Sunday, July 27, 2008

RAVE: Out of the Closet

Sometimes I sleep
Sometimes it's not for days
The people I meet
Always go their separate ways
Sometimes you tell the day
By the bottle that you drink
Sometimes when you're alone
All you do is think...

I've gotten my fair share of alone time lately, and I've had cause to do a lot of thinking. I don't mind, really, because I enjoy flexing the old mental muscles. For the past nine months or so, I've had cause to think about my spiritual life. Since I've reached a sort of crossroads, I figured I'd spew about my progress for a spell.

First, I'm a bad person. The truth is, you're the weak and I'm the tyranny of evil men, but I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd. I know that a fearless, unrepentant bastard shepherd probably isn't what most people think would be a good thing, but it's who I am. Thing is, just like Mr. Wallace, I've got a gleaming beautiful soul in my briefcase. Lots of people look to me as an example whether I want them to or not. Bushido dictates a certain level of obligation to those who look up to you, and because I choose to follow those tenets I have to honor that obligation.

Second, I started this line of inquiry for all the wrong reasons. I fell really hard for a Christian woman, and our spiritual differences were going to become a sticking point somewhere along the line. I decided to look into some different things to see if I could find a way to reconcile bushido-driven metheism with her peculiar brand of Jesus-freaking. I left all of my other books at home while I was traveling and set out to read the Bible - desperately searching for something that said I could be a good person without Christ. I found a bunch, but they all kept coming back to this one really important point...

Third, God loves me anyway. He loves me so much that he sent his only son to die for the sins of the world - my sins. If you held a gun to Guen's head and said that I had to choose between her life and the lives of ten people in the next room, well, I'd ask who those people were and the decision would still be agonizing. God loves me like I love my cat, with a pure and faithful love that sees beyond foibles and the occasional wet spot of the sofa. Say what you will, but I believe that. In the long run, that's really all that matters.

So having said all this, I'm still faced with some challenges. I have a very personal belief system and code of conduct that I need to reconcile with my newfound faith. I have a badboy reputation to protect, and I'm still a fearless and mostly-unrepentant bastard. I still think science and mathematics are the purest expressions of God's thoughts. And I patently refuse to rest on my laurels knowing that I've got a place waiting for me when I die (meaning I still think that living for the afterlife really misses the point). My spiritual advice thusfar has been to read more and to seek out like-minded fellowship. I'm working on the first part and struggling with the second, and I'm absolutely convinced that I'll never figure everything out.

I'm okay with that, but that doesn't mean I have to stop trying.


Anonymous said...

In my head, I saw you as more of a FSMer than a "believing in shit that doesn't make any sense" kind of guy.

If you're looking for reading material, add this to the stack:
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Wargolem said...

Nah, while I have much respect for the flying spaghetti monster and its followers (many of whom I count as friends), I think I've got this down to something that makes sense to me. That's really the important part.

FSM was created to protest intelligent design in my home state, which I'm okay with. I just wish that religion & science & sense weren't always viewed as mutually exclusive.

Doug R. said...

Bro, I think Bushido fits you in many ways. You were a hell of a warrior in sports and I know that you took each struggle personally, fighting each down, from kick off until time expired. A true follower of Bushido allows others to carry on at their own will, while the Christian Right in America seems to want to place restrictions on everyone based on the Christian Right's beliefs. Remember the third principle, "benevolence toward mankind", but also remember a Samurai's laws are self protection and none other.