#9-11: From Fear to Love
September 8, 2014
At Centers of Spiritual Living, we often do a candle lighting ritual based on all the different paths to God. One of the candles represents Islam. As I have not seen picketers at a church since the movie “The Last Temptation of Christ” in 1988, there he stood—alone—holding a large sign saying: “Shame on you, CSLFL, for honoring Islam as a world faith during this time of remembering those who died on 9-11!”
As I wondered myself if the religion, Islam, was the issue of the coconspirators of the terrorist attack on 9-11 or was it a sect of belief that focused mainly on one particular aspect of religion. For example, I know of a few Christian churches that will picket any gay rights act with signs that say horrible things about our gay brothers and sisters; yet, most Christians don’t believe Jesus stood for hate at all.
So, I stood back and listened to the sermon as the minister explained our right to continue to uphold our belief in the good of all people’s religions as long as any religion or sect is not harming other people because of its beliefs. Now that makes sense to me.
Then I looked up the basic tenants of the Islam faith, and the laws seemed much like my own beliefs: 1. Belief in One God, eternal, sovereign creator; 2. Belief in angels; 3. Belief in biblical prophets; 4. Belief in Revelations; 5. Belief in the final day of judgment and a hereafter; and 6. belief in predestination.
Anyone who has walked on a spiritual path knows that his or her belief changes during the process. When you first find God, you are a zealot, wanting everyone to know of your spiritual change and everyone to come with you on this divine path.
Then, as you grow and people, basically, tell you to go to hell, because no one wants to be told what to believe, you realize that your pearls of faith and wisdom have to be guarded and cherished. So, you reel in your zealousness and only speak about your faith to those who ask. Meanwhile, life events help you evolve and make better choices about your own beliefs, and whittle away the places in your belief system that no longer serve you. Maybe, eventually, you stop talking completely and simply move to action with your faith, which is the highest form of commitment, in my estimation.
All this being said, although no religion has all the answers, perhaps, collectively, they answer most questions about God and Spirit. I don’t know about you, but “uncertainty” about God and spirituality keeps me searching and wondering. By not knowing all things about God, not understanding why bad things happen to good people, I, also, am humbled by the vastness of the universe or the power of the ocean, as I am but one cell in this large body of God. I have a strong feeling all things are happening in divine order, even the harshest of realities.
I don’t mean to ever take away the pain that we all felt on the day of 9-11, but I do know that, today, I feel differently than I did on that awful day. Now, I feel as if the sacrifice of many paid the price of tremendous change in this world. We all saw, first hand, what the evil acts of a few could do to alter our perceptions of life and love. What we must do now is create an even larger surge of love and truth on this earth so that something like 9-11 never happens again.
Hate will only breed hate. “Love, however, will cover all.” These are the words of the Christian scripture, and I believe that the apostles and martyrs of old understood that many would come in the name of God, but would be false prophets and kill for the sake of Good. But, only powerful love, which never has an equal and opposite response such as force, will make lasting change on this earth!
When our concepts come down to one: we must believe that power will always dominate force. So, learning to get quiet, find your spiritual power, and allowing that same power to envelope our lives and recreate itself in many wonderful, compassionate ways, is the key to making effective change in this world.
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