I got a call last Saturday day from the bishop. The shop owner is a priest in a charismatic episcopal church and his bishop calls from time to time looking for him. I was there alone told him that the owner was at the church. It was a church work day.
He seemed surprised by this and went on to explain that he was doing a house blessing in the afternoon and didn't want to alone. He said the guy was in AA and didn't think the guy had any friends. I said if he is in AA he probably has a ton of friends, he said he didn't think that the people in AA really believed in God. I said I wasn't sure that was true and left it at that.
I thought about my own struggle with even the word God when I first started going to meetings. Raised in the Pentecost they talked about Jesus and Gods love along with the part about if you sinned and didn't ask for forgiveness before you died, even if it happened five minutes ago, you were quite literally toast.
My earliest memory of my connection to Jesus was when I was five and I thought when they said, Jesus was coming any minute, they meant any minute. I stood outside one night when I saw some big search lights in the sky, looking for Jesus. He didn't come, I least I don't think so. Once I got the gist of the burning in hell part I would pray every night to be forgiven for anything that might be a sin that I didn't know was a sin, I wanted to cover all my bases.
It was a lot of pressure and as I got older it took a toll on me, once as a teenager I had some evil spirits cast out of me, but that is a story for another time. That was the end of my desire to be apart of the trilogy, until turning 30 and attending
Until then everything was black and white. Either you are in or out none of the grey stuff or thinking for yourself. I was out, I knew that for sure because I wasn't perfect and was sinning so much that I really couldn't begin to keep up with the list.
So I had to start at the beginning unlearn all that had been imprinted on my young brain. I didn't want God in my life and I certainly didn't want to turn my will and my life over to him. But I got over that because I started feeling better so I just put on my denial cap and kept going.
When I finally faced the God of my understanding I acknowledged that he was an A-hole and let my mother die and my father marry a evil person and then let me marry an alcoholic. I understood him perfectly. I had been victimized by the God of my understanding.
So how does a person get past that kind of thinking, one day at a time of course. Actually, I don't know exactly, I think the biggest thing the steps taught me is that I was not a victim. I had to get past the warm fuzzy feeling it gave me to be a martyr and start over. It is hard to say my life sucks to a room full of people that can say right back, I can top that. So I guess I found out I wasn't special so I had to get on with living and I did.
I actually feel grateful for those life changing events now. Those events led me to the program and the program taught me that I didn't have to listen to the voice in my head and that people can change. It is really remarkable the transformation I have seen in other people and myself. Even now I have mini awakenings, when I see how my thinking is totally messed up. Is there more, oh I am sure there is.
Coming to terms with God and sifting through what I was taught and what are my own beliefs is true freedom in every since of the word. I always say to my friends when I can't deal with my religious up bringing I just pretend I was raised Methodist, they seem so much more peaceful.
So I am good with the trilogy now and I am not talking about The Lord of the Rings, although I like that one too. I can'tbcomplete this post without noting that it is very interesting that I ended up working with a man that is a charismatic priest. My God of course has a sense of humor.