Again, a post on Acottagebythesea with commentary.
Many of my friends fall into the ‘spiritual but not religious’ category. If they attend church they go to the Unitarian church (my church for 15 years). Many were brought up Christian but have either wandered away or made a conscious decision not to affiliate as Christian. They are loving, caring, giving people, believing, they might say, in a ‘higher being;’ that say that we are all on the same path, wanting the same things. I won’t argue with that, but for me, having walked the ‘spiritual but not religious’ path, I know that I am in different and better place as a Christian than when I was human being trying to do the right thing. It’s all about humility and I can’t get that on my own. Believe me, I’ve tried.
It was a challenge to talk about my faith but I’m glad I did. Here’s how it went.
The other day I had lunch with a group of long-time friends. The six of us get together every three of four months, and lately we’ve developed the ritual of checking-in. Around the table we go, one by one telling what’s going on in our lives. Although we keep in touch individually, this communal forum offers a venue for a more public, on the-record-account, thus making our group time together sacred.
Knowing there would be a formal check-in, I found myself planning ahead what I wanted to say. I gave an update on the doings of my family, and then albeit awkwardly, I talked about how important my faith is to me, not just as a way to do nice things for others, but as the only way I know to be humble. I mentioned that I grapple with my white privilege; that being a good person on my own isn’t enough; and that my faith leads me to confront judgments, critiques, pride, impatience, and arrogance that keep me from being humble. In other words, I can’t be humble all by myself on my own doing. AND, I desperately need humility because it the only way of being that leads me to peace.
To my surprise I ended by saying, “I believe that right now in my life I am supposed to pray for people.”
I still can't believe I blurted that out. Notice, I didn't say that I was called to pray. In thinking about it, I wonder if that proclamation was one of the most important thing I've said out loud? Certainly the most powerful, if not to them, at least to myself.