July to December 2018Parsonage Parables

Navigating Our Worlds

For the past several years, I’ve worked with church-affiliated organizations. I’m now working with a non-profit that is not religiously or church affiliated. It is a great non-profit that has multi-faceted programming and empowerment activities for girls, but simply not a religious-based organization.

In my new world, we have gone to lunch a couple times and no one prays. I don’t close my email messages with “Blessings” or tell people they are in my prayers. People don’t link me to a scripture verse or a theological book they’ve read. It’s not bad, just different than patterns I’ve built over the past several years.

Don’t we all navigate different worlds? The parent world. The grandparent world. The child world. The friend world. The workplace world. Our spiritual or religious world. Our social media world. The going to a hockey game and shouting world. The beverage with adults world. The on the way to work and “you’re the worst driver in the world” world.

In the midst of our navigation, it’s also about how our worlds intersect. Can we live out our private faith in our public life? Can we temper our actions, knowing they don’t fit our beliefs? Can we model behavior that provides better examples? Can we do what’s right, regardless? Can we navigate our worlds to be more closely aligned?

There may always be some tension between our religious and secular worlds. In the end, it’s not all bad. We don’t have to let our food get cold while everyone looks at their shoes, hoping someone will step up and pray.

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