Ha. Well. Every once in a while, I’m lucky (or blessed, if you prefer) enough to experience a feeling of being connected, even if only for a nanosecond, with another human being. Of course I’m not talking about the kind of connection we experience through the familiarities of family or friendship, or even marriage, but rather the unexpected and often unrecognized connection that occurs when you and another being’s thinking is identical and simultaneous.
I woke up this morning questioning my need to, well, question. Sometimes friends tell me I tend to over-think things, that perhaps it is preferable to just accept the conventional wisdom and move on. Its certainly easier, I can tell you that. Anyway, as is my habit, I went to read a paragraph of “The Book” by Alan Watts, and it was both comforting and unsettling that in it he talked about the virtue of questioning everything. Not five minutes ago, a good friend sent me a link to this article about a book written by a Nashvillian named David Dark. The title? “The Sacredness Of Questioning Everything.” I can’t wait to read the book. But the timing was uncanny.
Still, I hope to learn a process, a framework, if you will, for this endless soul-searching. (The church never even came close to providing it, so please forgive me if I dismiss any advice that I seek it there.) I’m pretty sure that we cannot do any real introspection or conscienciously question anything if we don’t develop the process for it ourselves, as I have stated before, a roadmap does me little good if I’m not sure of my destination.
Yesterday, I was laughing with a friend about that day’s post at The Chronicles. I’ve been struggling of late to complete a posting and hit the “publish” button. Anyway, in a world beset by widespread poverty, genocide, war, and living in a country plagued by crippling partisanship, rampant hostility and economic crisis, I chose to write about the sale of wine in grocery stores. That tickled me. I think I did that because I thought (erroneously) that I knew the right answer, and all I would have to do is talk to a few people, then stake out a position and defend it. So, I did that. Satisfied, I grabbed a handful of discs and headed out to the back pasture with the dogs to practice my back-hand. I launched maybe three drives before the voices in my head started. “Look at you, all smug because you think you’re right”. “What if that were you in that position?” “By the way, shouldn’t you be repairing that fence over there?” This was when I picked up my scattered discs, and slinked back inside to collect my scattered thoughts.
I thought about the title of my last post. Change is Painful For Some. It should have just said Change Is Painful. I know that the word “painful” seems subjective, that its use suggests I have already determined that change is something to be endured rather than embraced. But much like the pain that accompanies the rebuilding of muscle, sometimes pain is rewarding and necessary. But I’m pretty sure I used the word yesterday because I could sense pain in the man’s voice as he explained to me why he was against the proposed legislation. I could shoot down his arguments in no time flat, sure, but I took no joy in it. Seriously, it took me the rest of the day to decide that it had to be enough that I could feel empathy, that hearing this man and considering his feelings were gifts he gave me. I’m telling you, I feel way better today about it than I did yesterday.
So, whats next?