Religious Shoes, Spiritual Feet
Walking Barefoot on the Path
No one is an expert at directing another’s spiritual journey, nor should anyone try. Each person is unique, and free to walk their own path, seeking their own answers, designing their own conversations with God. And yet, in a world of infinite possibilities, many people are stuck in one place by the answers they have adopted. Answers effectively bring thinking to a halt. Answers result in unquestioningly living each new day like an old day. Answers throw obstacles onto the spiritual path. Unfortunately, religion is and always has been the source of many answers by which people live. While Creation abounds in unending variety, with no two clouds, no two sunsets, no two snowflakes, and certainly, no two human beings exactly alike, religion tends to corral us into dull sameness: same beliefs, same moral instructions; same biblical interpretations. Even though religion’s intentions are good, it works contrary to the exuberant, open-ended energies of both God and the Creation. Religion feels safest when everyone thinks alike. It rests comfortably on firm answers. The spiritual journey necessarily goes beyond these limitations.
This book encourages bypassing religion’s set answers, while offering no firm answers itself. Nothing threatening will be found on its pages; it is safe reading; always, the reader remains in charge. The author says, relax, rest in God, and trust your own mind and the Holy Spirit to broaden and refresh your thinking. Both are ready to take you for an exhilarating ride. The process in the book is uncomplicated, maybe even simplistic. Most chapters merely expand the boundaries of well-known biblical passages to demonstrate there is always, always more to consider, and you get to decide what makes most sense to you. Exclusive answers do not exist, but your own will emerge. You are on your own journey. Enjoy.
Author Richard Gist is a retired clergyperson living in Princeton, Minnesota with Norma, his wife of sixty-five years. There life, he’ll affirm, is good. Peaceful even. He holds two master’s degrees, one in religion and the other in English literature. He is a certified Gestalt therapist. He enjoys teaching an adult Sunday school class in his home church, and occasionally speaks elsewhere on biblical subjects. He writes, he says, only as an avocation and when the mood strikes him. He is the author of two award-winning books, Ayshus on the Inside and You Don’t Understand the Bible Because you are Christian. Barefoot on the Path is his fifth book.
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