So, I have come to this spot in my path, now in the early months of 2013. As anyone knows who lives their life consciously as a journey, the path doesn’t end; it continues. And so my own trek continues. Where it will lead, only Spirit knows. And he isn’t telling! At least not the big picture. I find he leads step by step. We only need to see the next small bit of where we are going. We can trust that he is the one who holds the entire picture in mind and knows where he is leading us.
Please, dear reader, view this little exercise as a snapshot in time. There will be more to the road than shared here. I continued to put off posting this final chapter in my life’s story which I call, Out of Winkler. I am so aware of how much more there is to learn, of how much farther I have yet to go on this road of discovery. But I also feel the need to bring this particular saga to an end! And so I post what I call “Conclusion”, knowing that it is in no way any sort of conclusion, just the point where I am now, the place in the road where I have come to at this time.
As I continue down the trail, I will be sharing further experiences on my blog on the Urban Monk website, under the “Journal” heading. It has been an exciting hike thus far; I expect the excitement to only increase as we all head down the path. There are lots of predictions about this time which we live in. Who knows what may yet transpire?
What is clear to me is that old paradigms no longer apply. I get into discussions over some of my ideas, and I find that I am continually put into categories under old paradigms such as liberal/conservative. If I am talking with someone who views them self as conservative, and I espouse ideas they cannot accept, I am labelled as “liberal”. I certainly do not view myself as a “liberal” Christian! I consider myself still firmly in the “conservative” camp. However, I recognize that my open-mindedness may be viewed askance as quite “liberal” by some. Perhaps a label I could accept was one we sort of adopted in the 1970’s, and that is “radical”. (See my chapters on that era, around chapter three.) I can easily consider myself a radical conservative evangelical Christian.
One paradigm on which I sense myself moving from one end to the other might be a paradigm on revealed truth. If you mark the ends of this continuum as biblical truth on one end, and spiritual truth at the other, then I can accept that I am moving radically along this line. Most of my life I received truth as it was revealed in scripture. I spent great amounts of energy and time studying the Bible, praying and meditating, searching for truth as God was revealing it through his book. “God’s will” was a constant topic of discussion.
As I have moved through life, documented in the previous chapters of Out of Winkler, I have increasingly begun to accept truth as it is revealed through experience, both mine and others’ experiences. I cannot view myself any longer as a “person of the book”, or a “book Christian”. This viewpoint I see as limiting, and even a hindrance to my growth as a spiritual person. I do not reject biblical writings. I see the problem more as one of traditional Church interpretations of the Bible.
And I do not see the Bible as the only truth, the only source of truth. God continues to speak to people today. Just look at some of my blogs on this website and you will see that I accept truth coming to us in many ways. And I think God’s Spirit is increasing his contact with us, teaching more and more, and teaching us more quickly than ever before. So I guess it would be fair to say that the end of this continuum which I am moving out of could be labelled as book, legal, law type of faith. The end toward which I continually feel myself drawn could be labelled as Spirit, divine, spiritual. And in my trusting walk down this path, I no longer feel an urgent need to have all the answers. That need was certainly part of my journey when I was closer to the book end (pun intended?!!!) of the paradigm. The way I view this at present is that my faith was very much based on my intellect, my ability to figure out the answers, my ability to understand. Now I see my part in this as really a simple trust. I trust Spirit to lead, to show me the way, to use me as it sees fit. I allow my life to unfold bit by bit as it is meant to unfold.
As I come to the end of this part of my spiritual journey I do sense an increasing urgency from Spirit. We have been given tasks to do. There is a reason why each of us is on earth at this particular time, in our own particular location. We must be about those tasks, whether they are big, or small and seemingly insignificant. The part each of us agreed to play is of utmost importance, not only to our own spiritual life and well-being, but also to the well-being of the planet, and indeed the entire universe. It is time to be awake, grow in our spiritual consciousness, reach out to aid each other on the path, and thus fulfill our destinies.