Day 25: Are you a leader in spiritual endeavors? Which ones?
I am the leader of my own spiritual endeavors. The reason I’ve chosen to be that leader is that I have been unable to reconcile my personality and my beliefs and my behaviors with any one religion’s requirements. I tried, really hard, to be a faithful person in a United Methodist Church. I was doomed from the start, because I was so psychologically stuck in childhood that I couldn’t be an adult anything. And I was so unwilling to see myself as being stuck, that even when I knew I was doing stupid, self-defeating things, (like sitting on the second-floor of the bar down the street from the church of which I was pastor, smoking dope and drinking vodka. I am not exaggerating,) I still did them. Even as recently as when I started this blog, I could not admit how truly out-of-control and out-of-my-mind I was, during those years.
So I was a spiritual leader who was far from being willing to lead. I don’t know why, but neither am I trying to figure that out. This is a new page in my “what’s done is done” book, and I am unlikely ever to be in that kind of position again, because I would recognize it first, and I would not wait around until I was up to my neck before deciding I was in the wrong place.
Then, on top of being emotionally unable to be a leader of other people’s faith, I had enough education to be dangerous. I stayed in seminary long enough to dispel any belief in the bible as anything but the history of a particular people at a particular time. I think many seminary students reach that point, but most find a way to live with it. Or maybe not. I cannot bring myself to believe that an infallible God, all-powerful, would sanction a book which holds up rape and slavery as admirable activities. So I learned enough to be fatal to my own Christian faith.
But I have, and want to have, some kind of faith in my life. So the only solution, as far as I can see, is to create my own faith, and be the priest, the rabbi, the mullah, the buddha, the bishop, the leader of that faith for myself. That is what I have chosen to do, and that is what I have done.