A popular phrase that has been thrown around Evangelical pulpits since I can remember understanding the English language (going on to 52 years on Saturday...trying to catch up Sir Dayvd!)...has been, "The signs of the times." In Evangespeak, that means the end of the world, the second coming of Christ, Armageddon, etc.
Today in my current organized religious calendar, i.e...the Catholic Church...it is the Feast of the Ascension. It celebrates when Christ was taken up to heaven after completing his mission here on earth. I take this day as a reminder to Ascend past my narrow views and self-inflected mind barriers, and to open my mind and soul to all the wonders of this world. In short to make every day as much as heaven on earth as possible.
Yesterday's blog challenged us to see past what religion presents and to "Ascend" upward towards a true Spirituality. I found this appropriate as I drove the 5+ hour drive home from Central Ohio back to Indiana yesterday. Here are some observations of that trip. Fruits of a sunny day surrounded by silence as I pushed my body at speeds that would have had me burned at the stake just a few centuries ago. But the real catalyst was the following bumper stickers...I call the "Signs for the Times":
I couldn't find the actual sticker that I followed for awhile as I contemplated the person who put this on his car thinking himself smug and cleaver. That one read, "Annoy a Liberal. Work hard to acquire wealth."
First, thinking for yourself is one of the first tenets of the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale...who I would hardly call conservative in nature. Like those who have more liberal views of life and politics can not think for themselves?! PLEASE! Like we don't work hard...we don't own guns (tell that to Sir Bowie with a loaded black powder musket!)...we don't support our troops...(I have a Proud Parent of An Army Soldier sticker on my car). These are all bumper stickers available under the Annoy a Liberal banner: Annoy a Liberal. Buy a gun. Annoy a Liberal. Work hard. Annoy a Liberal. Support Our Troops.
I thought about, "Annoy a Conservative. Agree with him!" (A subject for another blog.) "Annoy a Conservative. Buy him out!" "Annoy a Conservative. Fire him so he has to draw unemployment." Or better yet..."Annoy a Conservative. Lay him off so he can't draw unemployment." But alas, my nature of Unity through Diversity allowed me to finally pass this car, person and image with a smile and chuckle.
After reading Sir Davyd's Blog on the road, I came across this bumper sticker. I find it cleaver, and perhaps...without claiming to know the mind of God like so many others...probably close to what religion should be.
Religious nuts give organized religions a bad name. Picture yourself as God...a religious nut is like the family member we all have that you have to tolerate on Christmas. Religious nuts occupy Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Republican Party....and the list goes on. However, religious nuts do not give one the right to say that all religious and spiritual people are hypocrites. That religion and spirituality do not have a place in today's society. That is a cop out. All great religions and spiritual disciplines teach how to "Ascend" past our limitations and tap into the limitless power of God, the Universe, whatever you want to call it. I still stand by my comment yesterday that true authority is given to those who serve others. It's what my Grandfather would say, "It's better to live what you should preach, instead of preaching what you should be living." That is authentic authority through spirituality...which bears fruit for the whole world.
So today, crack the nuts and enjoy the fruit of your spirituality...however you wish to express it...and Ascend toward a better you!
Again...Happy Birthday to Sir Davyd today and to this humble errant knight on Saturday!
Sir Hook the Sage with Age of Warrick