My audio greeting (3 min)
A few years ago, as I was about to enter my sixth decade as a bachelor and was beginning to map out plans for my retirement, I knew I had to kick my quest for happiness, fun and my long sought-after soul mate into higher gear. And, as us older folks often do, I found myself waxing philosophical about the meaning of life. I had always been a Christian, but not a very serious one. I rarely went to church because, being picky about most things, I had not found a denomination that was in tune with what I really believed about God and Jesus and so on...and it seemed pretty hypocritical to attend some random service just so I could say I was 'being holy'. My outlook gradually took on a new perspective. And that is when I decided that, rather than try to conform my beliefs to some existing demonomination, maybe I needed to do it the other way around...and start my own.
As I pondered it, I came to the conclusion that maybe what we really need in order to make life fulfilling and rewarding is a creative blend of all the ingredients we dream pleasant dreams about, the whole enchilada, all rolled into one nifty lifestyle. What ingredients? Well, for us single folks, finding that elusive partner-in-love is a huge part of it, of course. But it shouldn't end there. Just as important as having someone to share the good life with is having a good life worth sharing. I offered this advice to my single friends: Don't just assume that Mr. Right will come fully-equipped with all those ingredients. Chances are, he is probably looking for the good life, too.
I was thinking that perhaps the key for each of us should be to redesign our day-to-day routine, from the ground up, to where everything revolves around a sort of all-encompassing "religion"---one which goes way beyond the usual spiritual, moral and God-centric things...and gets into the really fun stuff!
What if your religion could also be a kind of day-spa, health and beauty retreat, university, dance-club, and art studio...all at the same time? What if the serious, prayerful stuff was supplemented with outdoor activities and family fun? And things like physical fitness, beauty and personal appearance? And learning new hobbies? And helping others? And intellectual enlightenment? And financial success? And making the world a better, cleaner and safer place?
To my way of thinking, a religion should be an all-inclusive thing. If it takes in all of the things you cherish and incorporates them into every minute of your daily life, it becomes not only an easy thing to stick with and enjoy, but the one central thing that everything else revolves around (just as it once did, centuries ago, for people who lived simple lives in quaint little faith-based communities).
So I got to work designing just such a "religion" for myself and a few friends. It just sort of fell into place, and I gave it a name: I called it the Naoi Meadow Way (or NM). I won't go into here, but suffice it to say that NM is all about following in the footsteps of Jesus while also enjoying the hell out of life. NM is, in a way, a true synthesis of all the things I am into. And, yep, not surprisingly, art and music play a big role, as well: Christmas carols, The Tabernacle Choir, and so on. And I have been known to pick the guitar and sing some piano ballads in there from time to time, too.
I would love the chance to share some more of my thoughts with you, and to hear yours as well. If you are intrigued and think you might like to get involved with me and some of my pet projects, or at least follow along for a while, that would be wonderful. I would love to get to know you and welcome you aboard for the voyage.
Check out a few of my webpages and see what you think. And if you would like to join the adventure as an online co-traveler, that would be excellent. Just look for the ORI Discussion Forum, go there and introduce yourself. It's that simple. I get an automatic email notification whenever someone posts there, and I will be glad to get back with you and answer your questions.
Thanks for stopping by. I'm sure I'll be talking to you soon. REED