Thursday, October 23, 2008

Faith, Worship, Free will, and Eternity

I wonder how much my faith separated my life from Brenda’s.

She became a believer. She was baptized, took communion, read the Bible, prayed.

She tried.

I’m not sure where her soul is... where her spirit and body, as a whole, takes her spiritually.

She told me once she was sometimes embarrassed by my worship.

I understand.

When I worship I shut my eyes, I always shut my eyes, and I go somewhere.

I listen to the music, I listen to the voices of those around me, and I do my best to blend my voice with the sounds of worship. And I go somewhere.

Each song that is sung I contemplate the words, weigh them in my heart, compare their meaning with what my heart believes. I let them sink into my heart. I let my spirit interact with my body, I seek the balance place, where my human part blends with my spirit and I let it stir within my heart.

And that is where my worship happens.

I feel the words, stirring within my heart, and I lift them up, place them on the altar of the sounds that surround, and lift them up.

I feel my nature, that I am more than something that grew, that evolved on this world, and grew within the body of my mother. I feel, I know, I am a made thing. I was created. Just the same way a carpenter shapes wood that has been dried, fashions it into something unique.

My soul, the blend of all that I am, responds. Joy. Fear. Adoration. Awe. Servanthood. Gratitude. Love.

It’s a choice.

I choose to feel this way, to respond this way, to offer myself in gratitude, respect.

I love that. The choosing. Choice.

I believe it is the only thing that is really mine. Choice.

Free will.

I can react to the world in any way I choose.

I choose to feel. I choose to love and embrace and be hurt and to appreciate.

I know there are things, beings, different than me.

I dabbled in explorations which showed me more of the realities of the universe than were healthy for me to see. Nearly killed me. I don’t talk about that much.

I know there is goodness personified. I know there is evil.

I know what eternity is like. I’ve felt it. Feel it. Twice eternity intersected my life, and those moments are with me still. They have never stopped being a part of who I am, part of what we call now.

I know eternity isn’t the continuation of the timeline we know. Eternity is not our being dragged along in the direction we think of as “future.” Rather, eternity is being part of the universe as a whole... from beginning of creation through the time when all things dissipate in randomness, entropy (or returns in a big crunch).

I know there are creatures, beings, created for eternity, never experiencing mortal existence.

I have wondered if they understand free will.

I think...

I think... they can... but...

It usually never occurs to them.

It may happen now and then. There is strong indications that some, it is written a third, chose.

I feel a bit of glory when I let my spirit mix with my physical self, and I think it is a faint echo, a reflection, of what eternity is like.

I think it might be difficult for those created into such an existence to choose. It may be difficult to be individual where self is difficult to see. It may be difficult to think of oneself in a realm where self is a concept difficult to grasp... a realm where community is the truth of all existence.

I think a lot.

I think about things that I cannot truly know. And I think about things I can see, and touch, and taste, and smell. I think a lot.

It’s my nature.

I know, I understand, that nearly everything I know is wrong.

My mind, my senses, my heart, my spirit, are inadequate tools to grasp truth.

But I try.

I wish she felt this.

I think I will enter fully into eternity someday... the realm where time hasn’t any real meaning because it all exists at once... I think I will enter eternity and I will bring something unusual to that place of austere beauty.

I will bring the experience of having choices, of having made choices. I will bring imperfection and confusion and the rough joy of a soul unused to experiencing austere beauty.

I believe free will may not be entirely restricted to the mortal existence... but I think it is only possible when a soul is not completely immersed in that awe-sum, awe full, all encompassing reality.

Just a thought.


Curious Servant said...

"I miss Mom."

I paused in tucking him in for bed.

This was the fourth time this week he has said that.

My son doesn't express his feelings well. Perhaps that is why she had trouble loving him.

"I know you do, Honey."

"Yeah... Life's tough sometimes. That's what happens...

"Are we doing a good job with the house?"

"Yes. We're doing a good job. We are all doing a good job."

"I swept the floor."

"I saw that."

"You're doing good job. You're a good dad. You're doing a good job."

I prayed over him.

I love him.

becky said...

Children's voices sing far and deep. I know this is painful for you and for them.

You are doing a good job Will even when you do not feel as though you are.



Owen said...

St. Francis certainly believed the animals are our brothers and sisters and But yeah, having the gift of choice is something again. Frighteningly beautiful. Beautifully frightening that choice.

Anonymous said...

Good comment Owen!

Aphra said...

I love that you wrote this. Thanks Will!

Marvin the Martian said...


Lucy Stern said...

Nice post Will. Everyone is different in the way they worship. Some people are very private with their thoughts whereas others are very vocal. I am sure Brenda has her own way of worshiping. Some people are closer to God than others and we are all on different levels with our progression.

Children know that you can not just turn off your feelings.... They love freely and that is why Jesus Christ wants us all to be "like little children". I know it is hard for you and the boys to let go, but hopefully it will get easier. Good luck,,,Stay Strong!