Here begins the story of a former rule follower.
When my wife and I decided to get married (42 years ago now) one of the spin off issues, right out of the gate was our different spiritual backgrounds. Won’t bore you with all the details, only to say, I decided to defer to her in that department, because she was worth it.
On a practical level, I was just going through the motions.
I hadn’t really given it (the spiritual component of my life) too much thought.
Until I started to.
I started asking “why?” questions.
The more I read, the more questions. I was like a coon dog on a scent.
I finally had a list of 8 to 10 questions that I needed answers to.
I made an appointment to meet with the guy who was our pastor at the time. Took my questions, along with a few handouts I’d come across along the way. He was a sharp, younger man as I recall, he really listened. By the end of our meeting, I was convinced it was time to move on. The official answers I was given that day just did not add up nor satisfy my intellectual curiosity.
The good thing was, during all of those months and weeks leading up to that meeting, I had been processing out loud. Asking my wife what about this? What about that? So by accident, she too had begun to question some of the fundamental things she had been taught from her youth.
We decided it was time to make some tough choices that we knew might not set well with some of her extended family. But staying where we was not an option.
The fear of what other people think is a snare….it’s called “The fear of man” It is a tough place to live.
10 years later, I found myself in familiar waters.
(This would have been in the early 1990’s.)
Wife was concerned, even back then, on some of the trends happening in education.
She had heard a program on the radio about home schooling, an interview with Dr Raymond and Dorothy Moore.
My first thought was, no way, no how. That’s just plain crazy talk.
Thing about marriage and parenting is, it’s a joint effort. and over the next while, she continued to read and get more information. She didn’t nag, didn’t talk too much about it, but my lack of support and encouragement, didn’t stop her from doing her own research. It finally came to a head (that whole issue of possibly home schooling our kids) With tears in her eyes, she shared her heart with me. At the end our meeting, we agreed we were not going to just jump because this was not some simple thing. We didn’t know anyone else locally at the time who was doing it. We agreed we would take the next year to learn about it, and then decide.
Looking back, that was one of the best decisions we made while the kids were in the home. Ended up doing it for 9 years. Involved the kids in the decision making process as they got older. I could write a blog post on that season of our life.
Actually I have… here.
Emotionally, those same people pleasing fears were in the air. They were in my head. Especially in the early 1990’s, there were a lot of people who thought we were nuts. We’d stepped off the deep end. We probably thought the earth was flat.
The rule follower in me had already tasted the freedom of making decisions not based on what other people might think, but on what make sense to me intellectually after weighing the information. There are relatives to this day, who probably think we were nuts.
Got time for one more?
COVID-19 and the plethora of spin off issues and questions.
I like that word plethora. Like how it rolls off my tongue.
I have to be honest.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I have been intellectually lazy on this one.
Hasn’t meant I haven’t been dealing with stuff, just like the rest of you, because I have. It’s just I’ve not been motivated to learn. So I’ve been quiet.
The vitriol once you step foot in the public square, feels like someone has a wood chipper outside my door. Last thing I want to do is get anywhere close to that sucker.
Then I read something in one of the McGuffey readers I bought for fun last winter… It was an essay on the value of Time and Knowledge
“The…value of mental cultivation is another weighty motive for giving attention to reading. What is it that mainly distinguishes a man from a brute? Knowledge…
Knowledge is power. It is the philosopher’s stone, the true alchemy that turns everything it touches into gold…and opens to us the treasures of the universe…”
Knowledge is power.
So I have started to peck away at the mass of information on the current virus, the history of viruses, prevention, treatment options, vaccinations, and get a working knowledge of it for myself. My baby sister is an RN, works in a local hospital. She has been a good starting place, and continues to let me ask her hard questions.
This feels familiar. Digging in. Reading, Thinking. Asking hard questions.
I will say this,
Once you step away from the wood chipper, there are some things that just do not add up.