Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pathways To God


    Everyone knows my main theme so let's put it to work here.  The worlds main religions, from Christianity and Judaism to Muslim and Hindu, are so vastly different from each other as to be mind boggling.  These differences and some misguided feelings of superiority of one over another have lead to many conflicts.  As most know, many of those conflicts are violently continuing even now.  I have been fortunate enough in my life to have known people and have friends from all faiths.  I have also been fortunate enough to see many of them within the practice of their religions.  I have been extremely fortunate to learn one amazing and perfect phenomenon.  All of these religions adhere to the belief that love of their deity and a love for each other is tantamount to the essence of their spirit and it's survival.  With that in mind, I have trouble understanding why any one of them thinks up to 5 billion people who don't agree with them  are wrong and have no future.  For reference, there are 2.2 billion Christians, 1.6 Billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus, and 1/2 billion Buddhists.
     I just find it all dumbfounding.  Having friends in other faiths and seeing for myself what kind of people they are forced me to my knees to seek understanding and that understanding was granted.  It came in the breathtaking understanding of the commonality between these faiths.  My heart swelled and my thoughts swam with a feeling of brotherhood with all of God's creations.  God is everything and God is everywhere.  It is what we teach our children but we haven't begun to understand what we were teaching. We failed to grasp just how big that really is.
     I believe that each of us as Christians must have our own personal relationship with God and within that relationship is a covenant that guides us personally in our effort to be closer to Him.   In essence, because of my personal relationship with Him, what is right or wrong for me, may not be the same for someone else.  It does not mean either of us is closer or further from God nor does it change the basic morality of right and wrong.  I have come to the understanding it is the same for different faiths as well. 
     Remembering God is everything and God is everywhere, makes it fairly easy to understand how He could have different covenants with different groups, if one can overcome a lifetime worth of programming.  Each religion presents itself to be the one true religion which is indeed the main point of that lifetime's worth of programming we must overcome.  Until we reach a point where we can feel empathy for each others beliefs, we will continue to violate the very principles of our religions by fighting, arguing, and yes, even killing and destroying.  We must come to terms with the idea that we all truly are the children of God despite how we interpret that for ourselves personally.  Only then can we begin to live the way He intended us to live and have real peace between those of us who's beliefs are different.  We can begin by concentrating on those things which are not different such as the love for God and for each other.  These two concepts alone would give us the empathy we need to forge forward with a new understanding to an era more blessed by God than any other time in history.
     My advice to everyone is to unleash yourself, go forth, and try to befriend someone who is of a different faith than your own.  You will be amazed at what wonderful people you will meet and that alone will help you to confront that lifetime's worth of programming that strives to convince you of your own superiority.  Humble yourself and love.  This is the person God wants you to be, not the one who adorns and adores himself or places himself and his beliefs above all others.