gods and many Gods. I fear more from the human gods who, as I have done so often in my life, think they know what is best for me, for my country and for your country. I leave the other Gods to those who have studied them more than I.
Your post is very well written. I appreciate your openness to dialogue. Also, as you can see above, I like SS’s comment. There are many small, known and unknown women, men and children who make a difference in the name of God every day. I want to be part of their number. Not because I have to, but because I want to and choose to do that.
One day I will die. Sooner, not later. What’s the purpose of my life? It’s to die well. That doesn’t mean there’s a script. It just means that every day of my life I show in some concrete way that I know my days are numbered. I also have faith and hope that my higher power who shapes my life today (it’s not easy) will welcome me home. No matter what God looks like.
Being a ‘professional’ theologian of the Protestant Christian tradition, I’ve been humbled many times when reading about the atrocities of the Christian church (no matter which branch). I’ve also felt like vomiting when I’ve read some theologians’ writings about women and other ‘less human’ beings. There is, however, nothing so powerful as truth. So I attempt each day to live as fully and freely as possible in the light of the truth I’ve received. It saved my life, and I want to pass it on before I die.
Blessings to you and on your blogging life. If you allow it to do so, it will find and change you in ways you never thought possible.
Today is Yom Kippur, a Day of Atonement. The Jewish synagogue across the street is already filled with members. A good day for each of us to accept God’s forgiveness, and pass it along to ourselves and others as needed.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 September 2018
Thank you for expressing such wonderful views about my post. I was moved by your comment. It is very inspiring and touching whenever someone has a strong faith in humanity and believes that we must live our lives in a way that let’s us die well. There are great people around who make a difference in the lives of others and being a part of these people is the best thing someone can do with their lives.
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You’re so welcome. And thanks for your comment. I think media frenzy gets in the way of seeing how many small, significant, life-changing things are happening out of the spotlight every day. Our true heroes and heroines! 🙂
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I have a comment about your statement “… this being we call God. There are many gods and many Gods.”
Isn’t our God the God of all humanity? I think that our view of God is influenced by the shared experiences of our ancestors and forbears. The experiences of the Hebrews has a very strong influence of what we believe about God. The Muslims worship the same God we Christians do, but their religion is much different than ours because of the writings of Mohamed. What about Ghandi? He was a Hindu and believed in the existence of God. Was his God different from ours, or just thought to be different because the Hindus had a different history?
There are many religions on this planet. That suggests most of humanity believes that there is a higher being controlling our lives and destiny, but many of those higher beings are false gods, But I believe there can be only one God.
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Thanks, Waldo. Good points. Here’s an attempt at a response.
I’m acknowledging the reality that we have multiple views about God, and that some or all of us from time to time behave like little gods and are thus false gods.
Maybe I’m wrong, but the centrality of Jesus in Christian faith shows me what the God I serve looks and acts like. Beyond that, I have faith that the God I serve is the true God, capable of being true without being duplicitous. I don’t have definitive proof.
I’ve also witnessed the way acceptance of a higher power can bring us together as human beings, regardless of our religious convictions. I’d rather live in that kind of world than in a one in which we distance ourselves from our neighbors. The best witness is an inviting, genuinely human presence, not ashamed of being a follower of Jesus, no matter how inhuman the church and its representatives may be.