Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Yogi Berra (in his own inimitable style) once said, "When you come to a crossroad, you have to take it." We are faced with crossroads every day, sometimes in excess. It becomes a matter of making a choice as to which one we take. Who among us does not look to their past and wish they could take back some choices? There is hope that we come to the end of our days without too many regrets. But choices can leave their stamp. Choices may be made that are extremely unwise, on a dare which we later wish we had never made, out of fear or ignorance. Sometimes our decision of the moment so wounds us that we carry a scar for the rest of our life.

The Good News of God, as announced through the centuries, is that not even our choices can separate us from this God. And they need not separate us from each other. Forgiveness can be offered and accepted, grace applied, and the extension of a love that welcomes us all back. A bad choice is not the end of everything.

But not all choices are bad. Daily choices can bolster us in hard times. Some choices are so remarkable in their end result as to be indescribable. There is the thought that with wisdom of years come better choices.

The ancient word was, "Choose this day whom you will serve." That could mean many things, some of which would be to our detriment. But the better interpretation would be to choose God, as one understands, and offer oneself up in a diligent, on-going response. The choice of God does not mean that we therefore shut other people out. We have come through a time of "Holy Wars" (which are anything but holy), the building of walls which exclude others from our presence, and a stance of retribution toward those with whom we disagree. There is even the sense from some that such is a proper choice. Unless someone speaks our God-talk, follows our doctrine, agrees with our beliefs, and has a god created in human image, then that one is out. I believe that such is a bad choice.

On Thanksgiving Eve, a group of us will gather for brief moments to sing, to listen to sacred readings, and to greet one another with openness and warmth. It is a time that I cherish each year. There will be representatives of the Abrahamic faith, (Jews, Muslims, and Christians) all under the same roof. I look forward to the day when those of Eastern Religious expression can join with us. No one will be asked to compromise their faith. The subject of who is right and who is wrong need not even come up. In a time when there is insistence that we pray "in Jesus' name" or that all other believers are infidels, surely we must find ways to come together, not feel threatened, and model the idea of a larger spiritual family.

I believe that such is a good choice.
Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Gary, These last 2 posts have been meaninful to me and I am glad you are writing again. Last time you wrote about extending a hand when God seems distant. That has been the only thing I have ever found that actually works to get me out of my funk. I tend to get obsessed with my worries and then I get down. I have found that only in reaching out to another do my "issues" disappear. Aslo in this most recent post you expressed one of my most recurrent ideas. I am most hopeful the God turns out to be much larger than any human box we have placed him in. Despite my longing for a relationship with God, I often feel the need to corral Him into something that makes sense to me. I want to control the outcome, so I design a God that I can understand. My fervent hope is that God is big enough to have expressed himself/herself to different human beings in different ways throughout history, and that perhaps we humans can learn to love one another despite and because of our differences, not our likenesses. Thanks again for writing and I look forward to future reading.