November 15–Faith: Your Place In the Scheme of Things–Part 2

Faith is whatever helps you know and understand your place in the larger scheme of things.

There are a variety of things that can help us do this.  I have to admit that that variety of possibilities gives me some pause for concern.

Some folks insist on an authoritative source that tells them their place in the scheme of things.  This authoritative source can vary:  it can be sacred scriptures.  It can be a traditional hierarchical ruler like the Pope, bishops, clergy, The Buddha, a revered Imam, an often quoted rabbi or even a tradition of teachings like church councils, creeds or the Mishna.

It has been my experience that this approach also comes with a hierarchical system that too often sets some people in positions of judgment and superiority over others.  In helping one know one’s place in the larger scheme of things, others must become outsiders and inferiors and sets up systems of injustice.

If an authoritative source is problematic in helping me understand my place in the larger scheme of things, what does help me understand my place in the larger scheme of things?

What helps you make sense of your place in the scheme of things today?

I begin to look at those things and those people to whom I am drawn, where I feel a pull to invest myself, in a book, in teaching a class, in designing a ritual for a small group, to paint a picture or create a garden.  I begin to hear in the things that call me some echo of my place in the larger scheme of things.

My own life seems to have a trajectory that is important to listen to.  How do you answer the question?

Bob Patrick

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