The Outdoors is My Church

Recently, a friend of mine from my high school days contacted me.  She and I sent a few cordial Emails back and forth – catching up on the void of twenty+ years in our lives.  When the idle catch-up chat started to recede, she fired off a short missive to me about her having accepted Jesus Christ into her life and how she was now “on fire” for Jesus.  This struck me as somewhat odd, not because she had accepted Jesus and that it was a focal part of her life – but because I am extremely open about being a Pagan.  It was obvious that she had just figured out to check my profile, where I prominently state that I am a Pagan.  My response back was an excited statement that I was happy for her having found such a positive focal point in her life and that this was a fantastic thing for her.  The follow-on response to this point?  Silence.  No response.  No acknowledgment that I sent any kind of answer to her.  Just silence.  For the last ten days.  I know she is just as busy as I am – she is a teacher just like I am.  Her charges are second graders though.  So maybe, the answer here is that she just happened to get uber-busy.  However, considering that I have seen her logged in at the site several times during those ten days – I can only come to a singular conclusion:  that I am to be rejected from her pool of friends because I do not have the same religious perspective she does.  And that saddens me.  Seemingly, my friendship is rejected because my church is the outdoors.

I don’t have an issue with the Christian faith.  Nor do I have a need to make continually comparisons between what my beliefs and theirs.  The outdoors is my church.  No matter where I am – in the woods, a city park, or even in the downtown canyons of Fort Worth or Dallas.  Its all a part of the world for me.  Granted, there’s huge differences between a forested area and 3rd Street/Main in Fort Worth.  But that doesn’t make one location any more or less of a place of reverence for me.

I guess my big issue has to do with people rejecting things out-of-hand simply because it isn’t what they follow.  To me, that’s sort of saying that there’s only one way to look at something or only a singular way to solve a problem or only one road to travel to get from point a to point b.  I’ve been in the Information Technology world long enough to know that’s not true at all.  There’s many different ways to look at something (from around the edges of the circle, as an example), there’s definitely many different ways to solve a problem, and I can drive/walk many different routes and still end up at the same destination.  (sigh)  I can only hope that folks out there can understand this, and utilize it in their lives…and in their faith.  In the meantime, all the hand-wringing in the world on my part isn’t going to do anything except spoil my good mood – and waste the sunshine I have available for my walk.



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