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May 19 • Can It Be That Simple?

Day 680

My life is not what it was supposed to be, and probably never has been. It probably never will be.

I wrestle a lot with this as a pronouncement that I was somehow destined to be a particular sort of person with a particular set of accomplishments. I wrestle with the idea that I will never be as good or successful as I was supposed to be. That is some serious stinking shit on the stooped shoulders of a broken man with broken burdens.

I've lived my whole life trying to live up to the expectations of everyone from God to the stranger on the street. Now you're telling me, or I'm telling myself, that I am facing a future of continuing the perpetual failure of trying to be that person? I think something needs re-evaluating.

I understand why we tell each other that we each have a place in the cosmos carved out for just us and that it is our mission in life to find a way to get there. In so doing, we become part of something bigger, are challenged to greatness, pushed into the discoveries of our imaginations, and turned into patriotic tax-payers on the escalator of capitalism.

Yeah, no pressure.

"But," the preacher says, "God has a plan for your life. It is your duty and privilege to be a child of God, and to struggle to the excellence of service and rewards." Or something along those lines.

Well, I am not rejecting any of that, nor would I tell anyone else to cast it out of hand. But I am examining the role this thinking — this teaching — has had on my addict brain. And that's not to mention the knotted-up stomach of a little kid in Columbus, Ohio who did not have the tools even to ask the right questions.

Does our Higher Power have a plan for us? I have always believed He does, and I've generally defined mine by whatever it was that fed my needs at the moment. Those needs ranged from money to missions, and I have to give some credibility to the possibility that this was a correct interpretation, as much as it may have been wrong. That is not my question right now.

As a still-believer in the Bible, I do not apologize for turning there for answers. Still, any good Google search can return any number of proof-texts to satisfy my need to reinforce my position, or the need of others to convince me of theirs.

Oddly, or expectedly, the scriptures speak to me differently as an addict than they did as a Bible-thumper. By and large, they seem far more straightforward than they used to, and I'm far more fine acknowledging that I don't have to understand every jot and tittle to benefit from its words. But some invocations appear to be clear, especially when they appear repeatedly. This verse is one of my new favorites:

"...what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." –Micah 6:8

We can argue all day (or for thousands of years) whether this passage is the beginning of being in the present, or the goal that is worth the journey.

Maybe it's just a decision.




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