I turned around at the circular on Meyer Boulevard, rounded the fountain a few times, just for the fun of it and headed north again, intent on making the early service at church. As I passed the Plaza and headed into Midtown I realized that I really did not want to go to church at all. My thoughts flashed briefly over the different friends I had not seen for quite some time, this summer actually, but being in their presence, talking to them and then sitting inside in a building while Tim or Isaac talked for long while did not seem attractive at all. I always enjoy the music and mingling before the service but I could not bring myself to make the turn. I did not want to see anyone really. Sitting inside during such a beautiful morning was certainly something I was not looking forward to and I realized something that gave me pause, but also a strangely settled and comforting feeling at the same time.
There was nobody I needed to see. No conversations or familiar faces are lacking in my life. There was nothing any person could talk about for an hour that I needed or wanted to listen to. For those of you who have not followed my writing here for a while, I do not believe much of anything anymore. While this could have been disturbing or upsetting at some other point in my life, in the place and space I inhabit now, it brought me a sense of great peace.
I am no longer searching, looking, questioning, grasping, wrestling and in a constant state of tension with all the familiar stories, ideas and concepts which were thrust upon me growing up, sought out by myself at other times in my life and slowly discarded as they no longer made sense to me, held any reason for being, existed as a catalyst for growth or offered authentic comfort. I do not need anything at all from them anymore. The friendships and relationships I have made will last. They are not based on nor depend upon a shared common framework of faith or meetings at a building to charge them with integrity or make them genuine. They exist where hearts touch and minds are share.
The smile on my face as I drove back home content, in the warm and brilliant sunshine, is the very best gift I have received this Christmas. Time changes us all. One chapter has ended and another one has begun.