I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never owned a passport because I have never gone anywhere that requires one. I am not a world traveler. A passport enables a sojourner to enter into countries and cultures that are foreign, unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable. Stepping into unfamiliar terrain changes one forever; it opens doors of consciousness and awareness that broaden one’s view of our world.
Though I have not had that experience geographically, I have travelled, spiritually, miles and miles from my “hometown” Christian fundamentalist religion. I find myself almost evangelical about the tremendous benefit I have gained from journeys into unfamiliar spiritual/religious territory.
Just as seasoned world travelers likely look at me, she who has never been farther than Hawaii, with compassion approaching pity I find myself having similar feelings for people who have yet to venture beyond their childhood religion. I am convinced that thousands of such folk are perfectly content to remain rooted in a legalistic, fundamentalist Christianity, and I respect their choice. On the other hand, I so want Biblical literalists to know there is an alternative way to embrace faith that opens doors and windows of consciousness and love, revealing an ever-expanding view of God and humankind.
When I was in my 20’s a psychotherapist asked me what I really wanted to do. I heard myself saying things like, “I want to encourage other people. I want to exhort people to never give up, to trust in a Higher Good, to believe in themselves….” He looked at me and said, “You want to be an evangelist.” I cringed and thought no, no, no. He was so right.
I want to encourage people whose childhoods were similar to mine to find the willingness to explore, venture out, try the waters of unfamiliar religions, philosophies, and spiritualties until they land in the terrain of authenticity rather than orthodoxy, and then go deeper and wider. I’m passionate about it.
If you should see me standing on a soapbox on the corner of the square, please stop and say hi, and then call my husband to come get me.