Wednesday, November 18, 2015

God stuff

So, when I obsess over a post over a period of time, writing and rewriting it in my head while I try to sleep, I figure it's actually a post I need to get out of my brain and onto the screen.  Kind of like a brain pimple.

And what a lovely way to start a post in which I talk about God(dess).  I'm so uncomfortable writing this that I wonder if I'll even publicize this post (I will.  But I might delete it).  So why write about it?  See the first paragraph.

So, I'm of the Baptist flavor in which we are encouraged to be our own priest as well as priests to others.  To me, this means I get to think about the things I hear and interpret them for myself and that's my spiritual truth.  This is in stark contrast to Baptist flavors in which the preacher tells you what to believe and if you don't you're going straight to hell (something, that may not be so). I apologize deeply and profusely if my stereotype of other Baptist flavors is wrong.  (I'm serious about that)  Please inform me if that is not true.  One of the benefits/challenges of being a psychology professor with a spiritual practice is  knowledge of the pervasive and strong natural human tendency to favor our group and disparage others. 

So ANYHOO, what has been keeping me up a night and causing me to obsess over this blog post?  This!  This following thing I've been thinking about and has sparked a truth for me that I really like.  And WRITING IT UP MAKES ME SOUND LIKE THE BIGGEST GOOBER IN THE WORLD!!! Yes, I'm shouting!  I don't how to write the next sentence without sound so pretentious and stupid!  ACK!

Here goes.

So The Lord's Prayer.  ((See?!  Right!??!  What the heck)) Anyway, I'm still typing cause I'm still digging this.  Here is *my* walking-along-my-spiritual-path interpretation of the Lord's Prayer as someone who has a spiritual practice, is a psychologist, and writes a lot herself.  As I understand it, this is the only prayer Jesus taught his disciples, so it seems important, eh?  Well, here we go.

1.  Our Father who art in heaven/ Hallowed be thy name.

My interpretation (MI):  "Dear God, You are holy."  Personally, I don't know what "holy" is (i.e., how to operationalize it) but God(dess) is It.

2.  Thy Kingdom come/Thy will be done/On earth as it is in heaven.

MI:  Jesus is going to die in a few days.  Note that he doesn't say "I'm going to heaven!!  Nah nah nah nah boo boo!"  Instead he says "Let Heaven come to earth."  I can imagine some disciple saying "Rabbi, what do you mean?" And as I imagine it Jesus slapping Peter (who I think would ask such a question) in the back of the head and going "DUDE!!  What the Hell (Ha!), do you think I've been doing for the last 3 years or so?  I've been showing you what God's Will--um, Kingdom: Heaven!--is supposed to be!  Love, forgiveness, health, compassion, food, equality, power for the oppressed, mercy. Doing these things. That's what God(dess) wants. REALLY!?"  Jesus (in my mind) is a bit frustrated by this point.

3.  Give us this day our daily bread.

MI:  May we all have enough to eat.  Not a big house with lots of money in the bank--WHICH I WOULD REALLY LIKE--but may we all have enough to eat.  That's it.  That's the bar we're supposed to be aiming for:  enough to eat.

4.  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

MI:  We are all human and we say and do stupid things (sometimes on Facebook) or we don't say the right thing and don't do the right thing (pretty much anywhere).  We are human and that's what humans do.  Thank you for pointing that God(dess) knows that and we're forgiven.  And as a reminder, let's note that all the other humans here on earth do and say stupid things (often on Facebook) and they don't say or do the right things in real life and we should acknowledge they are humans, too, and let it go.

5. And lead is not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

MI:  Even though we are all human, don't make it any easier for us to be jerks.  And keep us away from Really Bad People and Events (and thank you for the unfriend button when it gets too bad).

6.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.


  • Sincerely, Jesus
  • TTFN, Jesus
  • You da man, brah!
  • See you in a few, Your son, Jesus.  
I'll be honest with you.  Should I have been editing this back in the day, I would have said "You're right.  You can't just from Deliver us from Evil to Ciao.  But this sentence doesn't really fit with the others.  It is not simple nor direct.  You need a sign off.  But you've already said You're holy.  This sentence doesn't add much.  Why don't you think about it a little more, work on this line a bit and see what you can come up with."  You know.  Because I'm a professor.  And I edit.  EVERYTHING.  Maybe in the future I'll see the brilliance of it (said every Grad student whose paper I've ever edited), but now?  Meh.  

So, um, yeah.  

Bizarre topic for this blog, eh?  But I do think about this a lot.  And I do try to gather lessons from it.  And if anything, I can now put some Clearasil on my brain and start obsessing on some other topic.  

Cause, you know, that's how I roll.  


Evelin said...

I agree with most of your interpretation except for two, for which I slightly differ. Maybe just two sides of the same coin.

Thy Kingdom come/Thy will be done/On earth as it is in heaven.

Thy Kingdom come -- I (human person Evelin) am going to die soon (relatively speaking) and will be headed up to heaven.
Thy will be done -- So I'll do what you ask of me -- that is, I'll try to love my neighbor like myself. Love one another. That is god's will.
On earth as it is in heaven -- Love everybody on earth just like you would in heaven.

I like saying the lord's prayer and the hail mary. Even though I don't really believe in god.

Evelin said...

Oh, and number 6. Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory now and forever, Amen.

Less thought about this in my head but this feels like a promise from me to god that I won't worship other gods like ZEUS and his entourage.

Anita Blanchard said...

I'm actually getting a LOT out of what folks are sharing with me about this prayer. Lucky me to write and get all the blessings/support.

Kat West said...

Interesting! Thanks!

Lindsay Baran said...

This was a great book for me on the ways that we are to respond -- what we should do -- with the Our Father.