Freedom to Worship

Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and follow after it.

Psalm 34:15

I recently overheard a young man mumbling about church. Apparently, his experience included far too many references to hell and damnation and far too few regarding community and caring and love. Because I know him reasonably well, I decided to pursue a conversation. Because he knows me reasonably well, he eventually worked up the courage to ask me why I still go to church.

After what evolved into a very productive and pleasant exchange, we went our separate ways. With us, we carried our understanding and respect for one another. In the end, we had agreed that all of us are free to relate to our loving Creator as best we can in our own ways. Some will be guided by a community of believers; some will be guided by other experiences; we’ll all be guided by our hearts.

I had the good fortune to grow up in a more-than-tolerant family within a diverse community. In the process, I met many good people who happened to look or to behave or to believe differently than I did. Still, they were very good people. The more my world expanded, the more these differences increased. Still, I encountered very good people who looked or behaved or believed differently than I did. It seems to me that God is pleased with all of our efforts when they cause us to turn from evil, to do good, to seek peace and to love one another.

Patient God, thank you for making each of us unique and for giving us all the freedom to live and to love you accordingly.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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U… Unity with Everyone

And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.

Mark 3:25

U is for Unity. Although the Chicago Cubs won the World Series more than three months ago, their January visit to the White House brought me back to the last inning of Game Seven. I was glued to our television set throughout. When the Cubs finally won, I tuned in for days afterward to enjoy the extended coverage of their appearances and celebrations. I also attended carefully to the nightly news and sports segments as they featured numerous snippets of Cubs Fans and their stories of lifelong loyalty and hope. It was very difficult for me to let go of all of this because of the single-heartedness of Cubs Fans of every age, size, color, socioeconomic, ethnic and religious background. I think all concerned would agree that Cub’s Fans became one family as they endured this World Series run and they will remain so for a very, very long time.

Unity is extremely important to families, especially to God’s family. There is nothing more wonderful for parents than to see their children get along. When our children appreciate one another for who they are in spite of their numerous differences, we experience heaven on earth. No one understands and appreciates our uniqueness more than God and no one has greater expectations regarding our ability to get along than God. It seems to me that our only response can be to work with one another as best we can. In the process, perhaps we’ll finally become one family, too.

Loving God, help us to love one another like the brothers and sisters we are.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Follow Your Heart

Turn from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and follow after it.

Psalm 34:15

I recently overheard a young man mumbling about church. Apparently, his experience included far too many references to hell and damnation and far too few regarding community and caring and love. Because I know him reasonably well, I decided to pursue a conversation. Because he knows me reasonably well, he eventually worked up the courage to ask me why I still go to church.

After what evolved into a very productive and pleasant conversation, we went our separate ways. With us, we carried the understanding and the respect of the other because we agreed that all of us are free to relate to our loving Creator as best we can in our own way. Some will be guided by a community of believers; some will be guided by other experiences; and we’ll all be guided by our hearts.

I had the good fortune to grow up in a more-than-tolerant family within a diverse community. In the process, I met many good people who happened to look or behave or believe differently than I did. Still, they were very good people. The more my world expanded, the more these differences increased. Still, I encountered very good people. It seems to me that God is pleased with all of our efforts when they cause us to turn from evil, to do good, to seek peace and to love one another.

Patient God, thank you for making each of us unique and for giving us the freedom to live and to love you accordingly.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved