First I want to share that as I dictate the following thoughts into my computer (my fingers still won’t let me type) I am experiencing improvement, although frustratingly slow, in my recuperation from the Guillian Barre Syndrome. Last week, for the first time, I was able to lift a coffee cup by the handle using only one hand. My legs are doing pretty good and I am walking without the use of a walker and even mowed the lawn - in stages.

This week, perhaps because of the prayers by me and for me, I found myself meditating on religion. I believe we define religion too narrow. We think it must include belief in God or membership in a worshiping group. In fact, religion is simply our understanding of what life is all about. Since everybody has a view of the world, everybody has a religion; and since everybody's view is somewhat different, everybody has a different religion. Seeing the universe as meaningless, some snatch at pleasure. Seeing it as a dog-eat-dog situation, others become ruthless. Seeing it has ruled by a punishing spirit, still others become rigid with fear. Seeing it as nurturant, some become calm and happy. But these world views are usually incompletely conscious, and often differ radically from the religions we consciously profess.

To develop a realistic outlook we must constantly change our understanding. If we do, we also learn to understand each other. If we don't, and most of us don't, we spend most of our lives involved in unnecessary struggles and misunderstandings.

I think, to be vital, our religion must be a personal one, forged in the crucible of our own experience. The path to holiness lies through questioning everything although there are reasons to believe that behind all the superstitious nonsense there lies a reality that is God.

I want to end this offering with an affirmation that I, and the congregation, used at the beginning of almost every sermon I presented:

“Something wonderful is happening through me right now.

It's happening in my mind, 

In my body, 

And in my affairs.

I think it, 

I know it, 

I feel it, 

I accepted it.

It's the grace of God.

t the la     © Dick Caldwell 2012