You have questions, I [might] have answers!

Hi all!

I have a few posts that I will be putting up this week, but for now I will be making a blog post that’ll come out ONE WEEK FROM NOW Monday, May the 23rd addressing whatever questions you might have for me.

Sure it sounds cheesy, and some of your questions may indeed be cheesy, but as a sometimes Redditor I dig the AskMeAnything subReddit very much.

So ask away, leave no stone unturned! I will speak my truth to the most truthiness level ever.

Onward and upward,
Nathanael

Questioning everything as a spiritual exercise; day 20 of Ramadan

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Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

The other day my small group and I started a new book together; David Dark’s The Sacredness of Questioning Everything. I’ve read parts of this book before, but I am excited to go over it in a group context, for discussion and dialogue’s sake.

I have been in this community for a while now and I already have gathered that we’re from different places and perspectives in life. Different places and different perspectives aren’t bad things, it’s just part of life and it happens because we our experiences and perspectives make us inasmuch as we have influence (to a certain extent) to shape and create our experiences and perspectives.
One quote from the book that has resonated with me since reading it again is this:
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Questioning is okay, do you know it? Do you accept it as so or do you just let the chips fall where they may? Because whether you do or don’t allow room for questioning, even if you don’t there will be others who do! And how then do you live with that tension that might come out of questioning? Do you allow it or do you snuff it out before others start questioning as well?
I hope you allow room in your life to question and to allow others to question because it is human to question. Questioning spurs us on to seek out resolution, to not stay complacent and seek out better, it is what propelled us to explore the world and it is what still propels us to space exploration.
Questioning keeps things afresh, anew. It helps us to realize there’s more to life than just us, it helps us grasp that we’re not alone in this world, it points us to an interconnectedness between ourselves and others.

So with questions about life, question them, questions about where we’re going, question them, questions about heaven and hell, question them, question about God, question them, questions about whether God exists, question them, questions about what this is all for, question them, questions about love and goodness and beauty and hate and evil and why things go awfully wrong sometimes and other times it seems all so perfect, again…question all of them and question everything.

We might find the answers we’re looking for, we might not find the answers we’re looking for, and perhaps we’ll even have no answers to our questions…but regardless of what we may or may not come up with at the end of our questioning, we shouldn’t stop for anything, we shouldn’t feel like questioning puts us at a bad place. Questioning is human as I stated before, but it is also divine, and I believe God beckons us to question it all.

So with all that being said, questioning was my keyword on the 20th day of Ramadan. Thanks be to God, The One Who Can Be Questioned, who instills within all of questions that further our existence as well as humanity’s. May we never stop questioning and pursuing answers, but within that may we accept that not every question has an answer, and we know that when the time comes.

Salaam alaikum be yours now and always,
Nathanael

What I’m poor in/What it means to be a man

Not too long ago my father asked me do I consider myself poor, my response to him was in what form. Because as I think about it, being poor, lacking something, doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of money or a roof over your head, there are other types of being poor than that type.

So I explored this question introspectively, if I am poor what am I poor in? It came to me all too suddenly, I am poor in the sense of what it means to be a man. My response to my father is as follows…

If I am honest with myself and where I’m at, the only thing I consider myself poor in, is a sense of what a man’s supposed to be; while I err on the side of being an egalitarian, life in general and certainly the church, the attitude fluxes. Either the guy has to be meek and mild, a pushover, a Yes-dear-I’m-sorry type, or a red meat eating, whiskey swilling, testosterone junkie who works crazy long hours to support his family which there’s no irony to me with those who consider money equals time invested. So I hang on to hope, have faith, and in the words of Bono; transcend the bullshit.

This is what I told my father, this is what I stand by, because I don’t have a freaking clue as to what a man’s supposed to be. I do hope that someday this Johnny finds his June and we settle down, have a family, raise some kids, celebrate holidays, go on vacations…but I am scared shitless at times; shitless over the nature of this world sometimes, the way humanity sucks the big one in regards to how I treat my fellow man and how my fellow man treats me. I did recently question if I want to help raise a family in this world, and as I watched the sunset and pondered/questioned/prayed this into the deepest crevasses of my heart and soul, I know…I feel it within me, that YES I do.

So that’s me, that’s my poverty, but I am doing what I can to get to where I need to be in life. To continue hanging on to hope, to continue having faith, and to continue transcending the bullshit.

~Nathanael~

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On a new road of learning; Christ centered Universalism

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what Christ centered Universalism what it implies, universalism, oneness/connectedness to God by way of Christ. It’s a new thing I’m looking into because most of the times I believe in a big God, a God who can handle all my questions (and I have plenty!) and my doubts and my concerns and my realistic/pessimistic outlook on life that I have, I am optimistic in the things God is doing and the good things people are doing in the name of God…which is why I am on this new road of learning.

I don’t know anyone who believes in Christ centered Universalism, I will be asking people I know and trust about their thoughts about this belief system. There are plenty of resources online and I’m sure I will find books that cover this topic. I do want to approach this from an academic/spiritual perspective, because while textbooks speak to the mind and to some degree the heart, people…I like engaging people in questions because I am very much a questioner, it’s part of who I am, Y is my favorite letter…okay maybe not.

So here’s to the new road of learning I’m on!

~Nathanael~