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Zen and Awol

Once I had made a comment on FB and as a result, my brother-in-law questioned my faith in God. I was taken aback because I've always considered myself to be a strong believer. Perhaps it's my perspective that confuses people.

Back when I was young, I was raised in a faith that didn't allow for the study of other religions, to the point of ordering you to leave if your beliefs are challenged. I see this is a means of mental control. A trap, if you will, once in you are no longer allowed to question or compare. I knew this to be wrong even as a young teen. So the first chance I got, I went out into the world in hopes of learning more; after all if the choice of faith was as important as I was raised to think, your eternal soul depends on it.

So I've studied a lot of different religions and in the end if I were to sum up my beliefs in a word, I guess it would have to be Theism. That is, in the broadest sense, the belief that at least one deity exists. That when man makes the rules, he does so to benefit himself or his organisation.

I'm writing this because about a week ago I had what I call a moment of Zen. Where for reasons beyond explanation, things went extraordinarily well. Though at the moment we didn't know this to be true. My wife and I were washing our bedding and had thrown the sheets and pillowcases in the wash. With the linens off, we took off the mattress cover and checked the underlying bits since it's a couch that becomes a bed. We discovered that the mattress cover also needed a good wash. Had we known this, we would have started with it since we could have just gotten fresh sheets from the closet, whereas we needed the mattress cover back in place by bedtime. But we took it in stride and washed the additional stuff after.

Now we needed this additional stuff to dry before it was time for bed or we would have really been in a spot. Fortunately the weather was scorching hot and the breeze was strong. Perfect weather for drying. Mind you, if you’re an American reading this and wondering why not just throw the washing in the dryer, the answer is that we typically don't have dryers here. Instead, we save energy by drying our clothes on bamboo poles or clotheslines. So the fact that it all dried in time was a real blessing. The bit that made this really obvious was in the days since then the temperature has dropped significantly and we have had torrential rain each day since.

Zen. It was about forces beyond our control giving us just what we needed, exactly when we needed it. Even if we didn’t know it then.

Then as I was writing this, my father-in-law walked in and mentioned that there was a contest on the radio with prizes worth $372 if you can complete a sentence correctly. “40% of Americans have never done this…” So I called in I just won the contest! And will be receiving private pilates coaching and a goodie pack inclusive of workout equipment, energy bars, etc. Another Zen moment as I was only days ago mentioning to my wife how I should consider looking for some stretching exercises to improve my flexibility. By the way, the answer was “visited a dentist”.

I'm not saying I have the answers of the universe, or that my belief is better than anyone else’s. I'm just sharing my experiences and offering the idea that if you have never looked at what other faiths have to offer, then perhaps you should. Since after all your eternity might depend on getting it right.

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