Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Changing Everything

People seem to be more attracted to spiritual paths that have clear and definite entry rules, but the same people don't really want to change...everything.  In Christianity, the first Pope, Peter, tells people in Acts of the Apostles, to repent, be baptized and you get the Holy Spirit, whatever that may be.  So, lots of Christians get baptized.  That is it.  Repent?  That would require they change their entire way of acting, and thinking.  You are supposed to change your life, not just your club membership or tribal group.  But not to be stuck in only Christianity, lets go to AA.  Membership?  Simply the desire to stop drinking.  I know a lot of people who drink too much, but want to stop drinking.  I guess that qualifies as a member.  But no one is going to become transformed into all the goodness and humanity of which they are capable simply by wanting to stop drinking or in Christianity, to get baptized.  Affiliation is not transformative.  It can be a beginning.  You have to do the work so that you can change your life.  Repent is to turn around and go in a different, better direction.  You become this better person when you are kind, forgiving, compassionate and patient in spite of what actions or inactions others around you do.  Your best self is unconditional.  It does not require others to praise, thank or act better.  You are about changing you, not them.  How hard can twelve steps be?  Very hard, but worth the effort.  The Gospel?  Very hard.  I fail more than I succeed, but there is always hope.

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