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LETTER TO THE GARDENS:
Spirituality Vs. Religion
LETTER TO THE GARDENS:
In the first portion of this two-part article, I invited Gardens’ readers to consider the relationship of “Religion” to “Spirituality,” aware that some consider themselves spiritual while others focus in on their religious connections. Of course I would argue that, in our need to be non-dualistic (choosing one or the other), it is both ideal and quite realistic to have the very best of both worlds—no pun intended.
In Part II, I would ask the reader to contemplate the concept of “spirituality” as it might be considered to be the very essence of his/her being, innate to us and the very force that drives us to be the very best image of who we are meant to become – the very image of God, Him/Herself.
Matthew Fox, a wonderful spiritual writer, reminds us that when we consider the most elemental and deeply spiritual aspects of our being, we are speaking of “creativity.” Whether we are focusing on education, politics, worship or everyday life and relationships, multiple benefits to our human culture evolve. Creativity touches us at our most intimate moments – intimacy with self, intimacy with God the Creative Spirit and intimacy with others.
Fox reflectively states in one of his many insightful books, Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet, “To speak of creativity is to speak of profound intimacy. It is also to speak of our connecting to the Divine in us and of our bringing the Divine back to the community.” He says that such is true whether we understand our creativity to be begetting and nourishing children, making music, doing theater, gardening, teaching, running a business, painting, constructing houses, sharing the healing arts of medicine and therapy or any number of other concepts. Did you ever think of yourself as a co-creator with God? When you work to make or produce anything, using your God-given gift of imagination, be assured that you truly are God’s co-creator.
Such Divine intimacy flows through us, urging us to become even larger in mind and spirit. It is accompanied by risk, surprise and the courage needed for both. Such brings renewal, resurrection (remember Easter?) and reconciliation with it.
As the Day and season of Pentecost is upon us, be aware of God’s Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Creativity.
Pastor Leo McIlrath,
Ecumenical and Interfaith Chaplain
The Lutheran Home of Southbury