Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Writing Project Numero Uno

Topic: Falling

I'm twelve years old and after years of sitting back and watching others stand forth, heads bowed before God, I finally decide that I am ready. I'm going to take the plunge and let Jesus come into my life. Up until this point he's only spoken to me through an intermediary like the pastor whose voice now resonates in the vastness of my church. His tone reflects how important this moment is for me, and the others like me who want to get acquainted with the Son of the Lord, but he must be speaking in tongues because his words never register in my mind. Tears begin to fall down my face and sobs wrench through my body as I release a lifetime of confusion, fear and apprehension. I feel unknown hands upon my shoulders offering support. This will be a defining moment in my life, I just know it. As the light opens up within me I suddenly realize, with extreme clarity, that I have no idea who I am.

Many years have passed since then and every day I become more aware, I learn and understand this life a little better. With each day the memory of that day in church slowly fades into the shadows of the past. I remember thinking on that day that my life would now be different, I was now on the path to redemption. I spent my entire childhood in that church and it was always supposed to provide clarity and ultimately help me lead a happy, fulfilling life (and so much more of course). But the choices we make in life always have deeper meaning than what initially appears on the surface and sometimes the reasons we step forward aren't the ones that caused us to get out of our seat in the first place.

In the years following my courageous leap of faith I fumbled through a succession of choices that found me in a tumultuous fall from grace, which left me in the throes of Hell. I took drugs, became a sexual deviant, stole from my employers, lied to everyone, you name it and I got away with all of it. The entire time I grew more and more miserable. I was constantly depressed and fatalistic. I didn't care whether I lived or died and I soon realized that I was on a path that would lead to my demise one way or another.

During this time I stopped going to church. I realized that even though I'd followed it my whole life I never actually believed anything that Christianity taught me. I was an agnostic. Then, shortly after I recognized my fatalistic tendencies, I found Buddhism. I immediately began to find reason and understanding through this new philosophy. I became aware of how my life was intimately connected to everything in the universe. The stars, the air we breath, each human, the entire ecosystem of the planet is aware of this interconnectedness. The turmoil in my life began to dissipate and I opened up to a world of peace based on courage, wisdom and compassion. I started to understand what it means to be truly happy.

Now, decades later, I realize that this was the quality of awareness that I was searching for so long ago when I didn't sit down that day. I was looking for how I was connected to this life but couldn't find the answer in God because He had never found His way inside me, even after a heartfelt plea of faith. I know now that the answers I sought were always right there for me to see. I just needed to open my life in the correct way. I know that for some people they find those answers in the Christian community and have discovered the beauty of life using their faith. I continue to be skeptical, although I have learned more about Jesus' wisdom as a Buddhist rather than as a Christian.

I now know the reason my tears flowed heavily out of me that day. Deep inside of me I knew that instead of allowing Jesus to enter my life I was actually turning my back on Him and I was scared to death. I stood forth that day hoping to find the meaning in God, but my search for the divine needed to follow a different path.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home