Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Did you say: "Religion?"

I "shared" this on FB, and, as you can see, was even brave enough to add a status update with it.

Possibly people will  have a couple of reactions:
  1. What? She "likes" the Dalai Lama on Facebook?
  2. What? She "shared" that status update?
  3. I thought she was a Christian.
I call myself a follower of Christ. For me, being called a Christian has too much baggage. Arrogance, hyprocrisy and judgemental attitudes are attached to it. None of which reflect the person of Christ.

Friends who truly know me. Know me. That's all I will say about that.  :)

I am not sure exactly what I find interesting:
  • perhaps it's that he says all these faiths "promote inner values" - yet, he lists fruit of the spirit as a "tool" to further this. 
  • perhaps it's that he has realised that "grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate." Was it ever adequate?
  • The most interesting thing to me is his last sentence: "...I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether."

I have found myself mulling over this sentence all day. When I think of "religion" - immediately I think of rules of trying to do all the right things to be a good Christian. It's conjures up pictures of duty and obligation.

If we are to consider that religion (as he sees it) is no longer able to make people behave ethically or morally - I wonder when (or if) he will recognise that the Holy Spirit is the source of the qualities such as love, peace, compassion, forgiveness....  and when we are in Christ, there is no more "trying to be a good Christian" and trying to keep all the rules, because our position and relationship with God in Christ is certain through grace. As we journey in this walk of spirituality, we become more like him, reflecting these qualities so needed in the world today. 

It's a journey not of ethics through religion, but of love through grace.

I just love this picture.
It shows that people of different journeys can be friends without having to defend their faith.
Instead they enjoy one another's company and share their lives and spiritual walk together.

I realise that this sounds pretty jumbled and I reserve the right to alter my thinking at any time. I do however have immense respect for this man, his desire for peace and his search for truth.   

Monday, September 10, 2012

Well Done London!

Just like that, it's all over.  I think my couch has b-hind imprints on it, and I seriously considered moving the fridge into the lounge so I wouldn't have to move....(just kidding, but you get the idea!?)

I wonder how long it took them to rehearse those opening and closing ceremonies, how to schedule the people and the times - what an incredible job London, and the UK, you can be so proud of yourselves!

Some of my favourite memories.... I know I am leaving tons out...

  • Chad le Clos, of course - who wouldn't just melt at that finish, and when he was on the podium, seeing that chin giving way to all that emotion. I bet every mom in the world would have wanted to throw their arms around him and tell him how proud they are... (actually, judging from school, I think a lot of girls would have wanted to just throw their arms around him. Period!)  His father just crept into our hearts and conversations overnight.

  • The Ugandan Kiprotech who won the Mens marathon - who ever would have thought I would sit and watch an entire marathon, but I did.  Same with the X-Country Cycle watching our guy, Burrie Stander, who I have nicknamed the "Comeback Kid" - just never gave up! Our lightweight Fours and Bridgette Hartley all at home on water and did so well!

  • Oh my goodness -Jamaica... what can I say. Yohan Blake, my Jamaican hero, (who incidentally rang the bell for our opening cricket match against England!) but those guys are athletes AND showmen!

  • Loved watching Mo Farrah run and win! What a favourite he was!
  • Watching Oscar run in the Olympics and making history and our golden girl Caster who did us proud too!

All of our SA athletes were awesome and there were just so many magical moments!

One of the funniest things I heard on a USA broadcast was this:
 The News  Announcer said: "Spoiler Alert. If you don't want to know the results of this event, 
mute your TV now". Then proceeded to put up the picture of the winner and all the details.

I loved, loved, loved the Freddy Mercury bit at the closing ceremony - wished I was there for that!

The paralympics though, just finished me off. I think I have cried more in the last few weeks with this than I have in years! Its incredibly humbling and doubly inspiring watching people who are living their lives not feeling sorry for themselves but are literally taking life by the horns and giving it "what for". 

Our paralympians did fantastically, too many too mention, but one close to home is Achmat Hassiem who got bronze in swimming after he had his leg taken off by a shark at one of our local beaches some years back. At the time he was a life saver at that beach and after the incident he didn't give up on anything, but just went ahead and did even greater things!

Watching sprints done by blind people with a guide - who even thought that was possible! Watching backstroke by some who have almost no arms, and then win!?  It's amazing, inspiring and changes the way one sees one's own challenges.

I will bore you if I go on about this now - but suffice it to say - again, LONDON: You rocked it. Thanks to all the volunteers from those upfront and those behind the scenes who officiated, organised and councelled.

You did a great job,you really, really did!