| Anne Williamson |
In the Kurt Vonnegut version of the biblical Genesis story, man politely asks God, "What is the purpose of all of this?" God's response is perhaps less than satisfactory; essentially, God replies, "You decide." God's response is not the part of the story I find most interesting, though. It's man's question, or rather according to this story, man's first assumption: that there is one purpose and it applies to everything.
Now, I like this idea. I like believing, underneath all the micro purposes, there exists one - one purpose that if comprehensively integrated would bring not universal peace but much, much more of it. I don't know this to be true, of course. And, I don't know what it is. I simply - or most days, incredibly not simply - have faith in it.
What I do know to be true, though, is how necessary the presence, stories, ideas, questions of others has been on the journey to finding the one. Just when I think I've got it figured out, a new story shatters my confidence. Right when I feel solid in humanity's purpose, nature reminds me to think bigger, less anthropocentric. I know I've got a clear picture now until an unexpected question turns and blurs my lens just enough.
Is this frustrating? Sure. But, mostly, its grace. It's not up to me to determine the purpose of all of this. It's up to us. We need each other to find our purpose. Without a multitude of voices - strange and familiar - we become echoes who don't realize it. We settle into our perspective, and often, sometimes violently, force it on others.
This is one of the reasons we do what we do every week in WAYfinding. We create spaces where people with diverse ideas, beliefs, stories, gather to wonder aloud and honestly about "g/God" and how to live deeper and love better. Do we do this perfectly? No. Are we as diverse as we'd like to be? Absolutely not. But, it's our intention, our heart. Because we know we need each other. If there is a purpose to all of this; if "g/God," some sort of connective pulse to life exists, and we can know something about i/It; if we're going to live deeper and love better; we're not going to do so in silos, only hearing from voices like our own. We're going to do so together.
Originally posted March 15, 2015