There are a wide range of people, places, objects, images, and experiences that I find compelling attractive. Some of my top tier is universal. I love a compelling sunset or sunrise, especially the birth of a new day. There is something mysterious magically about the sky as the sun pushes its way into a new day. The softness of the light, the illusive unknown that is emerging, and the complementing colors often pull me from the comfort of my sleep. I love the way the ordinary images in life teach me of God. The natural way a flower contrasts itself from everything else around it is wonderful. The inherent beauty founds in God's design, especially when touch by a natural light often brings an involuntary gasp.
When I think of things that attract me, institutionalized religion of any or all forms do nothing within. It is not that I have a problem with the idea, images, or memories. I simply do not find them attractive. There is nothing compelling. There is little that I would call wonderful. It is almost as if there is an absence of any emotion at all. Initially I was worried about this. Recently I find this reaction to be rather assuring.
I do not find God in formal religion. God resides in the lives of people. God lives within you and I, not outside. For me the change in understanding is very important. When God was somewhere else, I was never concerned about how others saw God. Divinity was there. I am over here. Divinity is strong. I am, on a good day, weak. Divinity and I were never connected. This was so wrong! God is always connected with you and me.
When someone connects God with living and life, everything changes. First comes a new perspective from within. Compassionate actions follow. In the end the exclamation reflects a new life, yours and mine. “Look up! Look around! Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you: your sons coming from great distances, your daughters carried by their nannies.” (Isaiah 60.4)
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