Blog 1010 – 05.31.2018
I have already written a past blog where I referred to this wonderful Indigo Girls song and posted a cool picture of a Fork In The Road but today I would like to launch into some thinking about the meaning of Watershed.
The Dictionary.com definition follows:
1 Chiefly British. the ridge or crest line dividing two drainage areas; water parting; divide.
2 the region or area drained by a river, stream, etc.; drainage area.
3 Architecture, wash (def 44).
4 an important point of division or transition between two phases, conditions, etc.: The treaty to ban war in space may prove to be one of history’s great watersheds.
1 constituting a watershed: a watershed area; a watershed case.
The chorus of the song says:
Up on the watershed
Staring at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony’s your heaviest load.
You never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you’re learning to pace the path that you face
Every choice is worth your while.
The watershed for most of us is that great dividing line, that important milestone in our journey where we discover something that not only makes the rest of our journey more worthwhile but adds greater meaning to the steps that we have taken thus far. I know that my “New Age-ish” philosophy does not appeal to you “church folks” and that is fine, for your tiny little box and even big beautiful box religion no longer appeals to me either. I just want all of us to live the most abundant life that we can get our hearts and minds around.
A dear long-time friend, and despite our radically different take on many things she always will be that to me, sent me a YouTube link to a young man’s testimony about having been in a New Ager and coming “to see the light”, “finding Jesus, the answer to all his questions.” I have heard countless such testimonies throughout my life. I share one of the most troubling.
When I first started attending Gulf Coast Bible College, in Houston, Texas in 1973, there was a young man who seemed compelled to jump up in every class and chapel service and give a short testimony. I once remembered it verbatim because I heard it several times a day for several months till so many deans, professors, and even the campus pastor felt equally compelled to asked him to stop doing it as it was not promoting his faith or his Savior but disturbing others pointing out that he might be a bit disturbed on a psychological level. He left college shortly thereafter. The only word that ever changed in his rant was the number of weeks it had been since Christ delivered him from drugs, alcohol, and sin. He was in fact still some what addicted. His religion was only a new drug. Jesus his new drug of choice. And, yeah, I know that opens me up for the charge that my philosophy is every bit also an addicting influence in my life. I offer one important difference, I am free to discard any and all beliefs that are no longer serving me. “Church folk” are not for they are prisoners to a faith that they believe guarantees them eternal life but no matter how miserable practicing that faith makes them, they believe to discard it would make them damned eternally – a Catch 22 to be sure. Which is why the Jesuits used to say, “Give me a boy till he is twelve and I will make him a Catholic for life.”
I remember thinking how remarkable and unusual it was for one of my all-time favorite authors to return to faith in Christ and His Church in mid-life. Most of the Christian testimonies I have heard are of people finding their faith, “being born again”, converted, as a child, teenager, or young adult. Age eleven seems to be a common time that many site in their conversion testimonies as I heard the son and current CEO of the Dollar General billions of dollars business state just recently on Public Radio when asked to share how his religious faith impacted his business philosophy.
I think that it disturbs my friend greatly that I left Christianity and the Church after being a part of it for many years, while in my mid-forties. And it was not easy clawing my way out of that tiny box thinking. I had nightmares for years where I “got saved again” I still believe there might be a heaven but as for the most of the rest, hell no. I no longer believe that the threat of hell or a bloody sacrifice is or ever was necessary for us to know we are loved and meant to live happy full lives. It is just an opinion, as I try to keep all my beliefs so that I can more easily let them go if I see they are no longer serving me, thinking that we probably progress from life to life learning and experiencing new things. So instead of my dearly departed loved ones being stuck in a very boring, if beautiful place, playing harps or singing in angel choirs, I think they are off on new adventures exploring all the possibilities. Sounds like a lot more fun to me.
I wrote a little poem to conclude this little rant about what people believe is “the truth” but which is more likely just “their truth.” I call the poem, “Any Belief Or Box.”
Any belief or box makes us prisoners
Remember the words of Jesus
With those words I can also agree
That the truth always frees us.
My advice, and nobody asked for it, is to hold all our beliefs lightly so we can let go of what no longer serves us and that we be made prisoner by none for any belief that does that is not true or at least I do not think so. However little or much that might be worth to anyone else, so far it seems to be working for me.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Holding even my most strongly held opinions with a light touch,