Scare Tactics – Part II
Now initially I thought you had to be a person of excess to be a sinner. My mother extricated herself from sinners and all of those that she avoided lived lives of excess. Too much smoking, drinking, eating, womanizing, lazing around, or talking dirty.
So what had I to fear? I had no excesses. I was too woefully thin, too woefully shy, too woefully poor, too woefully frightened, to be excessive in anything. Too limited in every way to be a sinner. But now I’m sitting here in the front of the church with the graduated pews and the preacher has his beady little eyes focused straight on me and he is telling me I was born a sinner. Born a sinner? What the h…?
And if that wasn’t enough now he’s telling me that if I reject God, I may look around me and feel out of favor now, but it is going to get a whole lot worse. The bottom line is the only way I can expect to have blessing in this life, and escape from hell’s burning flames in the next, is to love God with all my heart and soul and mind.
Oh, but just hang on a minute here. I have a problem with that. I can say ‘I love God’ but if I don’t sincerely love him, that is the worst kind of lie. And I cannot give love on demand. I just cannot. I am not responsible for who I love. It is out of my control. And I absolutely cannot love someone because I am told I must – whether that someone be mortal or immortal, all powerful, or weak as a newborn kitten.
I have a subconscious mind and it forms commitments and purpose quite removed from what I wish or want or will. My subconscious mind made me love my parents without me choosing to, wishing to, or wanting to. So love is not an option that I can decide to choose or decline. It runs much deeper than that.
So it seems to me one can’t seek redemption through fear and still retain the fitness and propriety, some call it ‘grace’, that must accompany that conversion. Cause God is all-knowing. He knows more than what we tell him. So it goes without saying that he knows if we want him in our lives to simply curb our fears or because we truly love him.
So what to do? How to save myself? There is no sensibility in the minister demanding that I love God cause no matter how the preacher man has motivated my conscious mind with fear and panic, love controls reside in caves and tunnels buried much deeper than that.
At the Root of the Fray – Part III
So you see the problem. Never in my lifetime, as a child, or even as an adult, has my subconscious mind allowed me to give love on demand. Even yet, I cannot affectionately accept notions because of social or political pressures.
And because this is true, though not generally examined or understood, there are those who say I am opinionated and close-minded. Some even may suggest that I am bigoted. But what my critics fail to understand is that allowances must be made for my subconscious mind – that little piece in my heart or head, I know not which, that houses my conscience, my soul, my love, and my spiritual convictions, over which I have no control.
And so, because of the conflict in my head with the other, there have always been popular social concepts that in no way affect me personally, but yet my subconscious mind refuses to accept them. And on the other hand, there have always been other abstractions that directly affect me, and even though in my conscious mind, I am theoretically convinced, my subconscious mind chooses to remain obstinate.
For example, I know global warming will eventually have dire effects but I can’t get my subconscious mind to accept that it is happening. Obviously, though many think otherwise, there is no straightforward correlation between the conscious and the subconscious mind.
So I sat in church that Sunday morning, wondering how to find a solution to an impossible dilemma. And then I did what kids always do. I searched within the context of my own limited knowledge for a solution. And surprise, surprise. Suddenly it occurred to me that I had some exposure to the validity or invalidity of the expectation that one can offer – love on demand.
NEXT POST – Finding an answer.