When I was young and even into my adult life, I have thought that there had to be a black and white, right and wrong, solid point of view about all of life's beliefs. I recognize that there are basic moral issues that are clearly right or wrong. What we believe is of utmost importance The way we live out those beliefs in our worship is not. Other things are peripheral issues and are a result of upbringing.
I taught myself to shun different ways of worship.
I used to think the Catholic faith was narrow, too liturgical, too formal, and off in its beliefs. Who am I to judge that? To my betterment, I have opened my mind to different ways of following God.
Two of my close friends changed to Catholicism lately and were greatly inspired and encouraged through the services. Recently, I attended two different Catholic churches and felt very t ease. The reverent focus and quiet meditation on the litergy was refreshing. I got the feeling that each person there was one on one with God. I sensed the hearts that were being engaged. Even the children were polite and quiet. I credit this to the discipline of the church and parents. They had taught themselves and their children to not be distracted. Children CAN sit and listen and be self-disciplined in time. I also credit it to a concise streamlined sermon. (Laughing outloud.)
I am also comfortable in a free casual interactive church with spirited music. I enjoy people and children. I have often had the view that children needed to expend energy and not have to sit through a service, but who knows. Is there a right or a wrong?
I took a step last week. I accepted a job teaching art part-time at a parochial school. I was asked to come to the support church service on Sunday. I felt the Spirit of God. I am looking forward to teaching the children art and being able to talk about God freely in an academic atmospher. I don't have to muzzle myself in that area. Hmmmm, maybe I can learn to muzzle my compulsive blurting. Self-discipline, kindness, patience, and many other virtues are instilled. God's unconditional love is expressed through teachers because of God's spirit in each one.
I recently heard a tour guide in Israel say, "The cultural practices you are seeing in this moment are neither right or wrong. Just different". That says it all.. Each of us only know what we know....his or her own culture....his or her resulting beliefs...and life experiences. There is no need to judge. Anyone searching for TRUTH will find it. I am enjoy this process of growing in openness and unconditional love. I also want to grow in my relationship with Jesus. I have given my life to ONE truth and that truth is through a relationship. Jesus. Truth is played out in diversity of cultures, churches and walks of life.
He holds my heart.