I am continuing my quest to understand the spirituality of Canada’s youth.  My method is simple.  I talk to young adults and let them tell me about their situation.  My latest interview took place over a short haul flight between Edmonton and Vancouver.  My seat mate was a young woman raised in a Sikh family though very much part of the Canadian/Western mentality.  She was early 20’s and recently graduated from a hair dressing/beauty academy.  From the look of her clothing and her appearance I would say she had studied well and learned some very powerful lessons about beauty.

The conversation started when we talked about her line of work. It moved to the difference between inner beauty and outer beauty.  She recognized the difference and actually affirmed the idea of inner beauty.  She offered that her philosophy of hair styling was to not make people beautiful but rather to enhance their already existing beauty, drawing out their inner beauty by elevating their self image.  I think she was right on!

We then moved to relationships and she offered her opinions on relationships in general and men in particular.  She was holding out til the right man came along though she did offer some concern that “there weren’t as many good ones out there as she had hoped”.

I offered some opinions on her opinions but prefaced them with the introduction that I was a Christian minister.  Well—the conversation really took off then!  We didn’t get into a debate between Sikhism and Christianity, if anything we quickly moved to “common ground”.  She believed in “God”.  In fact, she feared God.  She believed in “spirits” and was very familiar with dark spirits or destructive spirits.  She believed in ethics and morals and “getting what you deserve” in life or at least setting yourself up to “get what you deserve in life”.  (Kharma?)  She believed in the power of love.  She believed that evil deserved punishment.

End of the flight, end of the discussion.  A pleasant “thank you” and a request for my business card.

In reflecting on it all, I muse how parallel the conversation was to what the Apostle Paul encountered when he started listening and then talking at Mars Hill (Acts 17).  His summary point was that the people of that location were “very religious” (the city was full of religious icons–idols).  And I think the people were quite delighted to hear him say that.  But when he moved from common ground to differences, he began to speak of Jesus as “resurrected”.  This was the difference maker.  We have a lot of common ground but when we start to speak of Jesus as “resurrected” we invoke all kinds of reactions.  Mostly disruptive, mostly negative.

Funny how on the one hand the Christian message can be seen as lovely but when you get into it, it can be seen as disruptive.   Resurrection…the difference maker.

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins  1 Corinthians 15:17

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