Monday, June 2, 2014

Sometimes We Learn As We Age

Thinking back to when I was a child the world was quite different in my expectations and desires.  Most children are quite selfish because they are always being taken care of by loving parents and it seems the world revolves around them and it does I suppose. When I was hungry I was fed. When I needed clothes I was dressed. When I needed schooling I was sent to school to learn even though I really didn't want to go.
My beliefs were based on what I was told by my elders, by what I perceived to be happening all around me. The problem of being bullied was taken care of in my setting by fighting back and if that didn't work then an older sibling or parent would step in. To set the world right one had to fight back by any means possible.

The God I believed in was the one presented to me first by my family, then by my church. I really didn't like what was presented to me. God never laughed, He always was mad until you said you were sorry. I wanted a softer less demanding God. My Mom and Pop even though they placed restrictions on me were far better than the God I was being exposed to, they laughed a lot, and even if I was hit by my mom I'd be in her arms soon again because she loved me and I knew that.

As I grew it became obvious to me the strongest survived and the weakest perished. My experience in the Army only gave credence to that philosophy and I survived because I was bigger, stronger and smarter than my adversaries and I knew how to make friends with the right people. I was getting to know God a little better but I realize now that back then he was made in my image instead of me being made in His Image.

The more I aged the more it became clearer to me that the world didn't revolve around me but it revolved around all of us collectively. That what I do has ramifications that if not thought out my actions could result in disastrous outcomes that could change not only my life but the lives that I touch. This led to some actions on my part which were very difficult for me at the time but proved to be the only action that was right.

One time while coming back from a visit to my in-laws which I disliked to begin with since I was alone with five of my kids in the back seat of my station wagon, they were very young. For some reason a driver in another car took umbrage to my passing him and he chased me for about a half of mile finally cutting me off and getting out of his car, he was bigger than me, and he had a wife holding an infant in her arms yelling for him to come back into the car. I was assessing the situation. I couldn't take this big guy but I had a lug wrench under my driver's seat. I figured I'd wait till he came close and I would swing the door open driving him back and I would jump out of the car and bash his skull in. He came up to the car and he started to insult me in front of my kids making me very mad since my manhood was being challenged. The thought suddenly flashed through my mind that I could kill this guy or most certainly maim him over what? Over a stupid challenge to my macho feeling and I could go to jail and then my kids and his infant would have no father all because I had to feel like a man. So I let him call me a coward and he finally got back into his car calling me a "yellow belly coward". I never carried a lug wrench again. What I was afraid of, my kids losing respect for their father never happened, in fact they don't even remember the situation. Hopefully that guy learned from the experience as I did and had the great pleasure of watching his kids grow into fine human beings always having a father with them that didn't expose them to what could have been a life changing experience for them. Discretion is the better party of valor or something like that.

As I age I am learning that the real God that is out there is nothing what I thought him to be when I was a child, young adult and middle aged person. First thing is that for me knowing God is a slow process as He reveals himself oh so slowly to some of us. I have learned that being made in His image has to do with the spiritual, the ability to reason and to learn that true love is easy for those who want to give rather than take. And as funny as it seems my God while He created the universe and is certainly the center of everything really doesn't want everything revolving around Him (it does of course) because He is intimately concerned about all of His creation, animate and inanimate.  I have learned He has a helluva sense of humor. Peculiar as it seems He doesn't take Himself too seriously and wishes we would follow that. He takes all of us very seriously we should be seriously concerned about the world, environment, the people who live on the other side of the world, the animals that we abuse by simply ignoring the fact that He created them too AND if He loves them we should also. He is still revealing much of Himself to me and I guess until we meet face to face I shall never get the full impact of who He is. This much I know for sure, He exists, is real and wants all of us to love never hate, and believe that there is a much better place waiting for all of us, animals included.

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