A Different Kind of Success

My first passion is to free people. I also am passionate about how such people intentionally gather together. So this is the kind of community I am a part of. I used to think that with such a community, we would be known as a radical and liberating place, and then that we would attract people hungering for this freedom, authenticity and honesty, and that as a result finances would no longer be an issue. I just imagined that it would be cutting edge and extremely attractive to all kinds of people and be placed firmly on the map of successful communities. So, after years and years of being a part of a community that endeavors to be this kind of place, we are not the success I'd thought we'd be. We do not grow in numbers in any significant way, and money trickles in like a slowly drying spring. It has forced me to rethink my assumptions. My assumption was that it would breed success in the above ways. I was wrong. It doesn't. Instead, what I've come to conclude is that (and this relates 1-10 from the previous posts), generally speaking, we, as religious people...
  1. are attracted to the biggest and best show in town.
  2. want to be told what to do.
  3. hold those who struggle in disdain.
  4. will only give money when manipulated to do so.
  5. want to be told what to believe.
  6. want to be a part of the right group and villainize the wrong one.
  7. like to categorize and then judge others.
  8. don't like the commitment love requires.
  9. are uncomfortable with honesty and authenticity.
  10. love conditionally.
Again, this is a generalization. For what I have found about nurturing such a community is that, rather than granting the institution or organization success, it does create an environment for individuals to blossom into their fullest. This is the one clear success I've noticed. No, we aren't that attractive to others. No, we aren't growing really. No, our offerings continue to shrink. But yes, there are some incredibly amazing individuals who have found a way to be honest, authentic and liberated while being committed to a community. They've found a way to be free and responsible. They've found an environment within which they can truly seek truth and live it out in a life of love. Of course, I've read of such people who've learned this in prison camps. So I'm taking no credit at all. And neither can this community. It really all comes down to the courage, tenacity, and the hunger for freedom in each person's heart. If they want it, no matter what context they are in, they'll find it. twitter me Check out my t-shirts HERE. I'm growing my inventory all the time. And check out my contemplative art here.

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