This is Hannalore Eck’s talk from the Sunday Service yesterday from the series “This I Believe”. This series gives People’s people a chance to experience the diversity of beliefs that make up our wonderful People’s Church and the Unitarian Universalist community.
A few days ago I happened to see a car with a bumper sticker that read something like this: “If you could ask God, what question would you ask?” My first, and I fear my only thought was, I’d ask Why did you make so many idiots?
This was a mean spirited reply. I don’t know what and how the owner of the car worships, but clearly, since he needs to share his faith in such a way, surely he deserves some respect. If I take the message on the bumper sticker seriously, I must answer What do I believe?
I can no longer use the name “God.” It has far too many meanings, all of them loaded. More important, all names are limiting since to limit is the function of a name. So I must say
I believe in a power that is nameless and yet goes by a thousand names;
a power that is invisible, but is revealed everywhere;
that lives in silence, but can be heard by all who listen;
that is more distant than the farthest star, but to me is closer than
that is timeless and intimately present.
I know it by the inexpressible joy that fills me when I think of it.
I don’t believe that I can ask to have the laws of nature changed to accommodate my wants, but I do know from experience that there is a grain of something in me – and in all living things – that,
If I reach for it, gives me the strength to live.