March 12, 2012 Still Speaking Devotional: “Outgrowing old beliefs”

Posted on : Mar 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Still Speaking

Guess what happens this time of year?  Anybody who parents a child knows it well.  All that cool stuff that was bought for kids when they began school last fall no longer fits!   It’s just another one of those mysteries of life.  One day those pants fit perfectly, the next day they are “floods.”  One day that top fit perfectly, today it’s way too tight!  So the annual ritual begins of casting off the clothes they have outgrown. 

We adults have a different problem.  For some, that “spare tire” makes us outgrow our clothes.  For others, changing styles is how we outgrow clothes.  One of the best kept secrets of low income families is that it is well worth the bus trip into WeHo to shop at AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s “Out of the Closet.”  There you’ll find some of the most beautiful, hardly-worn but outgrown clothes in all of Los Angeles.

We outgrow clothes, cars, computers, ipads – especially ipads – at an alarming rate.  Apple just announced that the demand for the “new ipad” is so great, they can’t manufacture them fast enough!

If this happens with clothes, and technology, and cars, why doesn’t it happen as easily with beliefs?   Have you ever wondered why so many of us still hang on to “outgrown beliefs?”

Today I was watching the new CBS show “This Morning.” They had a segment on about a new phenomenon in the Roman Catholic Church – married priests with kids.  Yes, you read that correctly.  In the 1990’s the Pope quietly allowed for married male Protestant Episcopal priests to become Roman Catholic priests.  They can keep their wife and kids, but when their wife dies, they have to become celibate.

In this piece they interviewed a lot of parishioners at the parish where this new priest serves with his wife and six kids!  All those interviewed said, “This is so different from what we were raised to believe about a Father (a priest).”  Yup.  Then they interviewed a life-long priest who has taken a vow of celibacy and poverty.  He had an interesting comment.  He said, “All these Episcopal priests have left the Episcopal church because they are too conservative for the Episcopal Church.  They don’t believe in the ordination of women, they are right to lifers and they don’t believe in gay and lesbian equality and ordination.  So they think they are coming into the Roman Church thinking we’re conservative.  But what they are actually doing is liberalizing the Roman Church.  As soon as the people see that these married priests can serve equally as well as celibate priests, things are going to change!”  How about that?  These ultra conservative Episcopalians are becoming the flaming liberals of the Roman Church.  Sweet!

We’re half way through Lent.  Our Spiritual Journey gets more and more intense each week right up to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Lent is a great time to think and grow spiritually.  It is also a great time to give up beliefs that we have “outgrown.”  It’s time to dump the judgmental God and experience the Loving God.  It’s time to let go of the patriarchal, paternalistic God and embrace the relational inclusive God.  It’s time to pack up our outgrown beliefs and take them to “Out of the Closet.”  We do that so naturally with everything else in our lives, why not our outgrown beliefs?  For more, read on!

Blessings to you this Lent!

Dan

Read this week’s meditation  here.

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