Sunday, June 29, 2008

Observations...


I have two great jobs. In the day, I work in the office for Springfield Ballet filing, copying, labeling, etc. The office is in the Creamer Arts Center, which is probably the coolest environment anyone could ever hope to be in. There's always art on the walls from local artists, opera singers belting, people scurrying about trying to coral a bunch of kids, just lots of good energy. Plus, by working there my ballet tuition is covered, so I can continue to progress for free. Could it get any better?

At night, I work at The Rendezvous, a new coffee shop in Springfield. It's a place with a great decor, a continually growing crowd chock full of wonderful regulars, and it's new, which means it's open to change. I love working at a coffee shop so much.

Anyway, today I went to work at The Rendezvous as I do pretty much every other day. I wasn't feeling too great, but after a few shots of espresso, so food, and some good music things turned around. We got a huge rush of folks in, and I was rushing around trying to get drinks made, dishes cleaned, tables bussed, etc. It was all a bit frazzling. Finally, about an hour or so after the rush started, I had gotten all the tasks taken care of and I had a moment to breath.

It was then that I looked up and saw the coffee shop which I'm so proud of filled with people. Some were studying, others were chatting with friends, some were playing board games; all of them, however, were drinking beverages my team and I had prepared. All of them were participating in the positive atmosphere we strive to maintain. I'm so proud that I get to play a role in people's lives like that. Every time I put on my apron, I'm handed a unique opportunity to make someone's day simply with some common courtesy and a well-crafted drink. That's all it takes. It's awesome! I want to provide that kind of service for people my whole life.

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On another note, I've been pondering religion again.

Now that I'm firmly grounded in my disbelief in original sin and pretty staunchly agnostic (if not entirely unbelieving) as to whether or not Jesus was God, I'm really wondering about the role Jesus would play in my life should I open my Bible back up. I don't need any metaphysical lawyer to get me off the hook for my "sins" anymore, but does that render Jesus nothing more than a moral teacher? If that's so, how is his message any different than Ghandi, Muhammad, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, or any other moral teacher?

Is Jesus nothing more than a misunderstood moral professor teaching us love one another? Every world religion does that. What then does Jesus offer that Krishna does not? Why read the Bible over the Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha? Why not open up the Koran, the Tao Te Ching, or even the Analects? Anyone? I just don't know.

I'd love to hear from differing perspectives on this matter, even though I realize most people who read this blog are going to take my position on these matters. Feel free to email me at jwalter@drury.edu if you don't have a blogger account. I just want some discussion, and hopefully some answers.

2 comments:

Jacob Scott said...

Mark, that thought on Jesus is exactly the conclusion I have come to, if you analyze history, primitive men and women wouldn’t of had the proper schooling or understanding of religious tolerance or philosophies. In fact I bet most couldn’t read or write at all. So what is the bible. it’s a book of stories, stories of morals that are to be told by people who can read so the illiterate people can. Jesus was a perfect example in my mind, but weather he lived or if he is god, I cant prove and none else can. ( so I remain agnostic). Well just some insight, also Gandhi, one of my hero’s. Since he denied Jesus Christ as being God, does that send this great man to “hell”?

Eli said...

I think I agree with you, although I'm not quite sure which of the many sides in the argument you've taken.

I would say that if you're agnostic, then the only thing that would make you closer to Christianity and the Bible than other religious traditions is the history you have with it. Whether or not you like it, your family is Christian and you were too for quite some time, and that will have an effect on you for the rest of your life. You've got a pretty unique opportunity, though, in the sense that you can look back on that life and what made you walk away and what keeps you just a little bit curious, and you can use that to find the good things and avoid the with all the other religions you encounter (because I'm almost positive that all religions have some good parts and some bad). :)