More Mixed Nuts!
The purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
The name mixed nuts has stuck with me ever since yesterday’s blog was published and not just because I crave a salty, chewy snack (which, by the way, I do)! The words are echoing over and over in my head and that can mean only one thing. I guess I am being guided to consider another way of thinking about this title that lends itself to a bit more serious take on the concept! And there can be nothing more serious that thinking about all of the many different faiths that exist in our world today and how they collectively tie us all together as a people of faith. And I do not mean the Protestant Faith or the Catholic Faith, or the Islamic Faith or the Jewish Faith or the Hindu Faith. I mean, simply, F-A-I-T-H !
Just look for a moment at the word F-A-I-T-H broken down into its definition, courtesy of “The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language”, ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company:
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one’s supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: ie. the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs
Now I don’t know about you, but no where do I see proof positive that faith is limited to only a single set of beliefs that are upheld by a particular denomination or group.What I do see is a description which, when examined in its entirety and looked at collectively, illustrates core values which are the best examples of who and what we hope to be as human beings, in a perfect and ideal world. Alas, we do not live in an ideal and perfect world, which goes far in explaining why there is near constant warfare going on…..brother fighting brother…..all with the misguided notion that one set of beliefs is better and therefore trumps the other’s right to exist!
So now back to the name of this piece, “Mixed Nuts” and think about what that title implies. In a can of mixed nuts, every single member belongs to the same genus of origin. All are nuts. And yet not a single one, even among the same kinds, is exactly the same. Type, size, shape, color, or taste. All unique and special and different. Some are tangy, others more bitter, some sweet, some soft, others hard. But when enjoyed as a collective group, mixed nuts proves to be a very satisfying experience because it is through these differences that each one adds to and complements the enjoyment of the one next to it. Each bite a little different and yet each bite a mesmerizing culinary experience which makes us want to go back for seconds! So then, why is it somehow beyond us to see these same traits in our fellow human beings? Because I find it a very sad testament of the human race if we can not find it within our hearts to exist as cohesively and perfectly as do mixed nuts in a can!
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
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