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By Lisa Wechtenhiser

I live in a somewhat conservative “good ole boy” area of Maryland. Now and again, I’ll see these lawn signs saying “Repent Now!” or “Beg for forgiveness! You are not worthy to be in front of the Lord”.
Every time I read them, I hear this huge CLANNNNNNG!! in my ear. It’s almost as if someone is walking behind me with a steel mallet banging on pots and pans.

That CLANNNNNG! signifies that whatever I’ve seen, read or heard is not a ‘truth’ for me. Now, I don’t get it all the time, mind you. (Or else I’d probably be sitting in a cell rocking back and forth!) but often enough that I know what it means to me.

A short detour

I first heard it when I attended a class for those who were joining the Catholic faith. Raised in the Catholic tradition (twelve years of Catholic school gave me my awesome writin’ skillz, yo!), I stepped away from it early on because it didn’t make sense to me. I just attended the class with my cousin (a devout Catholic) to see what had changed, if anything.

Not surprisingly (to me), nothing had changed and it resonated even less with me than it ever had. The CLANG! came when the priest said that the only place God was present was in the holy tabernacle. And that you had to come to church to speak to God. I was all “NO YOU DON’T!” and almost stood up to say that but I love my cousin and didn’t want to embarrass her in her own church and besides, that’s their truth, it’s just not mine.

See, I’ve always believed that you could speak to God / Creator / Spirit any time you wanted in any place you wanted. That was the nature of God as I understood it. Omnipresent: at all places at the same time (pretty cool party trick, eh?) You could summon Creator’s attention any time you wanted or needed it. (I don’t know how I came to this conclusion but it was present in me always, as long as I can remember.)

So yeah, back to the story

I know that we all seek a path to peace in our own way and in our own time. I know this with my head and my heart. But I still hate seeing anything (signs, stuff on Facebook, billboards) that implies that God (Creator / Spirit / Universe) is in any way punitive or judging. (I wrote about my lack of belief in any kind of hell or devil back in August.)

Yes, I know what the Bible says.

And I still don’t buy it. I don’t believe in original sin and the concept that we are all sinners and had to be saved in some fashion. Just cannot believe that. (Blasphemy! I know.)

It’s just this feeling in my soul that we are not here to be “less than” or to be “saved” from our own heathen temptations.

As I understand it, we are here as part of the ALL THAT IS to evolve our soul into the highest and best it can be before we return back to Source. We are not here as lowly sinners who have to grovel before another to beg for forgiveness. We are here to shine! How can you shine if you see yourself as deficient in some way from the get-go?

I’m not denigrating any religious practice at all. Like I said, we each find our own way and what helps us walk a path of peace. My path of peace involves trusting in the goodness of the Universe to support me as I grow and learn. Because if I’m wrong and I’ll be smited (smote?) for all my grievances and wrong-doings in this life, what harm have I done by believing in the goodness? I’d rather believe in that than the opposite.

What an interesting world we’d live in if we all started from a place of wholeness and love. No one would need any kind of “saving”, we’d acknowledge our misdeeds and work to do better not because some mythical mean “Sky-Daddy” is going to be mad at us but because it’s a way to learn and grown and evolve our beautiful soul.

What if we stepped into the belief that Creator wishes for all of us to be every single wonderful thing we came here to be?

How would your life change if you took that perspective?

I know this is sticking my toe into the deep waters of religious beliefs and if it’s pinged yours, I’d love to hear about it. You can agree with me, disagree with me, or share something in-between in the comment section.

I’ll also invite you to email me (lisa[at]practicallyintuitive.com) if you want to share your thoughts in private.