We had a wonderful dinner at our home the other night with a couple of friends, Ben and Tina, and four of my children - Rachel, Nathan, Aaron and Levi. This was only the second time that Rachel has had dinner in our home, and the first time she has been here with Nathan. It was almost surreal to me to see and experience this; for it had been several years since I had experienced them together.
I wrote in my journal the next day how words failed as I contemplated how wonderful it was to see Rachel sitting at the keyboard in the living room, playing while Nathan knelt next to her, singing. I don't think I'd ever seen that before, even when they were younger. It meant so much to me to see them together and to see them in *our* living room, a part of my life, a part of our life.
Another first came a bit later when Rachel decided to make gravy to go with the pot roast Mark had prepared in the slow cooker and the mashed potatoes that Tina had brought. She had never been in our kitchen, and to see her there was ... so satisfying, so warming.
Then to watch Tina and Rachel talk about the secrets of making good gravy. Such simple things, but heartwarming to a dad who has missed these kinds of interactions with his children for so long.
On an unrelated note, I have been reading, along with several other books, Wayne Dyer's book on the Way of the Tao. There was a time when this material was totally unapproachable by me. I started to read this book a year or so ago and just couldn't get into it. Now, however, it's different. And I see that as a good thing. It means I'm progressing along my spiritual path.
As I was reading about the Tao, a couple of thoughts floated into my head, or rather questions.
First, why do we insist on "anthropomorphizing" God? We simply cannot abide the notion that "God" may simply be a creative and energizing force, an essence. We insist that "he" be a "man" like us. After all, even most rank and file traditional Christians (as opposed to Mormonism which has taken the anthropomorphizing thing to a whole new level) view God as a kindly old man.
Second, why do we insist that we must be judged and found wanting and punished?
As I wrote these questions down in my journal, I thought back on the days of my youth, especially my freshman year at Illinois Wesleyan University, and on the intellectual curiosity I had and the feeding I felt. I explored questions such as the ones I've just described and many more besides.
Then it occurred to me that I am exploring again all these concepts and ideas after all these years because it's as thought my mind - the intellectually curious part - has been in deep freeze for most of my adult life. For when I joined the Mormon Church, curiosity and openness was replaced with certainty and closed thinking - at least insofar as it related to spiritual matters and theology.
Now, it's like the ice has thawed and I am re-awakening. I am exploring thoughts and concepts now, in my 50's, that most people my age would have processed long ago. In one way, it's exhilarating and liberating. In another sense, it also feels a bit weird, like doing so is not "age appropriate." But I'm going to focus on exhilaration and liberation and pick up where I left off 30 years ago.