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[IPr] Weeds, Flowers, Vegetables, & All... (LONG)

Brad wrote:

> Going back to Jean, the concept of a GOD, no matter what physical
> representation you have, must be larger than all of us.  If there is a
> then doesn't it make sense that GOD would be above us?  I mean, shouldn't
> GOD be a creator, a lawgiver, ...a judger?  To me, the word GOD
> these things.  If so, how then can we choose the GOD that works best for
> Isn't that a little to convenient?

Jean wrote:
> I
> believe that there is a God (or Goddess, what ever name a person uses to
> define their spiritual being) but I don't believe that the boundaries of a
> particular religion are necessarily right for every person.  I think one
> chooses what fits best in their life and what works for them.  My mother
> disagrees but can accept that what I've chosen is different.

Flowers & Weeds Alike (& as I've said before, the more we listen to one
another the more we may discover ourselves to be alike in many ways)...&
anything else growing in this garden,

First off, thanks for those of you who made me feel a bit less alone in the
land of "Weed-dom"...& my apologies to any & all who might have seen that
analogy as one designed to foster any kind of divisiveness..not my goal at
all!!  I would not disrespect anyone's beliefs by ever suggesting that their
way of seeing things is wrong or mistaken...such would be, in any case, an
exercise in futility at best!  :)  I do think that a few things have been
said here that illustrate very well the way God/Goddess/The Great Spirit
(or whatever name you give the power that has created our world) works in
our lives...& I think that the most important thing for all of us who focus
on spirituality as a source of strength, guidance, & knowledge, is not so
much the specifics on HOW it works for us, but that it DOES work, & we are
living evidence that there is something positive, valuable, & beautiful in

Brad, I think you actually outlined the truth of it with your words "To me,
the word GOD encompasses these things."  Right you are... the word God does
indeed encompass these things - to YOU.  And if that is the way God appears
to you, then that is wonderful...I have no arguments with that whatsoever, &
I am very, very glad that you have a good understanding of your view of
God...many people struggle for years to achieve that very thing, only to
fall short of their goal.  Thousands upon thousands of different cultures
have, over the centuries, held very different viewpoints on God...who/what
He/She is, how creation came about, the relationship between Deity &
mankind, the destination of the soul/spirit at the close of the lifetime we
know... who's to say which among these many, many visions is the truth?  My
belief is that they ALL are...and yes, in the world of our Creator(s), such
is possible, because all things are possible through faith.  (A statement I
believe I was taught in a First Christian Church, come to think of it!)

Jean's statement of "I don't believe that the boundaries of a particular
religion are necessarily right for every person.  I think one chooses what
fits best in their life and what works for them." is very reflective of some
of the conversations that I've had (& heard) with members of a variety of
spiritual traditions, & it makes a lot of sense.  We are all
different...what works best for one person will not necessarily be right for
the next.  No one job, role in a family, place to live, etc. is going to be
the right one for everyone...life is very much a process of learning what
does work best, & applying yourself to that.  I've seen people create a life
of misery for themselves by struggling endlessly to make it work in a
situation (career, relationship...& yes, religious tradition) that simply
was NOT the one that worked for them...& instead of learning from that &
moving on to something else, fighting to the bitter end to fit their round
self into a square hole.  No, I'm not saying that the minute something
doesn't seem to work for you, turn your back on it...those moments of
"doesn't seem to work" can be seen as tests of faith & opportunities to
build your own strength...but I also think that (or hope that) for most
people, there comes a time when you are able to recognize that something is
NOT right for you...& it is then wisdom to seek out other ways that may work
better for your life & the lives of those around you.  I know many who give
"lip service" to the tradition they theoretically belong to (no, I'm not
passing judgement on them,,,generally this is by their own admission)...& I
would much rather see people practicing a form of spirituality that has
meaning & depth for them, be it something I have any understanding of or
not, than to see them just "going through the motions" as many (in ALL walks
of faith) do.
Not that MY way of seeing them matters so very much...but your comments led
me to think about it, & I thought I'd share where that took me.  :)

I think Jean's next note " My mother disagrees but can accept that what I've
chosen is different." highlights very well what is needed most in a world of
diversity...acceptance.  My mom does not necessarily believe the things I
do...but she accepts that I've made the choices that are right for me, &
that being untrue to myslf would make a travesty of any spiritual path that
I was following half-heartedly, to conform to anyone else's views or ways.
I am very close to people who embrace very different faiths than those which
are accepted as "conventional", & also very different from my own...those
differences are part of the beauty of this world, & of He/She who created
it.  Thank you, other "listers" for being part of that gorgeous tapestry!

Incidentally, if anyone is interested ( I know I saw someone else sharing
background info here), I am a Pagan by faith, following a Celtic Shamanic
tradition for the past fifteen years.  I am a legally ordained minister
through the state of Ohio, & I have served for the past four years as clergy
for the Church of Spiral Oak, a public pagan church located in Akron, Ohio.
I very much welcome any questions, dialogue, etc. from those of similar or
of very different spiritual paths.

I will also try (maybe with success, maybe not!) to cut down on my penchant
for long-windedness in future posts...one of those character flaws, I'm
afraid, so thanks for bearing with me!  :)

Brightest Blessings,

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