Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012.01.25 Aging With Faith

“The older I get the more I believe and the fewer beliefs I have.”

This is the wisdom of the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, retired bishop of the diocese of Newark, author and theological provocateur. He recently spoke at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge and I zeroed in on these words.

Wise and true I thought. And my mother who today would have been 100 years old would have loved it, she who mostly thought religious doctrines were “for the birds.”

I admit however that, although I do have more faith and care less about beliefs as intellectual tenets, my mind is rarely clear of theological ideas, all new to me, all brilliantly alluring, and all illuminating my faith and inflaming my heart.

This morning I woke up thinking that the Holy Trinity was a trifecta of energy—Creativity, Empathy, Travelocity— a race in which all three finish first, as one. Corny/silly, but it woke me up joyful.

I could only wish such a trifecta assault on our country so bogged down in the morass of contention for its own sake.

President Obama in his State of the Nation speech last night spoke of strength hidden in the nation’s depths. He again envisioned, begged for, cooperation. Is it too late to access it? He is a visionary who has grounded and become pragmatic.

Who could argue with common sense ideas like tax equity in this time of radical and dangerous economic inequity? How ingenious was it to compare the military strategy, command, to stick together for the sake of the mission no matter what, with what politicians must do now?

We shall all have to sacrifice, god forbid, competition, pride, greed, misogyny, and war. I have faith in the people to cast their secret ballots in the direction that makes sense, no matter what their leaders urge.

I’m sure that before too long I will tone down, and dull out, and store all my smart-ass faith wisdom in my one small faithful heart, there to be reduced and contained and claimed by Godde when I die.

But for now I’m filled with re-imagined beliefs.

Happy Birthday Mom.