Food for Thought: Twenty Questions (four or five of them at least), May 15, 2019

Food for Thought: Twenty Questions (four or five of them at least), May 15, 2019

Notes composed and discussion facilitated by Pastor Bryan Hackett.

Our mid-week services are designed for open discussion among a group of people with diverse philosophies and beliefs. These are the notes from those meetings, and reflect the desire to explore thought within and outside the Christian tradition. They do not represent official doctrine, but a willingness to explore our shared humanity. As such, they are somewhat incomplete without the experience of actual discussions. We post them here for the sake of those who would like to have them but cannot always make it out to a mid-week service.

Twenty Questions (four or five of them at least)

  1. What does it mean to live in the present moment? (mindfulness)

Jesus:                           Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Thich Nhat Hanh:        Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

Buddha:                       As you walk, eat, and travel, be where you are.

Woody Allen:              What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.


  1. How does one obtain true peace?

Lao Tzu:                    When there is no desire, all things are at peace. (very Buddhist)

                                    Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.

The Bible:                 Be still and know that I am God. (Is God known better in the stillness rather than the activity of the mind?)

Jesus:                         My peace I give you.

                                    Do not think that I came to bring peace, but a sword.

Douglas Adams:     He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.


3.  What is our greatest distraction?

Jesus:                           And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Ramana Maharshi:       Think of God; attachments will gradually drop away. If you wait till all desires disappear before starting your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait for a very long time indeed.

Ray Bradbury:             The Internet is a big distraction.


4.   What is the greatest quality humans possess?

Socrates:                      There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

St. Paul                        There are three things that endure: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

Jesus                            No greater love has anyone than this: that he should lay down his life for his friends.

Lao Tzu:                      Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. 

Blaise Pascal:             The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be wretched. A tree does not know itself to be wretched.

Also: The greatness of man lies in his power of thought.

 Douglas Adams:          A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

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