Today’s Word from Ron Roesler…

Have you ever wondered what causes some people to attach themselves to fringe beliefs? Beliefs that defy conventional wisdom, or beliefs of those who think radically different than yourself?

When I was younger, I had difficulty understanding or aligning with unusual or fringe beliefs. Born in early 1941, I had grown up in an era of prejudice, suspicion, and fear, especially if you were different than me, or us.

Growing up we attended a Lutheran church in Michigan every Sunday hearing the word of God. And yet, multiple forms of prejudice were common in our American culture, including church. It’s just the way it was.

How could I honor my belief in God and how I had learned life and living “ought to be?” How do I reconcile past prejudices and exclusion with my current view of inclusion; especially with what I had considered to be behavioral anomalies or even weird?

For me it begs the question of “rightness.” How can I conclude today that the way I was raised to see the world is the correct way and hold myself as right? If I were to do so, my “rightness” would be setting myself up as rigid, better than, or worse yet, simply arrogant.

Today, being an adamant supporter of inclusion or inclusiveness, I struggle with this distorted internal conflict and gain alignment when I choose to turn it over to God, reminding myself that no matter the situation or fringe behavior, we were all created in God’s image. My perceptions of “rightness” take a back seat, knowing that we are all children of God and in that context, we are all one.

Today, we sing in church, “All are welcome, I know, ‘cause I made it through the door!” Over the years, my former internal judge has been silenced by the goodness and Godliness in others rather than seeing and judging unusual life choices or fringe beliefs.

As such, both Helene and I, much like many of you reading this, intentionally live from a place of love and inclusion. To us, this means being open to everyone we meet. We do this by looking for the good in others, listening, gaining greater understanding, and making a positive difference by sharing ourselves and our love.

We accomplish these things by honoring, being empathetic, listening, and respecting what is true for those we meet. We consciously choose to be openhearted, loving, compassionate, and beacons for good. We also accomplish this by speaking from our hearts, being authentic, vulnerable, and having fun all along the way.

And, finally, we accomplish this by speaking what is true for us and, most importantly, intentionally living by these words and being grateful for our blessings.

We maintain that “All are welcome,” we know ‘cause we too made it through the door!

Ron Roesler