Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why shouldn't we

I was walking home from work tonight in the dark and cold. It was 28 degrees outside and I didn't bring either a hat or a pair of gloves. I hadn't walked to work in quite a while and it's something I'm trying to remedy but it's proving more difficult to get back on the wagon than I thought it would be. I've been annoyingly sick for over a week now - you know, that kind of sick that never really graduates to a full-on sickness, but still makes you periodically feel like shit. My iPod was on shuffle and oddly enough it pulled two old Barbra Streisand songs in a row. With 10,000 songs on my iPod, what are the chances?

The Mary Chapin Carpenter song "Why Shouldn't We" also played on the way home. I had kind of forgotten about it, but I always thought that it would make a good addition to the UU song book. With a line like "God is all around/Buddha's at the gate/Allah hears your prayers/It's not too late" is espouses a lot of the religious tolerance that UU really is all about. But more than that, it also talked about how it really is human to, as Fox Mulder would say, want to believe.

Belief is a tough nut and certainly a topic that I can't even scratch the surface of at 11:20PM after working a full shift. But what struck me in that song is the first line - "we believe in things we cannot see/why shouldn't we?" I think that for me personally, I have a strong desire to believe in something bigger than myself, but as an ex-Lutheran, I can't bring myself to go running back to the Christian god. There are many times that even I find my lack of faith ot be disturbing, but I'm not sure what the answer is. Once upon a time, I took great comfort in religion which looking back I don't even think I'd recognize that person now. Maybe it's why I love stories of ghosts and UFOs and aliens. Maybe it's why I was pissed that there was nothing in Wikileaks about alien life forms. I don't really believe it, but boy wouldn't it be cool?

But I still believe...or I want to believe. I believe in a lot of stuff that I can't prove or that time and again I've seen proven false because I just feel it so strongly. So maybe my faith isn't as lacking as I think, it's just that, like the things I believe, it's not easily quantifiable.

But as usual, Mary Chapin Carpenter says it better than I ever could. So I sign off with her. Can't you just hear this at a UU service?

We believe in things that we cannot see
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Hands that heal can set a chained man free
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

We believe in peace within every heart
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Burning brightly, brightly in the dark
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

So come on darling feel your spirits rise
Come on children open up your eyes
God is all around
Buddha's at the gate
Allah hears your prayers
It's not too late

And we believe in things that will give us hope
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Let your voice be heard, celebrate your vote
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

We believe in things that make us all the same
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Love belongs to all in deed and name
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

And we believe in things that can't be done
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Lift up your heart, put down your gun
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

We believe in things
We're told that we cannot change
Why shouldn't we
We had heroes once, and we will again
Why shouldn't we

So come on darling
Come on children
God is all around, Buddha's at the gate
Allah hears our prayers
It's not too late

Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we

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