Recently I’ve gotten a couple of notes from readers voicing concern that my message and recommendations might be anti-Christian. I see such open inquiries as a prompting for me to clarify my thoughts. I decided it might be helpful for me to say a few words about my own journey of faith, and in that way, leave it up to you to judge for yourself whether mine is an anti-Christian message, or not.
I grew up in an interesting home. My father’s side of the family were stout Southern Baptists, they lived and breathed the old southern fundamental values based on their church’s rendition of the Bible. My mother, on the other hand, started out as Wesleyan Methodist, who then pulled away from the church altogether when I was still a youngster. She began a life-long path of exploring and searching for greater understanding of the Universe; she read, studied, and pursued training in various spiritually-based modalities and religions – some of them truly were “way-out there,” and my siblings and I would sort of shrug and say, “Well you know mom.” 🙂 In short, my mom was”new-age” long before it was cool to be so (in some circles, anyway.;)).
My mother shared much from her studies and spiritual pursuits with us three kids. I was a particularly avid student. I loved to read, and much of what she shared captured my imagination. She taught me to see aura’s (the visible energy field that surrounds all living things), and how to tap into my inner knowing (the intuition). She turned me onto various teachers of the far east, yoga, The Tao Te Ching and the IChing, the Urantia and the Oahspe, and so on. Starting at age twelve, through her encouragement, I explored ancient teachings from various cultures including Gnosticism, Hermeticism, as well as teachings from various Tibetan masters, like Buddha, and Krishna’s Bhagavadgita. The list goes on.
As a result of my parents diverse ideologies, I was exposed to a quietly, raging controversy between those “new-age ideas of your mother’s,” and the rigid fundamentalism of the “Sanfords” (my dad’s rather sizable family), whose members prayed regularly for our family’s soul. I am sure we were widely prayed over by my father’s seven siblings in church on Sunday mornings because they told me so whenever I visited them during my summer breaks from school, and I could tell it was serious business.
There were many years I thought that such prayer was silly foolishness, but I look back on it now and remember what God said to Moses in the old testament about how He would show love to a thousand generations of those who loved and followed Him (Exodus 20:6). I am truly grateful for the long line of believers from which I come, and I am deeply glad for all the prayers sent my way over the years. I think about the many in our world who grow up without being given any sort of governing belief that promotes faith in a Power greater than themselves, and I feel humbled and truly blessed by all those family prayers on both sides of the aisle! Certainly my mother did her share of praying for me, and I dare say I needed every single prayer said in my behalf!
I feel this glimpse into my history is important to share for those of you who wonder where I stand in my spiritual orientation, and as so often happens with my blogging, I go long. I decided this is a good place to pause for the moment. I will continue with the story of my spiritual unfolding in my next post.