The strange periods of time when I am convinced that my small output of mental energy

The strange periods of time when I am convinced that my small output of mental energy is affecting other parts of the world via something akin to the butterfly effect within supersubtle waves of vibration. If I grossly attempt to direct my energy to cause a remote event, I am simply practicing low-grade witchcraft and inviting a demon to sit on my shoulder. If I pray deeply for the welfare of someone, I may do some good before my pride takes over, and I am completely thrown off by thinking I actually am more virtuous than others.

The liberating feeling when I realize I don’t really have much power at all to effect change on this earth. I do kick at my sense of impotence where my pride still lingers, but I don’t carry around that much pride, anymore.

I am free to just be. I need not have anything more to kick against. I am free to just be and do.

The biggest horror is that life really is meaningless

The biggest horror is that life really is meaningless. That I am neither good nor evil, but simply am a being who exists in this period of time and space. Who would want to come back, if Heaven was truly that much more rich and full of meaning and novel discoveries of even profounder truths? Who would want to come back if he neither fought and died in a great war, nor held any incredible occupations or had epic romances? What if almost the entirety of his life was simply fair, perhaps occasionally spicier than utter banality?

All of the books start to feel like simple accumulation of possessions. I am a hoarder of ideas and facts, but I don’t really know what to do with them.

The way in which time holds me captive is not from the way that a decade goes by like nothing at all, but in the way an average day persists without an end in sight. The clock stalls out around four-thirty, and doesn’t budge for hours, perhaps days. But, nobody would believe me to hear me tell of it.

What can I possibly cherish, other than my family and pets? Do I cherish good art, music, memories of travels, experiences with drugs and alcohol? Do I cherish religion instead of trying to do what Jesus commanded me to do? Do I cherish dreams and marathon naps and long, delicious nights bathed in air conditioning?

Would fighting and dying in a war or a post-apocalyptic world make it better?

Would a disease, or some other terrible tragedy give life a piquancy?

Perhaps a younger man might answer in the affirmative, but I am too old to lust after the tragic and the evil simply to have a story or two to tell.

I am too old to think that I am living at the very cusp of civilization, and life will never get better for people than the way life is good for the people of my generation and the subsequent one or two. Life will indeed be better for many others, in ways that I can hardly imagine, nor do I care to. Perhaps one day we all will get to change bodies and occupations and circumstances to such a degree that nobody will value wealth and privilege much, and most people will find being poor and downtrodden more exciting. Perhaps one day we will meld our minds with machines to the point where taking delight in books seems rather absurd.

I am too old to really seriously believe my life would have been better had I been richer, smarter, better looking, more athletic or of a different gender. I think my life would have been different, and perhaps held in higher or lower regard by others, but at the end of the day, I have lived too long to want to change much of that which is intrinsically me–though this may prove to be another ephemeral illusion.

I know that I was near the bottom

I knew that I was near the bottom but thought of myself among the best of the best at everything–once I would get my chance to shine. Boundaries between me and others. Peace with truly letting go and letting God. Some boundaries need to stop being erected–others should go up–God needs to lead here. Fear has mostly led in the past. The cherished ego becomes the ultimate thing to protect.

How do I get involved? People who learned how to get involved at an early age seem to instinctively know the right people to seek out. I don’t feel like I need an engraved invitation. I simply don’t know wher to start. When I do attend events, classes, dinners, etc. I feel like an outsider who isn’t especially welcome. I can’t blame it on others but I don’t know what to do differently in order to connect with others in a more meaningful way.

I want to die a righteous man. The more I work at this endeavor, the less righteous I seem to be. My thoughts are more prideful each time I strive to be truly righteous. Then, I experience most of the vices in more excess than I did before, especially wrath. I become so proud of myself for being so holy with my prayers, Bible reading and humility and care of others that I all but stop asking God for help. Without God, my so-called holiness just seems like pompousness.

I also seem to be adept at removing the very humanity from my supposed righteousness. Individual people no longer matter, just an abstract state of euphoric “love of others”: as if God’s flock of humans were simply a sea of one-dimensional faces. Of course, it’s easy to love some bland mass of gray faces, who don’t stink or think for themselves.

***Was written some time in seminary…exact date not recorded.

In my mind’s eye, I can see all of the things that used to set me on edge

In my mind’s eye, I can see all of the things that used to set me on edge, that would irritate me to no end, but I am no longer feeling them. I am medicated. I don’t think my mental coping strategies are responsible for the majority of my ability to function without fear, anxiety, anger and depression. They are helping a little, though, as I try to practice them as often as possible.

In all honesty, my efforts are based on a singular sense of purpose–the answer to the question: who do I want to be? I don’t want to be the man I was last year. I want to be someone who has replaced many of the destructive thought patterns with loving, mindful ones. I don’t need to be vastly smarter or better looking or more physically fit. I want to be wiser and kinder. This means all of the knowledge and clever mental tricks are worth next to nothing without a heart full of love for others.

People are frightened and anxious about what the world will look like when their kids come of an age to inherit the world. More than we would ever care to admit, we have placed our faith in material things and institutions rather than Christ. Waving a flag, holding a Bible, and having a fever for the troops will not pass for having an active life of faith in Christ. But, neither will positioning your primary focus of faith on institutions of government, secondary education and the economy. The things of this world, no matter how near and dear they are to us, are still the things of this world.

I will rely on the institutions that are designed to benefit and protect me, but they will not take the place of my Rock in whom I should trust.

The business of putting your faith in something or someone other than God amounts to hoping for a future immortality that is grounded in a worldly thing. You are seeking to sustain yourself as you more or less see yourself to be in its whole or entirety, in this world as opposed to a future, heavenly one. This may be because you are an atheist, or it may be because you simply do not have sufficient trust in God to make you part of His Kingdom of Heaven in a time and place to come. Immortality may be sought by trying to postpone the aging process and attempting to have a sustained longevity inside the corruptible human organism. Or, it may be sought via establishing legacies and material content that contain some evidence of who you were as a living being. Yet, you don’t really know exactly how you would define yourself were you put to that task, and you know that no amount of attempts at preservation and promulgation of yourself will be especially successful. In this world, the dead are quickly forgotten and reduced to names on buildings, streets, books, etc.

The first step is declaring that you have no intention of seeking immortality inside this corruptible realm. You can’t possibly be serious about seeking immortality if you are relying on an organism and artifacts that have corruptibility as part of their core identity. In other words, death and eradication are built-in to our physical selves and their intrinsic makeup and functions.

So then, what comes next? Do you stop writing altogether, because your words are just as prone to being erased as your physical self and memories of who you are will be? Or do you begin to seek solely a life everlasting through Christ? My physical self is completely mortal and ready to die when God sees fit, but my spiritual self claims victory in Jesus. Therefore, I seek to place all of my activities, including thoughts and words, as having come from Christ, and making sure they pass through Christ before materializing in this external environment, and always having Christ as the ultimate goal for my words, thoughts and deeds to move toward.

If I can hold this kind of thinking close to my heart, then I will never fear death or the oppressive forces in this physical realm that seek to destroy me. I exist apart from them in Christ, but I remain a part of this world for now, just as Christ himself was fully human.

By doing this, I appear to become a much simpler sort of individual, because I am not grabbing onto things of this world to power my activities. I will be laughed at and scorned, and nobody will hold me up in high regard as a penultimate example of what a human can achieve on his own without God’s help. But I remain at peace, and do not carry with me any need to prove myself to anyone. I am simply being in and with Christ.

My thoughts begin to look like little prayers, prayers for others, especially those that I once screamed and raged at for not living up to my exacting standards. Prayers for those who would mistreat me, intentionally or not. Prayers for those who are suffering, whether from self-inflicted wounds or not. Prayers for those who are successful, that they might come to see how all of the good that has flowed to them only comes from one Source.

This is the year that everything changes.

This is the year that everything changes. Change that will happen to me and change that I will initiate. The rest of my life will not be anything like the previous forty years. Anyone who knew and loved me ten years ago can’t say the same thing about me today unless they get to know me again.

I have no interest in staying the same. I never have, except that the comforting, scratchy, stinky blanket of sameness was indeed comforting in a familiar sort of way.

Are we entering unsettling times?

Are we entering unsettling times? The so-called democracies of Greece and Rome lasted no more than around 300 years. We read about how Rome had an era of a democratic republic for 300 years, and fail to recognize how young our own democracy really is. The hard times experienced by Russians in the 20th Century are certainly unimaginable to us. Certainly, we had our own Civil War some sixty years before Russia’s, and we probably killed as many of our own–but, should we congratulate ourselves by thinking that we would never endure such a great time of internal chaos and conflict again? Of course not!

We have all kinds of factions of people who mistrust each other now, and for some crazy reason, the extreme polarization seems to consistently lead people to conclude that they are either better off with a cowboy leader or a cold, professor-type leader.