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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Texas Faith : How would you describe your search for meaning?
The meaning of life is buried inside us. Like radar, it is scanning for all the things in its range. When it finds them, then it hones in on them. It’s like falling in love. We have no logical explanation as to why we fall in love with a person, and there is no rhyme or reason for it either - Mike Ghouse.
TEXAS FAITH: How would you describe your search for meaning?
By Bill McKenzie / Editorial Columnist
5:51 pm on November 26, 2013 | Permalink
This Sally Quinn essay essay from The Washington Post struck me as a provocative piece. In writing about the search for meaning in our lives, she describes an anti-pastor, an anti-gay atheist and Billy Graham at the end of his career.
The piece is worth the read if only for the part about the “tattooed Lutheran pastor, weight lifter, stand-up comic, former alcoholic and drug addict and hard-swearing Nadia Bolz-Weber.”
At the end, Quinn, in talking about the search for meaning, asks: Aren’t we all searching for community and wonder? How would you answer that question? How would you describe your search for meaning?
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
The tattooed Lutheran pastor’s hard-swearing language has an appeal to a segment of the population that prefers to be free from the restrictive mannerism, clothing, language and environment of places of worship.
One of the unstated purposes of going to a place of worship or joining a group is to search for meaning in life. Indeed, this reminds me of a great song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places” by country singer Johnny Lee.
The meaning of life is buried inside us. Like radar, it is scanning for all the things in its range. When it finds them, then it hones in on them. It’s like falling in love. We have no logical explanation as to why we fall in love with a person, and there is no rhyme or reason for it either.
So, we are searching for meaning in all the wrong places until we connect with one. In the process, we make temporary connections with whoever can give us purpose until we align perfectly. We go to known places like churches, spiritual centers, and charities to serve, and also go on drugs, alcohol and other negative activities.
I am glad to read about the pastor, many of us may not like the language, but that pastor is giving a sense of belonging and meaning to lost souls, who would otherwise not connect with anyone.
Thanks to the Internet for liberating us. The more we know, the less we will buy into exclusive claims of truth. We are more likely to run from places of worship that downgrade other forms of worship.
The purpose of any beautiful religion is to bring meaning in one’s life. As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, faith is in the heart of the believer. It is the control freaks in each faith that make religion an instrument of power and struggle, instead of freedom and liberation.
Twenty years ago, my search connected me with the idea of Pluralism. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us on the planet, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Later in 1996, I established the Foundation for Pluralism, which is dedicated to studies in social and religious pluralism. Thank God, I am blessed and found the purpose in my life.
To read the responses from all the Texas Faith Panelists, please go to Dallas Morning News at: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2013/11/texas-faith-how-would-you-describe-your-search-for-meaning.html/#more-32184
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.