I've been at my parents' house these past few days, and time at my parents' means one thing: awesomely long conversations with Papa.
(For the sake of non-family members reading here, I'll clarify that Papa is what I call my beloved step father. And because Papa does not have a common noun form - "my papa" does not sound right to me - I'll refer to him here as "my step-dad". Don't be mad, Papa, I love you!)
Anyway, getting back on task.
As usual, we got around to one of our great ongoing dialogues: faith and religion.
To crudely simplify both of our world views, my step-dad is primarily concerned with the eternal souls of his community, while I'm mostly concerned with their ephemeral existence as carbon-based life forms.
This usually comes up in one way or another when we chat and it's got we wondering: why am I not more concerned about the eternal fate of my community? It's not totally clear to me, given that I do believe that we all, in some way, continue to exist after our death.
In the end, I think it's because I believe that being fully expressed, fully human, fully alive, that living truly into the image of God - these are things that we learn to do slowly. I have a hard time with trap doors of any kind. I can't believe that we will be instantly perfected after death anymore than I can believe we'll be instantly damned.
I think the process of knowing God is slow and has a lot to do with learning to live well, right here on this planet.
And so, I'll continue to focus on the very terrestrial concerns of human beings: doing work we love, living with people we love. I'll keep doing this work and keep and eye out for a path that might lead me back to the divine.