Sunday morning began with service at the OKC Unitarian church. The only masses I normally attend are in Catholic churches and this was definitely a different type of ceremony. The church itself is quaint and old. The walls were stark white and absolutely bare, unlike my normal affiliation with statues and crucifixes.
The order of the service included: silent meditations, hymns, affirmation, doxology, sharing welcome, musical response, readings, offertory, anthem, meditation, sermon, recessional hymn, benediction, then choral response. It was such a culmination of so many different religious sanctions. The term universal is used appropriately.
The affirmation read: “Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law. This is our great covenant: To dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.”
The reading was of Buddhist origin and the sermon was by a guest Reverend, Richard Allen and called “The Myth of who you are.”
I have to say, I can’t even begin to describe how different it was from my religious upbringing. I thought I would really, really have liked it. The congregation was filled with very happy people, who were surprisingly much older than I anticipated. The songs, hymns, and readings were all filled with words I understood and agreed with wholeheartedly. But there was this feeling that was missing.
I haven’t claimed a religion in years. I’ve attended mass at times with my family, but I was torn at my own belief structure. I am very in tune with my own spirituality and strive to live in the present moment, but I do not like labels because I feel they divide more than bring together.
I thought a Unitarian setting would be just what I had been looking for. Instead, I found I missed Jesus. Christianity has gotten such a bad reputation from corrupt officials and forced conversion. It robs the religion of the true peace that Jesus taught and created.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with Kayla’s neighbor Mike. He said how he had met so many people from Louisiana who were so nice but he just couldn’t get over our corrupt government politics. It sucks to be guilty by association and stereotype. But isn’t that how our world works right now? We judge before we understand?
We have grown so cynical because of human nature that we can’t even believe that there is actual real goodness that exists. It is here that I have to admit I see the truth. My parents are those good people. They live that truth. It is one of the reasons I am so conflicted on a daily basis. I have this world that tells me that what I know is not possible. Yet, I just want to take them to Rayne to see my family and prove them wrong.
Sorry to rant for a moment. I guess I am just coming to a few self realizations early in the trip. And it’s only day three. My life, like our route, is subject to change.
That’s right. After a walk through the Paseo, Nick and I reevaluated our route and decided to go through New Mexico instead of Colorado. We were going to make a counter-clockwise trip, but after realizing our time frame, we opted to take a more adventurous journey through the desert.
I have to admit, it was partly because of Beth’s encouragement. Plus, our friend Ben is near Santa Fe at a hostel. He said I will fall in love when I get there, so I have to find out, right?
It’s a better plan anyway because now we will be traveling in a clockwise sequence. According to Native tradition, when they dance around a fire, it has to be clockwise to bring luck. I guess it’s working with the laws of the natural universe. Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong. I’ve been dancing in counter-clockwise circles.
We ended the night with Elephant Revival playing the Summer Breeze concert series in Norman, home of the Oklahoma University Sooners. Remy danced like a beautiful little flower child alone in front of hundreds of people. The series reminded me of Downtown Alive! at home, where bands play free shows on Friday afternoons in Lafayette.
After the internal, emotional twister I experienced that morning, the soothing voices of the group calmed me. It was a perfect way to end a day of reflection.
“Let the truth be known tonight. Don’t go let yourself hide. Go and sing to the mountain. Go and sing to the moon. Go and sing just about everything. Because everything is you.” -Sing to the Mountain, Elephant Revival