Monday, May 2, 2011

The..Best...Revival...Ever

I never thought I could say those words but they popped in my head after my weekend seminar with Father Richard Rohr. My fundamentalist baggage is lessening as I am beginning to joke about it and THE signpost that I am moving past it. My blogpost from May of 2009, entitled "Uncomfortable Religious Moments" covers some of it. To sum it up, I'm not a fan of believing the bible literally, or that there is a reason for everything, and most importantly, I have come to believe that a relationship with God is more about love than fear. It's about relationship not rules. It's not about I'm right and you are wrong.

This is a HUGE hurdle for me to overcome. Isn't it ironic that my journey to God is the same as my journey to my authentic self, moving from fear to love...

A few weekends ago, I attended a 2 day seminar led by a Franciscan priest named Richard Rohr. I could do a whole bit about him being Catholic but that would show off my dualistic thinking. More to come on that later. I had never heard of him before but found him in a quote on FB and the quote resonated with me deeply. I looked him up, found a book and started reading. A few weeks later this same man was coming to OUR CHURCH. I didn't sign up first thing, that would have been too easy. I hesitated and was placed on a waiting list. But I made it and it was fantastic.

Sitting in my church book study (aptly titled Spiritual Quest) on Sunday night after the seminar, it hit me that this was THE BEST REVIVAL I had ever been to. (Big Smile) Revivals in my youth left me scarred. They brought me no closer to God but to be scared that I didn't respond to the tactics being employed. As I said the "revival bit" aloud to our small group, the young woman who also has fundamentalist baggage, laughed and knew exactly what I was talking about. There were no stanzas of hymns over and over to goad me to come up and be saved. No hellfire and brimstone, finger pointing talk. This was my thinking person's dream revival. I hung on to every word that this man spoke. Everything he said resonated deeply within me. Okay, not the history so much but that just made me understand the context of where we are today as followers of Jesus.

To sum the seminar up in my opinion, it is how Jesus's teachings became all about religion and knowing the answers and following this set of rules. Not the much needed curiosity of practicing a meditative journey and seeking our own answers within ourselves and which, drum roll please...come from God. And even further than that, there might not be an answer. And being able to live with that! Jesus would go off for days and days to be in prayer and meditation. And if Jesus had to do that...well. My human self needs renewal and regeneration. I now treasure my quiet time instead of feeling lonely. This seminar was one more of my aha moments along the journey To Golightly. I am seeing magnificent truths that I am so grateful to learn and they make life so much easier to live.

We are reading Father Rohr's book, "The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See" in the book study. I am amazed that as I read, I completely agree with many of his statements and it was as if he was reading my unconscious thoughts. I didn't know they were my thoughts until I read it and it made complete and utter sense to me. I knew this all along. I know I am in the right place, on the right path and this is THE journey for me. And that is MY kind of revival. Thanks be to God! : )

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