Thursday, January 2, 2020


Dear All of Us,

                "Oh My God!!"
Used to be we weren't allowed to say that.
Now it's common currency.
See a terrible automobile accident:
               "Oh My God!"
Your kid gets a full ride to Harvard:
            "Oh My God!"
Hear something surprising, shocking, delightful, dirty:
            "Oh My God!"

The casual use of God's name is one thing.
But guess what - which really means I'm about to make a statement, 
not ask a question -
             "Oh My God!"
as an attitude of soul,
as a spiritual approach and way,
is totally wrong and wacky.
There's no "MY" to it.
We don't own, possess, or control God.

            God is not mine.

              I am God's.

Let's spend a month with that for starters
and then come back to it every day of our lives.!!!

Way too
much religion, spirituality and theology 
have got it dead and deadeningly wrong.
They set us up for idolatry - worshipping a false god -

                     "My God."

They fabricate and fashion a god of their persuasion and preference.
It's not a golden calf,
It's worse, way worse.
They design a divinity to their specs and thus control.
Cobble together a few self selected absolutes,
prescribe a few moral mandates and "Wala",
they are safe and set from here to eternity with their

                       "My God". 

In the fundamentalist Christian sphere it looks something like this:
    They've  made their decision for Christ, are saved,
    and just need to stay out of bed with another's spouse,
    go to church some, feed a few charities and they're all set.
    No need to fuss with all that social activism of those liberal churches.

For the more liberal sorts it presents something like this: 
    They do a little Lectio Divina, read progressive spiritual writers,
    back homeless, gay rights and environmental causes
    from the comfort of their head and home, 
    don't fret about enjoying expensive vacations 
    and middle/upper middle class amenities, 
    The Beatitudes not withstanding.
    Something of a free wheeling Cadillac Christianity.

That pretty much outlines the fault lines, spiritual illusion and idolatry of

                           "MY God".

Well, God is way too big to fit in any "my's" pocket, 
head, articulation, experience, ritual or religion.
Head for the hills when someone says 
"I found God."
Any god that can be found isn't God -
God's way too vast for discovery and capture.
And "capture" is what's attempted and what fails with

                          "My God" 

religion, spirituality, theology.
They are fashions of control.
Be it Hindu, Moslem, New Age, Buddhist,
be it Methodist, Lutheran, Roman, Southern Baptist,
when there is a claim or practice that attempts 
to determine, define or dogmatize about God it's basically demonic!!
They're playing god handlers and they just can't handle it!!!.
Adam and Eve were doing really well 
until they decided to play god handlers.
Christianity was doing pretty good 
until it started playing god handler, using Greek philosophy,
in an ill conceived effort to define too much about God.

Bet by now you're wondering what the heck I had for breakfast!!
Honestly, all this is so critical to our spiritual journey.
Set out in the wrong direction and you'll eventually fall off the cliff of "My".
Get it right from the get go and you do just that - 
you go and you go good, good as in God.
Way too often, though, we are like little children 
who feel they are the center of everything - 
my toys, my clothes, my everything -
for those with delayed infant spirituality, it's

                           "My God".

In all truth we're not the center of things.
Actually it's infinitely better than that.
We are centered in The Center.
We are God's.
We just need to wake up to that, 
grow up to that so we can blossom outward and upward
to limitless fullness "en Christo" as Paul puts it so often.

God Centered religion, spirituality, theology
delights and describes 
rather than defines and dogmatizes.
It lives the reality that

                     God is not mine.

                         I am God's.

It delights in the wonder of being God's,
of being centered in God.
It describes that as it grows in its experience of it.
It ritualizes it.
It shares it.
It does so happily aware that all of it is but a beginning, 
is so partial,
that we're just getting started 
and there will never be an end.
It accepts that God isn't a mystery to be solved, possessed or controlled.
It joyfully embraces the truth that God is a mystery to be lived,  
the mystery that

                        "God is love".

                          I John 4:8 

It rejoies that we don't have to, we can't, hold things together.
We are held together.

So much of the soul crisis today is a cry for righted religion, 
simple, straight spirituality, descriptive not prescriptive theology.
A clue:  the real masters of the spiritual life almost always use metaphor,
are poetic, employ free form in their sharings, and don't much dogmatize.
They are free and open, freed from trying to possess or control God.
They are ecstatic at being centered, enwrapped in God.  
Check out Rumi and Hafiz, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross,
Kierkegaard, Francis of Assisi, Chief Seattle, Buddha, John the Evangelist,
Paul, Meister Eckhart, Rabia, Kabir, and most of all, Jesus of Nazareth.

Instead of finding God we find ourselves in God.
                    The heck with "Oh My God".

            "Oh God, the wonder of being yours!"

Thanks for this chance to do a bit of Soul Share together.
               Centered in The Center With You,

                           John Frank


A ton of new folk have joined in with us in the past few week.
Welcome to all! It's wonderful to be together and share here.

                          "frankly speaking"
                      spirituality for the street

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Looking forward to all of us being together here again next week.