On my way home, I stopped off at this particular park to sit on a bench and enjoy the warm weather. When I set off, I noticed this man walking by and walked behind him. When he crossed the road, I crossed the road too as I was going in the same direction. Then I decided to explore a neighbourhood I hadn't been to before, got lost, found my way and got back on track.
After I had been walking for about half an hour I noticed the man I had seen earlier in front of me. I caught up with him and told him I had seen him earlier. He said he had noticed me too. He said while he walks he likes to meditate. I told him I do the same. He asked me if I went to church. I told him I believed in God but I didn't believe in religion. He said I should go to church, that God was going to do wonderful things for me if I go to church. I told him I didn't believe in religion and I was perfectly happy with my personal relationship with God. He insisted that I could only know God through going to church and I must find one. By then I was getting bored with him. I told him trying to convince me to go to church when I'd already told him I am not interested is not love. I said the God I believe in gives people the freedom to express themselves in whatever way that's right for them. Religion is not my way. I said he was missing out on a good opportunity to connect as friends. At the junction we went our separate ways.
My Christian friend couldn't accept that I could possibly know God or have a happy and fulfilled life if I wasn't going to church and had a personal saviour or mediator. Although I don't share my friend's beliefs, the irony is I had been conditioned to see the world his way i.e. having the mediator mentality. I had been trained to believe that to experience my good I need to study, adopt the right mental attitude, purify myself by fasting or eating the right foods, be good, be holy, follow a particular teaching or teacher and then I'll be blessed.
When I got wise about that mediator mentality, I realised that it doesn't matter what my beliefs are, how knowledgeable I am, how enlightened or unenlightened I am; it is my nature to be blessed and have a wonderful life. I don't even have to earn it. All I need to do is receive.
In practice, this means if someone gives me something for free, instead of wondering whether I'm receiving because it's my good karma, whether the gift is a demonstration of my wisdom and understanding, wondering what I have to do in return, or feel guilty about receiving; why not simply receive it as that's the way life is.
Earlier today I took some bread for my feathered friends at the local canal - the swans, ducks, geese, gulls and other birds. At the time, none of them were around. I just tossed the pieces of bread on the water for them to have at their leisure.
Did I feed the birds because they'd asked?
Had the birds done anything to deserve food?
Do the birds owe me anything?
All the birds need to do is receive.
I don't need to do anything nor do I need to follow any religion to have a wonderful life; life is wonderful because that's the way life is.
Life is easy, fun and full of wonder.
Related articles: I am Loved in Every Moment; Claiming My Wholeness with Gratitude; Doing with Unnecessary Distractions; Life is Very Simple; Receiving Support; Why Grace is Not Just for the Chosen Few; Why Nothing is Impossible with Spirit; I'll Be Happy When; From Mediator to Source; Showing Mercy; Love Downloads; Come, Let Me Kiss You Better!; The Path of Receiving