I used to sing a song in Sunday school as a kid that went, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” It fit nicely with the idea of “making a joyful noise” which I also remember from my early formative years of learning right from wrong, acceptable from unacceptable and how to love even when you didn’t necessarily feel like it was in your best interest to do so.
As I’ve grown older, and questionably wiser, I’ve begun to understand these things in clearer context to the world around me. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’d all be better off as a rule if we lightened up significantly on the hand wringing side of the equation and invested more heavily in making more happy noises towards and for one another.
I don’t often lift the veil on my personal spiritual leanings in my writing as they pertain to my own beliefs. It’s not that I’m ashamed or in denial or any of those other buzz words that certain well-meaning but potentially misguided people might wish to use to describe someone who believes that a personal relation to their understanding of God is just that, personal. But there are times when I’m mad as heck and can’t be silent any longer.
I care not whether a person is a deist, theist, atheist or conservationist. It doesn’t bother me if a person chooses to worship in a building, under the stars or hugging a tree. Ashrams, Temples, Synagogues, Monasteries, Mosques, Sweat Lodges and Cathedrals are nothing more than gathering places where people share their brand of belief, whether it be based on faith, fear, hatred or help. It’s a physical place, not a spiritual one.
The mind and the heart are where the true nature of one’s God resides. I can experience the presence of love, peace, and understanding where ever I may roam. It’s openness to the truth as it is made known to us that makes the most sense to me. It’s when individuals or groups, with designs of promoting their own selfish political beliefs, exert power and control to force their way into open and seeking hearts that I speak up.
We all want answers. But we deserve answers that promote the freedom to choose and to live happy and free, unfettered by the physical or emotional restraints of others who would use us for their own self-centered gain. In my world, the head and the heart are the true dwelling place of a personal relationship with whomever or whatever a person believes in. And that’s the fertile ground wherein ideas and ideologies are nurtured and grow.
Let those seeds we plant be love, caring, sharing all good things and helping everyone to make a joyful noise to who and what they believe gives them a right and a purpose to go on living and loving and caring as they serve others who seek answers of their own. It truly is a circle and what goes around does come back around.
One really does reap what one sows.