A Refuge in Unitarian Universalism
November 21, 2010
By God—blasphemy unintended—by God I mean my own God, no one else’s. Our relationship is private. God has figured intermittently in my life since I was 6 or 7. I say intermittently because neither has God’s presence been so insistent as to suffocate me nor have my long periods of neglect of God separated us beyond reconciliation. Jesus, the historic Jesus...healer, preacher, teacher...I like to hold as a role model.
I believe in steadfastness but have not had a great deal of experience in it. I have been a baptized Christian and a born-again Jew, but for the past nine years have taken refuge in Unitarian Universalism, finding that it offers the fewest objections and the most friends.
Now and then I pray, not as hard as I prayed when I was 13 or 14, when I went into my closet and, with tears coursing down my cheeks shouted a prayer to God to spare my mother, whose house in England was situated in “bomb alley.” (He did.) Nowadays, I don’t call on God very often, and I don’t feel guilty about that. After all, that’s God’s job, isn’t it: to look after me. I am not keen on being led in prayer, particularly before meetings, although I have occasionally muttered “Thank God” at their conclusion.
The concept of heaven, of life after death, I indulge periodically. For hell I have little use, and hope the feeling is mutual.
I think we all get riled up condemning people who we think are different from ourselves. Picky-picky. There’s not much difference really. We all know so little about anything.
I believe one should live life deliberately, every part of it, and not fritter it away, no part of it. Not go about with the lugubrious expression of an undertaker—I don’t mean that at all. I mean grab the brass ring with every circuit of the merry-go-round. As Jonathan Swift put it: “May you live all the days of your life.”
I believe the most important things are music, commitment, sense of humor, and decency, or The Golden Rule. Some would head the list with loving. Happiness is nice too so long as it’s not overdone.
I believe hoping, working, even praying for peace within us is a good thing, but the time and energy hoping, working, and praying for world peace could be better spent otherwise. I believe that warring is inherent in humankind. Ditto temptation. And ditto succumbing to temptation...now and then of course.
All of which has made for an interesting exercise. But where was it I read that it’s not words that count so much; it’s deeds? Amen.