Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Saying NO

posted by Cheryl Petersen

It’s a quick and snappy word. It’s easy to remember, but do we remember to say it appropriately?

The almost universal word, “no” probably began with hunkered down eyebrows, becoming more serious with a shaking head.

Well, we can take up that animation and its seriousness We can say, “No,” when too much food is put in front of us; when we want to drive instead of walk; when we need to stop anger and entertain mindful mercy.

It isn’t that human beings don’t say no. We say it plenty, but sometimes it’s aimed at the wrong thing. Rather than say, “I can’t,” we can follow through on opportunities that require a little imagination and less ego.

Say no to idle TV watching, repetitive negative behavior, making fun of other people, doubting your ability to do good.

We don’t even have to say “no” to God, when religious organizations make God out to be a bigoted numbskull. God is love and God loves us all and gives us the insight and ability to expand our consciousness of life and a purpose of good.

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Local hiking on the rise

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The local Catskill Mountain Club (CMC) has given the community a couple of shots in the arm over the last year. Club members follow the proper channels, get approval from officials, and with GPS instruments in their hands, hack out trails for the public.

The recent Delhi Trails is close to the Village of Delhi. Opening Day last weekend brought a strong crowd. After a few thanks to pertinent trail blazers, the crowd followed CMC leaders, one going off on an easy hike, and the other headed up the hill for a more strenuous hike.

This is the fourth trail I’ve covered as the local news reporter and each time the crowd gets larger. I cherish the hope that the collective thought is gaining weight on the side of getting out of the house into nature and healthy activity.

From the Bible, I Tim. 4:8, English Standard Version, we read, “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

A mask of compassion

posted by Cheryl Petersen

In my observance of life, I’ve noticed a human trait that can get out of hand.

We humor ourselves or others.

I’m not talking about humor, hahaha. Wittiness and fun lay low when we want to humor someone.

To humor someone is to indulge them, to give them slack, or comply with what they are saying or doing.

If we pick this apart, humoring someone can be a form of compromise.

Spouses humor one another so as to get along. For example, my husband listens to my ranting and nods as if I’m interesting.

Parents humor their children to keep them quiet or content. They let them watch too much TV or do what they want.

And, a pattern materializes. Things become unreasonable. Decisions become inconclusive.

Quite often, humoring others then gets confused with compassion, and it appears unloving to contradict the process of indulging myopic views, opinions, traditions, laziness and bad habits.

Although it takes effort to remove the mask of compassion from humoring the human egos, it’s worth the effort.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “It is important to examine our inclinations and intentions. Mental examination is the way we learn what we honestly are. If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen patiently to the criticism and reconsider our attitude? Or, do we react by giving thanks that we are “not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector”?[1] During many years, I have been most grateful for constructive criticism. The misdeed is destructive careless criticism, which does no one any good.”

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[1] Luke 18:11 (NRSV)

Getting out of the rut

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Moses lived a few hundred years after Joseph, the guy who saved the children of Israel from starvation by bringing them to Egypt. The move to the land of plenty was a glorious salvation.

By time Moses was born, the children of Israel became lazy followers. They expected the leader, Pharaoh, to feed them. They basically looked to person, instead of Principle, God, for their answers and guidance. Bottom line: the children of Israel became slaves.

Moses was guided by God to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. Moses wasn’t directed to convince the children of Israel they needed to return to the days when they moved to Egypt, saved. Moses didn’t try to force the children of Israel to be like in the glorious olden days.

bike in rutMoses poked and prodded the children of Israel to wake up and serve Principle, God, rather than person or personalities. Moses coaxed the children of Israel to get their minds moving in a spiritual direction. Moses persuaded the children of Israel to conquer their apathy and conservatism and manifest newness.

It took 40 years.

The children of Israel again were saved, only to what? Fall back into the rut of material living, idolatry, and adultery. When will we learn? Answering that question isn’t as important as to keep moving forward to divine Spirit.

At home with the family, at work with a boss, in church with members, we can look for our answers from God. Don’t try to keep something the same. Don’t fall into a rut no matter how comfortable. We can expect newness.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no human or material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are open to the divine “governing authorities.”[1] Such is the true Science of being. Any other theory of Life, or God, is delusive and mythological.”

 

[1] Rom. 13:1

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