Its been a while since I have written and on the morning after a very energized window in my life, with a less than hoped for outcome, I must move forward. Anytime someone determines to follow their heart, even selflessly sacrificing great moments with family for the sake of others, it seldom comes without pain. Pain in a positive sense, for with that deep tearing of the dream comes priceless insight into self and others.
In my case, I have now experienced the fourth of institutions we all hold dear. That alone is a magnificent privilege, given the relative depth of each experience. My first being a sibling in a family of six, with a very devout commitment to spiritually, though our belief systems were most definitely culturally influenced.
Secondly, a range of experience within the educational system from advanced degrees to pre-kindergarten, serving roles in both private and public education, from the classroom to the associate superintendent and headmaster level.
Then there is the church, where we tend to safely mimic our family’s belief system and live out what we ourselves understand. My journey has taken me from the typical small church congregation to a relatively large mega facility with a broad range of exposure from charismatic to traditional Christian theology, as well as other faiths, with intimate access to those professionals who proffer each.
Finally and perhaps now behind me, the political system, where we cluster ourselves within an identity which best reflects our deeply held moorings of how we believe society should co-exist. Though akin to mob behaviors during election seasons, and most often bi-partisan, though now reflecting a range of splinter groups to include unaffiliated, we align ourselves with leaders who best reflect or at least profess to agree with our values. We often hold the expression of our views at arms length, even at times from our family conversations, and especially within our church dialogue. These deeply held confessions about personal liberty and justice unfortunately may entrench us in uncompromising points of view, and may even manifest as actions contrary to values learned in the former institutions addressed. Serving a diverse educational spectrum, we pool funds, known as taxes, with the intent to protect and nurture the geography that surrounds our most important investment, our homes, as we awkwardly attempt to understand and celebrate community.
Having now experienced to some degree, each of the above, I shall set upon a course over the next season of my life to objectively (if possible) extract “sage” learnings that might deserve conveyance to future generations, in hope that the bizarre experiences of my 65 years can add value in their navigation of these institutions. Each institution certainly seems to have endured the test of time.
The writer of Ecclesiastes, has adequately explored much of what I now find myself intrigued by, but that source has seldom prevented my own exercise in futility.
As I am sure was the case with Solomon, his original intent was knowing God; experiencing life at its fullest was simply the means for such revelation. My life has been both about knowing the God with whom I have communed multiple times, and recovering from the pain that comes in such a great journey. Knowing God and following one’s heart may be one and the same?
In my most recent episode, my heart was guided by circumstances that now seem less than rational, while yet, each step was affirmed in some way. With each step, though at times awkward, exhausting, even bruising, there was always a circumstance that pointed toward the “next” by way of some provision, either a new and rewarding relationship, or availability of some necessary tool, if not financial means.
Perhaps will serve best as the introduction to a book, Transforming Judah, which I hastily posted on line some months back, as my life had become more hectic than my wife deserved!