Pic of the day: Tenacity. Some seeds fell on stone, and still refused to give up. The book didn't say anything about that. Or did it?
In God we trust?
Well, at least if all else fails.
I had been sleeping for less than 3 hours when I woke up, feeling quite bad. My stomach hurt, I was queasy, and I shivered. Not a good start on the day. I got up and to the bathroom. Tried to throw up, but could not. (This is common. My gag reflex is somewhat lacking, it seems.) I felt quite miserable as I drank bottled water and ate a bit of acid- reducing medicine in case it was an attack of acid reflux. As it unfolded, however, I guess it may have been a mild food poisoning or at least something I had eaten that I did not tolerate. The only new food I tried yesterday were potato chips with garlic, and I did not eat them to excess. I am going to be very cautious around them now.
Now it has been this way for years and years, that if I open the Bible randomly and just let my eyes fall on a page, it is almost without exception a threat of death and destruction. I do this from time to time, but eventually it is no longer amusing. Either God is trying to tell me that I'm going downstairs, or the book is simply jam packed with death threats. None of these are options I really like to contemplate. I believe it is quite possible that I already know by heart the few encouraging passages, but I'd expect there to be more neutral stuff, like "X begat Y, and Y begat Z". Perhaps that stuff just made an inordinate impression on me back when I read the whole book through.
Anyway, I came to think that perhaps the reason for the negative feedback was that I was generally flying a bit too high. So I decided to try again now that I felt small, afraid and lonely. I took care to not just let the Bible fall open on an oft used page, either. I got Jeremiah 21, 13-14. Yep, death and destruction again.
I also found out one other thing. Actually it has kinda matured inside me, I guess. I realized that I am not afraid of death. I'd go out of my way to avoid it, even if death was just that, because I love life. But what I really fear is that which comes after death, the judgement and punishment. If I were just another mammal that would cease to live and just be gone, it wouldn't be such a big deal.
If what I've read in the Bible is true, then I'm almost certainly going to hell. According to most Christian churches, hell means eternal pain. I personally find it impossible to believe in a god who is morally inferior to myself, or to Adolf Hitler for that matter. Sorry, my heart and mind just balks at the concept. I have no revelation to explain away the couple parables where Jesus implies such a thing, but they are parables, while the rest of the book says that eternal death (not torture) is the worst that can happen to you. I prefer to believe that, now that I find it more likely than not that this is where I am going.
It was kinda easier to believe in everlasting torture when it didn't apply to me, I guess. Actually I didn't so much believe in it as push the thought away. But now that I know that I am a sinner and am consigned to live and die as one, I'm kinda worried that I may be wrong and God is bloodthirsty after all, the way our priests told us when we were young and impressionable.
But so far, I trust that he is not. I close the book and listen to my heart, and build in there an alter to an unknown God. In God I trust, tentatively; but in his fanboys? No.
Gray day mostly.
Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.