There is a bike ride I often do around here and although I often vary it in various subtle ways it remains very much the same. Yesterday, however, I did the ride in reverse and it felt quite different. When you do the same journey time after time you do notice different things about the landscape but, usually you are seeing it from the same perspective. By turning round and altering the viewpoint it is interesting how the familiar can suddenly become quite different. There are new views, the light comes from different angles, the hills are different... etc. The overall landscape hasn't changed as such but how you approach your viewpoint has. I found my ride quite enlightening, new and refreshing. Perhaps it is good to turn around and go the other way for a while!
I happened to attend a men's breakfast organised by my church yesterday which initiated the impetus to do the above bike ride. It was the first time in many years that I had been to a 'Christian' thing and not come away emotionally upset, angry or frustrated. I think I am learning to settle down a little now and forming a method of coping and existing in such environments. I think yesterday I approached worship in a different way so that I could participate in a more accepting and tolerant way. For me it is about looking at the words of modern day 'choruses' and looking for the mystical, ecological, elemental and natural references that can be reinterpreted into a sort of eco-cosmic-pagan interpretation. I was mildly surprised at how much symbolism and terminology can be cross-referenced. For example: we sang a popular church chorus that contains the lines 'Shout to the North and the South, Sing to the East and the West'. Now that did remind me of something to do with the casting of circles that I have come across in my readings elsewhere...
Everyone has story. Each is as valid as one another's. Acceptance of this is important. Our story forms us into who we are up to the present moment.
Why is it that so much of a hang up in Christian circles about people not being worthy or having low value? It feels as though there is an ingrained concept of negativity that pervades the faith that teaches people they have no worth apart from their worth in God. This frustrates me because from an 'original blessing' view I would never teach this - it almost encourages the devaluing of people and who they are. I'm probably deeply wrong on this, but I'm not putting forward a well thought through argument on the case here as it needs more indepth theology and thinking!