Religion is about relationships, not about requirements. The first relationship is with God, of course. The second relationship is with your fellow congregants, which includes the minister; the minister, he or she, is merely a fellow congregant helping guide us to a stronger faith, allowing us to serve each other, serve others, and in doing so, serve God. God does not want us to serve Him, He wants us to serve others, and in doing so, we are in fact serving God here on earth.
Here is what my relationships have done for me.
My name is spoken, either by a fellow parishioner, even by God, and I am ready to face the day. I know that I am loved. I listen for others’ voices, knowing that their words are spoken either in love or in need; I respond to both with passion, and I know that others, as I do, speak in love or speak in need; both merit loving responses. I cannot allow ignorance of their needs to be bypassed, for we live in harmony with each other, and harmony cannot exist in a void.
I believe in miracles; I also believe in angels. I have experienced both. I also believe that we are angels to each other. We are shaped by our relationships because each person we meet and remember becomes a mentor, who bring us closer to God. We each have a vision; my vision is different than your vision. My vision is shared by God, as is yours.
Unfortunately, being flawed humans, our plans sometimes fall apart. It is during these times when God’s angel step forward to help us, help us to get back on the right track, help us to attain our vision. God’s angel is Love, and this Love may come from the relationship you have with others in your relationships. . . with God and with Grace.
I attend church; my church is not so much about the rules other men have set for the religion. Man’s rules may not necessarily be God’s rules. My religion is the people I share my love and my relationships with. My religion is agape love. My religion is God.
© Russell Kendall Carter