OK, so this is all a little weird to me. My first blog as a blogger with BeliefNet. And, it feels like I’m starting all over. Which of course I am. Which makes it all the weirder. Which of course it is.
I mean, how do you just start up a new blog? I’ve been blogging for the Huffington Post, from my website blog, and with my Facebook friends for some years now. Although I have never met the vast majority of my readers, I know they are there. They react…respond…ask questions…share their thoughts…sometimes agree…sometimes disagree. But they are there.
But here? I’m not so sure. What I am sure about is that I want to know you…hear from you…interact with you. I have some things to say about spirituality…about how to live an authentic life…about happiness…about connectedness to yourself, to your Source whom I call “God.” But you can call God whatever you wish. I doubt it matters a great deal to her. What matters more is that you bother to call at all.
So, when I sat down to write this first blog, I stared for a long time at a blank sheet of electronic screen, wondering, “OK, what do I write?” Then, the question came to me, “Why not start with ‘Your Best Life Now?'”
That seemed reasonable enough.
When the BeliefNet people – whoever they are – which is itself a little weird, isn’t it? I mean, who’d a “thunk” the day would come when you would do business with people who are to you no more than digits on a computer screen? I’m supposing they’re infinitely more than this and that somebody must know them. They say they have three million visitors per month to their BeliefNet site. – So, as strange as all of this feels, here I go. When they invited and I agreed to blog on things like spirituality, enlightenment, salvation, Christianity, Buddhism, interfaith matters, and the pathway to a spiritually-awakened life, they asked, “What do you wish to call your blog?”
I thought, “It has to have a name?”
In response, I wrote, “I don’t know”…uh…uh… – Of course, I didn’t really type the “uh” “uh” part, but I was thinking it in my head – then I blurted or, typed, “Why not call it ‘Your Best Life Now?'”
“Sounds good to us,” came their response.
So that’s the official name: Your Best Life Now!
But what is that?
Well, hardly what Joel Osteen means by it. When I announced to my Facebook family that I’d be writing for BeliefNet.com, a friend wrote and said, “You know that ‘Your Best Life Now’ is the title to Osteen’s new book?”
I did not know. This friend felt compelled to alert me to a possible confusion in the minds of some, especially the followers of Osteen. So, I should clarify.
I suppose Osteen is nice enough. He has a nice smile. He has a big church, too. Somebody must really like him. Maybe that somebody is you.
Don’t take this as a put down, either of Osteen or you, but you should know, if what you’re expecting from this blog is something similar to his preaching, wrong expectation.
My experience of God is quite a bit different.
The God I believe in is “not a Christian,” to borrow Desmond Tutu’s words.
The God I know is no more a “Him” than “She” is a “Her.”
He could care-less who wins the SuperBowl.
It isn’t on his radar to give you a million dollar home…a Beamer to drive…or a vacation house on the sandy beaches of the Bahamas.
If you’re the kind of Christian who needs a spiritual leader who can pull answers out a a hat as effortlessly as a magician does his rabbits, then take my advice and bid this blog adieu.
You should know this much about me, however:
I’m a follower of Jesus. You can agree or disagree with things I write…offer your opinion, share your insights, as well as your experiences. I welcome them all. But, don’t ever question my commitment to Jesus – that’s judgment and you, my friend, are nobody’s judge. Neither am I.
I am committed to changing the church. In case you haven’t noticed, it needs changing. So, NO, I have not left the church. I’m not an enemy of the church. I’ve devoted my life to guiding it toward health and healing. It’s desperately ill. But then, if you’re reading this blog, you probably know that already. Which is why lots of you have left the church. But not your faith. You still long to know God and to walk daily with her. Stick around. I know something about this. I’ll show you how.
I know and follow the teachings…the truth…the insights I find in other religions, too. And, yes, you can be a Christian without having to make every other religion “wrong” or some kind of enemy. I’m an interfaith student but a follower of Jesus. When Mother Teresa was questioned once by bigots disguised as Christians, “How can you be Christian and open to other religions?” she answered, “I love all religions; I’m in love with my own.” That has become my slogan.
All of this means, I don’t think you have to be Christian to be spiritual or to know God. And, if you’re inclined to quote John 14:6 as proof I’m wrong, you’re right because Jesus himself said he was the one-and-only way to God, you can let go of that inclination, too. I’ve wrestled already with the misreading of John 14 and, if your mind is open, I’ll show you in future blogs how to understand what Jesus was really saying in John 14. Then, if you so decide, you won’t have to force yourself to believe “Only ‘Christians’ go to heaven; everybody else goes to hell!”
Alright! Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, what do I mean by “Your Best Life Now?”
1. Your Best Life Now is all about living the life of your dreams. So, what are your dreams? And, more importantly, are you living them? I’ll blog about this and other things, too.
2. Your Best Life Now is about living a happy life . If you’re not living your dreams, how could you possibly be happy? And, what is happiness? For most, happiness is a memory or an anticipation. Which is why it’s so seldom experienced by them, Now! I’ll teach you the way of happiness. It’s infinitely more than the temporary “highs” people mistakenly think is happiness.
3. Your Best Life Now is about living by the dictates of your soul. Not driven by someone else’s demands or expectations. Or, worse, their beliefs. I’ll help you know how to question all that you believe and most of what you think and come out healthier, and happier, on the other side. For years, I lived my life auditioning for everyone’s approval. I said I believed things I was taught to believe, even when my heart said otherwise. I wanted so badly to “succeed” I would say and do almost anything to make that happen. I was like an actor performing on a stage for the applause of those who were never pleased for very long. It was a lonely life. Exhausting. Spiritually-bankrupting, too.
Then, suddenly one night a crisis occurred and the curtain dropped on my performance. The show ended. And, while I did not know it at the time, the end turned out to be the beginning.
I’ll be sharing details of my story in future blogs. You’ll find much similarity in your own story.
4. Your Best Life Now is about knowing a spiritually-connected life. When I wrote The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God, I did so for those spiritual people who had given up on religion. I had no idea, however, there are millions of them and their numbers are growing. In fact, people who regard themselves as “spiritual but not religious” – or, “nones” as they’re called, make up the fastest growing segment of our religious population – one in five adults, as a matter of fact. It is for this group I’ve been blogging at the Huffington Post for nearly two years. I suspect I’ll be doing much the same here.
So, if you’re beyond living with the insane notion characteristically found among frightened, threatened Christians, who then instinctively express attitudes like, “We’re Right! You’re Wrong!”…if you are beyond this sort of religious insanity…and are open to truth wherever you find it – whether Christianity or Buddhism or the teachings of Lao-Tzu, you are going to find this blog to be to your spiritual life – a breath of fresh air.
So, there you have it. What I mean, at least in part, by Your Best Life Now! Which is, just that, you know…
“Your Life” – at its “Best” – not yesterday…not tomorrow, but Now!
I look forward to our journey – together. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE below. Leave a response, too. Tell me who you are. See you next time.