I just wanted to pass on a nice article from the latest UUWorld. Hold on, by William F. Schulz. It reads a bit like corny self-help psychology, but the more I read, the more I realized the thoughts are on the money, and useful to people like me and mine.
So I am not suggesting for a moment that our pain is not real or that our fears are all in our heads. Evil is very real; misery can be acute; and sometimes it can overwhelm us. But the testimony of those who have experienced almost unimaginable personal agony and remained sane seems to be that placing what we value most at the center of our consciousness and trusting that we can survive is the best way to cope with a world gone mad.
Religion’s job is to sustain us in that practice. Indeed, I have come to believe that as long as our religious faith is generous-hearted, it matters far less what its content is—its metaphysics or theology, whether it trucks with God or disowns the concept, whether it postulates a hidden world or sticks stubbornly to this one—than whether it succeeds in getting us through the night. If, beyond that, it can convince us to feel embraced by that starry night, rather than to just feel afraid, so much the better. But at the core of whatever faith we choose needs to be the knowledge that at the end of all that botherization there generally lies some kind of angle of repose.
This is also what undergirds a religious commitment to justice. It is not that we can solve everybody else’s problems, but, if we can provide such things as equitable enforcement of laws, a self-sustaining planet, and a fair distribution of the earth’s abundance, those conditions will open up enough time and space that most people will then have the wherewithal to solve their own.
I couldn’t have said it better myself… even if I had managed to think of it that way on my own.