rock

My mom loves to say the Apostles’ Creed during Sunday worship.

Really? you may say. Usually people say their favorite part of a worship service was the prayer or singing or even the children’s moment that is popular in mainline churches.

Yeah, she likes the creed! It’s a touchstone for her, a place to stake her claim once a week in this crazy little thing called life. It’s a ritual that brings meaning and light.

I understand a lot of people resist creeds and religious rituals, worrying that if they participate in those things they’ll lose their independence. I understand the fear of indoctrination.

What I have trouble understanding is why people would resist having a touchstone or foundation in their lives. “I don’t need a crutch,” people sometimes say to me. Well, tonight I read a passionate essay from a punk rock artist who has rejected the idea of God– yet he writes about studying world religions and finding a home in music. He writes about growing up, and about what grounds him in his adult life. Sure, I wish he’d rethink some of his claims, but I appreciated his honest story about searching for something solid and meaningful.

At some point we’re all going to feel the ground shifting beneath us, literally or symbolically. It may even feel as though the ground has disappeared. Why would anyone reject a ledge to cling to at such a time?

It doesn’t bother me at all to use words that someone else wrote as part of my foundation. Honestly, I think if you polled people who say they feel grounded, you would find they are using words or ideas or traditions they didn’t create. When I really feel groundless, going back to Scripture or poetry or even good old theology texts renews my thinking. What dulls the blade for me is constant preoccupation with my own opinions (this blog not withstanding, wink wink.)

So where’s your rock? It could be right under your feet, but you were too busy looking for something more impressive, so you didn’t notice it. It could be a rock someone else already used and found to be steady. Why not try it out?

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