Tomorrow I will be conducting a Memorial Service for a man who carried this quote by Thomas Carlyle in his wallet his entire adult life, but who held organized religion at arms length.
I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
In more ways than I can count his values mirror my own.
And, while I am right smack dab in the middle of it, I totally understand why he thought the way he did. I, too, often grow weary of organized religion…at least to the extent that doctrine and dogma and decently and in order and the “right” way to think or believe becomes more important than the person or need or situation right in front of you.
Maybe I am becoming a fan of disorganized religion. A way of thinking about and trusting in and following a God that is messy enough to stand up to the messiness of life as it is. And, a way of living that makes room for questions which might rock us the core, but don’t destroy our faith. And, a way of seeing that realizes God wears a hundred different disguises each and every day and that none of them may match the picture of God which we carry around in our heads or proof text in our Bibles or other sacred texts. Maybe I am becoming a fan of disorganized religion which places leans strongly in the direction of people and community and covenant.