Who am I anyway? What am I? What’s my purpose . . . or is there even a purpose to any of this?
These are a few of the questions I have been asking myself over the years and trying to figure out. Questions upon questions run through my mind like a junkie chasing his next fix . . . but usually the answers elude me and I have to experience a thing before I learn it’s lesson. . . . bummer . . .
Why can’t I just believe! Have faith! Listen to what they tell me! Read the good book, follow directions and queue up behind my choice of religion along with the rest of the crowd. Then I would just have to pay my tithes, listen to the pied piper and prepare for Heaven . . . or (gasp) follow this path I’m currently on and find myself on a one way trip to Hell. “That’s the choice you have Jimbo . . . get used to the idea of Hell because you ain’t good enough for Heaven! . . . even if you had 15 more lives, you wouldn’t make the grade.
I’m not really bragging, but I do have a lengthy resume when it comes to experience on this earthly plain. In short, after a dysfunctional upbringing and a regular high school education, I have been an airborne soldier…been a hippie . . . been a devout Christian (now a devout reprobate). . . been an Alaskan fisherman and off season bush rat . . . been a carpenter/home builder. I am a husband . . . a father . . . a writer . . . an amateur guitar maker . . . and most of all . . . I am a watcher.
The one great truth I have learned during all that watching is that NOBODY seemingly knows their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to God. I’ve run into a lot of folks who have tried to verse me in their self interpreted ways of the Lord, but the only way that works for me spiritually speaking is MY way. . . . and MY way is fraught with dangers, because alongside this personal freedom dwells personal responsibility, and that word seems to be one of the scariest words in the English language. NOBODY seems to want anything to do with it. LOOK around, WATCH closely. From the president on down all you see are fingers pointing and tongues wagging. No wonder we are in such bad shape. . . bye bye, miss American pie .
In the early days (right after the crazy hippie days), I lived on a Christian commune where the religiosity was enormous and the social order was as restricted as the military unit I once served with. I did all the right stuff, said the right words, even attempted to sing on key while singing for my supper, but ultimately I had to walk out on the ‘family’ because of the religious nonsense. Although I wore the proper uniform, I knew beneath it all I was play acting.
Now, to get to the point. There ARE rules, and spiritual rules are stronger than any physical rules. Rules that religious thought are based upon. These same rules that are taught in every religion on the planet and followed by almost no one . . . are LOVE, MERCY, and GRACE.
I’m a builder. I build homes and just about anything else from musical instruments to dog houses. One thing I fully understand is that for a house to stand the test of time it must have a proper foundation. It is absolutely essential. The foundation must begin below the frost line, carefully built up and properly backfilled. Everybody knows in the trades that most buyers barely check the foundation and spend most of their time scrutinizing the paint job. So where does the greatest effort go on the builders part? You got it.
The main religions on this planet are all pretty much created on the same principles of love, mercy, and grace. But after that the foundation goes in and up in a heated rush, it can be crooked and out of level and ugly as hell, but no one cares after the sill plates and floor are on to cover the shoddy work. The rest of the house is hurriedly roughed in until they get to the paint job and finish trim, then it’s ‘take your time and do a good job’ time. Welcome to the large, expensive, and beautifully laid out churches of today. Joel Olsteen comes to mind. What a sham that smiley young man is fostering upon the zillions of people who believe his nonsense.
No wonder our kids are leaving the churches in droves, they are smart enough to see the degradation and want no part of it. Trouble is when they see nothing but phoney, they are losing the reality of the principles these churches were built upon. They become wandering stars with no direction, that operate in the physical sense of doing what feels good.
I know for sure that I have no desire to teach, or be a leader over anybody. I am merely a watcher. I don’t even like people all that much these days. I have just one goal in these writings and that is to reveal to YOU that WE are powerful spiritual beings that are personally responsible for ourselves. We will never know any of that power unless we build the proper structure to contain it and we build it upon a foundation of love, mercy, and grace.
So although I may have a somewhat disjointed viewpoint of religion, I have researched it, meditated upon it, and it has become my reality. Because of that, the dusty old salvation story as well as the book it is written in has evolved into a new and very exciting reality I hope to share in this medium via my personal experience of watching the goings on around me for these many years.
Religion and spirituality is only a small part of what I am going to be writing about, but this watching all took place under His eye and on His turf, so I think it only proper to first give Him center stage. I have a lot of observations that are funny as well as many that are sad and a zillion in between so stick around you’ll find something to laugh at . . . (I hope)!