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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spirituality Is Not In Fashion

It's not cool to be spiritual these days. It's cool to be a consumer, the passive recipient of entertainment or a sort of participant in entertainment like video games. We're not supposed to actually do anything real. It might still be cool to go to church at Christmas & Easter though.

But, to talk about our personal spiritual journey, our hunger for God, our prayers & meditations, our questions, this is not cool. We are not supposed to go quietly into a garden to contemplate & listen. We are not supposed to participate actively in spirituality. The joy I once saw in many faces, has been replaced by a certain blankness. It seems to me that fewer people are awake.

If we go into a garden nowadays it's to prove something is wrong with the environment, or toxic fertilizers impair the food or some bug is there to make it impossible to carry the fruit across town. We are grim.

How did this happen? In the 1950's, everyone I knew went to church. All the kids were part of youth groups in their churches. We didn't do drugs or smoke any kind of cigarettes. There were no video games. There were no seatbelts or bicycle helmets, no computers, but there were a lot of real things to do. We adopted Korean War orphans & rolled bandages for lepers. We helped grow vegetables & fruit in the back yard. We learned to sew & cook & be able to take care of ourselves & others. We were taught to think of others, that the stranger might be an angel or Jesus coming to us to give us the opportunity to do the right thing. We were encouraged to use our spirituality in a positive way. We flexed our spiritual muscle.

I have been a watcher of people since early childhood. We used to go downtown on a Friday night, get an ice cream cone, sit in the car & watch the people walk by. Today, I see less light in eyes, less animation of people's energies, more blankness.

It seems to me that it is time for a spiritual awakening. The question is how to trigger & then sustain it. How to get people back participating in life, caring about others? How to get people out of the hypnosis of having to be entertained?

In some ways, the movie "The Matrix" talks about our times. We're not that far gone yet, but more & more people prefer the artificial to the real.

God, we come to You this day with an ache in our hearts. We yearn for You. We yearn for spiritual awakening for ourselves & others. Show us the way. Open us to capital "R" Reality, out of the illusion of the artificial. Open our eyes. Open our hearts. Open our minds. Open all of our beingness to You. We praise You & rejoice in Your action in our lives. We seal this with the ancient seal of faith, Amen, Amen & Amen

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