Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm Not Nice

There is a certain cynicism that comes with growing up in church.  Or maybe that's just me, because I grew up in church and grew up in a legalistic home and now I'm picking up the shards of my broken faith and trying to piece together something akin to a spirituality.

Today was not the first time I've heard the Gospel (thank you, Brennan Manning).  I think it was the first time I heard it from a pulpit though.


I will be 24 my next birthday.  I have grown up in church.  Why is this the first time?

I have accepted that the Church had made many mistakes.  That I have made plenty more.

I will hold myself accountable for my mistakes.  I will not go easy on the Church for theirs.

I think this boils down to:

I have a lot of resentment against the Church.  I need to forgive the Church, and my family, for wrongs, real or otherwise, done against me.  No one's perfect, and these people never claimed to be.

Fair enough.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Candid, Candide, and the Candidates

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cars in order to win the game.”
― Voltaire, Candide

Oh, this road has been long and hard.
“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?”
1) We started going to church again. I am not taking back anything I've said about the Church. I will not apologize for observations or feelings. I will not pretty up the damage growing up in church with legalistic influences has done. I've had to find my way back, and that's iffy at best.
He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado.

"We do not pray to him at all," said the reverend sage. "We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually.”

If for some odd reason your pastor decides to preach from Candide, this is the part where he'd say, "We need to have an El Dorado attitude!"

2) I'm still unemployed (walked out of my job nearly 2 months ago). I had a dream I went back to work where I walked out, and the reasons I quit were still there. No lie. In the dream, nothing had changed. Perhaps it was better to stay there? Or to leave? Whatever, no going back!

“Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.”

3) Reading's still okay.

“For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”

4) Writing's been bad.

“A great work must be novel without being far-fetched, frequently sublime, but always natural. The author must know the human heart, and how to make it speak; he must be a poet, without letting any of his characters speak like poets; and he must be a master of his language, using it purely and harmoniously and not letting the rhyme interfere with the sense.”

5) Oh yeah, and on a larger level, American politics has reached an all new level of low: Pissing contest for the ages!

“In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.”

I'm sure I've mentioned it before: Candide is probably my favorite classic. Because I can give my blogpost a proper commentary with quotes from that slim treasure.

This is the world God created, therefore it is the best of all possible worlds. And everything happens for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

I would have that in quotation marks as well, but I can't seem to find it either on Goodreads or my own pretty copy of the book. At least, not in so many words.

In light of Point 1, looking at Point 5, and thinking back to things I've said:

1) God appoints.  Guess what, Christians? WE, THUS FAR, HAVE SURVIVED OBAMA.

2) If Jesus said He would be there until the end of the world, do you believe it or not? I don't recall Him saying it was easy. He just said He'd be there.

3) Jesus also said somewhere not to worry about tomorrow.

I find this sound advice when it comes to American politics.

(I also think if I read my Bible as much as I looked up Candide quotes, maybe I'd be better off. Or maybe not, because this is the first time in a long time I played on Goodreads quotes.)

At the end of the day, I have no control over what happens. If I don't have control over it, I don't want to worry about it. At the end of the day, it gets filed under "Not My Problem."

I try to file as many things as possible under "Not My Problem."

I did not ask to be born. I did not ask for most of what's going on in this world. Don't believe what our generation is like? Go on Tumblr.

I do have to live in this world. Come hell or high water, I do have to live here until a new one is created. I will live here. I will have a good attitude about it.

Fine! I will try to have a good attitude about it.

“All that is very well," answered Candide, "but let us cultivate our garden.”