Someone commented to me about the huge growth of the
Church of Latter-Day Saints around the world. And when I was thinking about
it, it was very similar to the historic spread of the Catholic faith
and Islamic religion. The one common factor amongst all
of these groups is the at they were “hands on” movements.
They gave you things to DO…in many cases not just suggestions,
but requirements to belong.
You cannot be a practicing Muslim, or Catholic, or Hindu, or Mormon,
and DO NOTHING. (Notice the word practicing?!) The religions themselves require
certain actions be taken at certain times. A certain code of behavior
is in place that is required for success.
People like to have the “rules” spelled out to them.
It’s very helpful to have it in black and white in front of you,
and regardless of how difficult, know where you are going.
There are 12 steps, a ten commandments, and five precepts…
the list goes on and on….
Although in a free society, we do have many many choices,
we also tend to be gravitated toward diet plans and self help
What works less well is vague instruction.
Doctors say, and always say, quit smoking and get more diet and
excercise. Ok…great…heard it before…now what. I think
I’ll have a smoke and sit here and think about it for a couple
Wife says..You’ve got to quit drinking….cool…fine…sounds
like a good idea, but I’m a bit too sober to think about that
right now … See ya in the morning.
God says…Love one another….I see….hmmmmm….that’s fine…
but I sure hate people preaching at me all the time.
It doesn’t seem to make sense without rules. A guideline, maybe
even an commandment, to make it stick.
Anyone who has ever been involved in 12 step program or
knows someone who has (which is, of course impossible because
they are all anonymous) know that although these programs
have rules, guidelines, and steps to follow….The biggest rule
of all is One Day at a Time. And it’s darned good advice!
That’s what those religious groups I mentioned about do
as well…they give you something to do TODAY….it’s
a “do something” environment.
And that’s something I’ve noticed about other world religions,
particularly some protestant Christian groups and some Buddhist
Many of these, but certainly not all, give a general message
of “do good, be nice, live in harmony”…but then leave you
stranded from Sunday to Sunday.
You go to church, hear a nice message, but all the days in
between you don’t have anything specific to do. No ritual
or rules to follow….suggestions maybe…but nothing concrete.
Now, I’ve mentioned alot of religions in here, and don’t think that
I am endorsing or condemning any of them. This is not the
forum for that.
But what do you do every day to keep your spiritual and emotional
and mental self strong and healthy?
Do you have some “good ideas” in the back of your mind that
your will get to tomorrow, or do you actually DO THINGS
Do you light a candle and meditate? Everyday?
Do you kneel and pray? Everyday?
Do you fast on certain days?
Do you repeat mantra, or observe times of rest?
Do you set guidelines for the things that are or are not
in your living area? With your children? On the TV?
Do you keep certain days holy?
These are just a few of the “week in week out” things that
some people do, but many of us have nothing like it.
One of the things I do is I write this letter. It is my
“hands on” activity to share love with the world.
I try to do it, even when I don’t want to.
I have had other rituals and things I did every day in the
past, and they helped me alot. I felt more sacred and
connected and whole. They gave me something to DO each day
to remind me of my spiritual life, as well and my physical one.
I have been trying, and am making a dedicated effort to
get those things back in my life.
Now you may say to me….Tim, you’re doing it. You’re telling
me to “do good, be nice, live in harmony” but not giving me
Here’s what you are to do today.
Pick something sacred and meaningful to you. An activity, a place,
a prayer, a ritual, and DEDICATE yourself to it TODAY.
All you have to do it set that things aside as HOLY and
do it today.
Tomorrow, I’d like you to wake up and do the same thing
again tomorrow. Whatever ritual you picked….do it again..
the same way..the same time…the same place…and then the next day.
Even if it’s something like bowing to your tablemates before
sitting for a meal. Or standing silently with eyes pointing
upward for a few seconds before getting into a car.
Pick that one thing..and DO IT..today….
You need only worry about today…because tomorrow will come
and it will take care of itself. Just ask yourself…
Did I do my holy thing today?
That is your task…”Did I do my holy thing today? Did I do
my sacred thing today?”
If the answer is YES, you’re on your way to a “hands on”
practice of love. And NOW…you have something to do.
And if some asks you can say…”Oh, I’m just doing my thing!”
Have a happy day….and a holy and sacred one as well.
©2007 Timothy Henry