Time and time again we hear that there is a growing interest in spirituality but not religion.
After discovering what my calling is, I have had people tell me, "Yea, I am very spiritual but I think organized religion is horrible."
While I feel the above statement is laced with irony and contradiction (spirituality of all sorts always calls the devotee into community and structure), this is not really what I find interesting.
What I find interesting is why there is push back against the institution we call religion.
For me it is like saying, "Yes, I like medicine but I think hospitals are horrible."
Hospitals are institutionalized medicine. Religion is institutionalized spirituality.
We may never get sick, but we are sure glad that hospitals exist. And because hospitals exist we take greater risks with our lives. If we did not have institutionalized medicine we would not do a great number of things and we would be scared or many more things.
For instance, if you are ever stranded in the deep forest without a lifeline, we will behave much differently than when we are camping in the woods. When we do not have the security of the things that can heal us, we will become much more cautious with our actions.
Likewise, with institutional spirituality we take greater risks and we have much less fear than without it.
And so, for those who push the boundaries of medicine I am thankful for you. You are helping advance the practice. But you also know that you have the institutionalized medical community to support you in case you fail to find the cure you are looking for.
For those of you who push the boundaries of the spiritual practices, I am thankful for you as well. You are helping advance the practice of spirituality. But you also must know that you have the institutionalized spiritual community to support you in case you fail to find what you are looking for.