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Sunday, November 17, 2013

PILGRIM WAY


The quotation, Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, from the red letters in the NT that I quoted yesterday, stays with me. Pausing to think about it, I realize it has been in my head every day for a number of years. We have people who call themselves Christians ranting about taxes, demonstrating, attempting sedition from the inside, talking ignorance so blatant it embarrasses them, and they don't get it. It's not necessary to mention names; they're all over the headline-with-picture corporate news. I used to wonder in my youth why Jesus talked about love and compassion, yet the people in the church didn't even like each other, certainly not their neighbors. Love never came up as an issue. It is one of those issues you don't mention when you're a kid, because adults don't take kids seriously and you learn early, don't make adults think. How else can a warrior society adopt a message of love and peace to themselves and only adhere to OT you-better-not mind? Didn't Jesus say that old way of following rules is over? I already hear a particular voice, That's not how it is at my church. I say, Hooray. I'm not talking about any church but the churches of my experience. I would actually like to go to a particular church sometimes, but can't do it by my own inner guidance--I have to follow the rules. Told I'm expected to attend regularly, I never went back. And will not go back. I've had to clarify for a few preachers in the past that my life and my decisions are my own, whether or not he believes I have the right. I don't ask for permission to live my life as I see fit, nor do I accept guilt for not living by somebody else's opinion of something they know nothing about--another human being. They don't even know themselves.


It's a sight, looking back, how many people along the way have believed they knew better how I ought to live my life than I did. I heard so much in youth and younger adult years from people who believed they knew better than I do what's right for me, I confess to reaching a place of confusion such that I couldn't see a way out. Everybody was using their authority voice to show they know what they're talking about and I don't. By the time I was 30, I had not yet learned what was right for me, what direction to go in, what to believe and not believe. I have chosen for myself to call my path my Pilgrim Way. A solitary pilgrim who walks his own path and lets the group-think people go their own way. I used to be told by the group-think people that I'm unable to make an intelligent decision for myself without the guidance of the group. There was a time I believed that. Then I learned to my satisfaction that God indeed Is. No more group-think for me. I am so far removed from the fundamentalist churches of Kansas, it is like another lifetime, except I remember it. My mother is of group-think mind and cannot allow that I will make my own decisions. A few times I've had to jerk the illusion of reins out of her hands. She has serious control issues, the reason I live half a continent away, her control backed up by being a Christian. I'm reminded of a joke told by the VW Boys bluegrass band's guitar player, a stage joke. "My wife, she's an angel. She's always up in the air harping."


 She pushes the same issues without end, and one day I said I am never going to do any of these things she continues to ride my back about tirelessly. I removed my saddle and took it to the landfill. For years, it was: I wish you'd find a church. My answer: I know you do. There came a time, when I passed fifty, the year I found the freedom to say no, I woke up and said, I will not enter another church the rest of my life; all the church going in this lifetime is in the past. All of it. She cut it out. Now when we talk it's like she's holding her head under water unable to say the only thing she has to say. Choked. All I can say is I'm sorry she has control issues to such a degree. I've spent my adult life usurping control of my life by moving as far away as land allows. Since I won't go to church, I'm the same thing as an atheist, an atheist that doesn't take care of his responsibilities. Now that she has added Faux news to her faith, a greater divide is opening between us. She's given up on controlling my life and has no more interest in me. As I knew would be the case when I left for the coast all the many years ago. I knew then that who I am had nothing to do with anything--only the control mattered. Take away the control and nothing is left but sorrow she can't make me obey. It's been a big struggle along the way, much like dealing with a drunk, somebody drunk on an agenda, the one and only way, through Jesus Christ The Lord. Like Jehovah's Witnesses at the door pushing their agenda. I finally learned to open the door enough to say, I don't want it, and close the door. All they have on their minds is pushing their agenda. Take it someplace else. 
 


A friend I sometimes watch the races with said, "When I want to really be judged, I'll go to church." I had to say, Amen, brother. I don't care that my mother believes differently from how I believe. I don't even like to use that word, believe, because it's a long spiral like DNA. We both believe the same at the core, but she's bogged down in dogma until "the word" and the dogma are the same. I had to run for my life from the dogma where she stays mired down like a rock in mud. And wants me to do the same, to settle down, go to church, get married, have kids, buy a house. I tried to follow her demands to keep from disappointing her, making her feel bad. But it was not my path. My parents gave me such an horrendous example of a married relationship, I could not live my life in that kind of way, never saying what I mean, never admitting to anything but obeying. Punishment amounted to worshiping God, another word for Fear. Now that she's plugged into Faux tv, I'm not only the same as an atheist, but a liberal too. She says she prays for me. I say, Please do, I need plenty of it. But it's not going to buy me out of my intractable nature. She's a believer in duty, and, by example, taught me duty is not where it's at. She taught me marriage is not where it's at. She taught me church is not where it's at. She taught me group-think is not where it's at. She taught me controlling others is not where it's at. I cannot shut myself down far enough to live by her will. I cannot live my life a rock in a bog.


I tend to stay in place because my adventures are within. I don't need to climb a cliff with my fingertips to feel the thrill of living on the edge. I'm on the edge every day. Heart can stop, or not stop. I go with whichever happens. I don't like adrenalin rushes. I don't like fear. I see no point in taking chances with dying when I don't need to. My interpretation of the spiritual path is that it is one's own. My spiritual path is not about telling other people what to do. Mother's spiritual path is alienating by browbeating everyone around her about church and the Lord. A few years back, I wrote about the nature of my spiritual path. I thought she might be interested so I sent it to her. Her reaction was that I'm not afraid enough of Satan. I said, I'll leave Satan to you. As I see her recede the other side of a widening divide, I ask myself what I can do to narrow the divide. It's her divide. Now that she is married to a Limbaugh parrot plugged into Faux news, and his son is a preacher, she's gone away like a ship to sea. Bye, bye, Mommy. Her son left the fold, will not do his duty, is out of control, goes his own way in defiance of Satan. He doesn't know what to say to her anymore and she doesn't know what to say to him anymore. He can't even pretend to believe what she believes and brought him up to believe. Funny, slipping off into third person, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, separating myself from it. That's how I feel about it, third person, answering why I cannot allow myself to honor other people's expectations of my behavior where their belief systems are concerned. That's what I call group-think, and I can't go there, thanks to a lifetime of reasons why.

 
 
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