I was just reading, as you do, and I read a line that struck me. At closing, he said, “…I was pretending I was on a mission from God.”
And my immediate thought was, you are.
If you follow a god of any sort then what else would you be doing in this life?
I’m a pretty hardcore believer in gods and owe fealty to my god in particular. And that colors my actions.
I use the Bender analogy from Futurama. In it, he’s floating in space and a tiny civilization springs up. He tries to help them. But he’s too vast, too large, and his actions cause huge effects which have many unintended consequences.
So, what’s a god to do?
Well, we are what. Those of us who have faith are charged with acting in big and small ways which reflect the will of our deity.
It’s one of the reasons I have trouble with modern religions. People are always praying for something or asking their deity for something. Faith isn’t a transaction. You don’t give them faith and they give you what you want. They don’t exist to serve you.
You serve them. You act in faith for them. If you wish to pray for things then answer your own prayer. You are here as the will of your god. Act like it. Without looking for benefit. In faith.
Every year my family gets together to celebrate the holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving. And every year they ask someone to say a prayer. This year they asked me. I said no. I was gracious about it, but I said No.
Because how do I say a prayer when it won’t be to their god. How can I say a prayer when it will first be spoken in the language of my prayers then again in their language. How would I explain that we don’t give thanks for what our god gave us but ask what we can do for our god. Not a god of blessings but one of a deeper path. How do I explain an entire lifetime of belief and structure and obligate choices. How do I even this prayer which is orchestrated would be an affront.
I don’t know. Don’t know how to tell them I’m not like them. In how many ways I’m not like them. And even when they grasp my paganism, they think that yule is a good thing, something similar to a celebration instead of a solemn affair.
It’s exhausting to stay quiet. To not broach subjects. To keep quiet on others. And still, there is always more. Lines that can’t be crossed and words that can’t be said.
My god would say, “The work is the work. You have to act before you can know.” And that’s true but how do you tell them that what they presume, even when told repeatedly otherwise, isn’t true.
It’s an odd feeling. To be included but excluded at the same time. To belong to something but not fit into it. There is a pressure and a sadness there.
I know how easy it would be to give in, to shred my self and conform. To lie and mouth their words in petty forgery of faith.
But then who would I be?
We act like our world is all one way
Blissful or burned by parallel reality
Same universe, same world
But really, how many lives can you see?
Which journeys will take you down roads that branch and branch until you see no way out?
Or end all too abruptly in a grave?
We want what we want and we want it now.
Blinded by our choice to only see those opinions that echo our own.
Unable to change minds because our own are so mired in our mirrors
Reflecting opinions back until anything outside is a foreign body to be attacked
Our opinions are so often lies of those tied to a news cycle
read an opinion and assimilate it rather than form your own
Learn someone else’s philosophy and wisdom, regurgitate
Look am I not wise
I said the same thing the parrots of my political flavor say
Things change but in cultural drifts
In ebbs and flows
Stutters and starts
In choices each time we open our mouths
Open our doors
It’s in the quiet words we tell ourselves and in the reason why we shout
Listen to me
Words fade in the cacophony
But be the rock unwavering
and be beaten to sand
In our silence
In our fear
Undiscovered in the discarded dross
Of our willful blindness
Take my eyes
I wish to see