A New Chapter Begins

 

Several months ago, a friend of mine on facebook simply disappeared out of the blue, with no one among our mutual friends able to reach him. We had no idea what had happened. Prior to his disappearance, he had been heavily engaged in theological debates, taking every opportunity to rock the boat and provoke his believing acquaintances. There was some indication that it was all getting to be a bit much for him, and I suspected that might have had something to do with his vanishing act. But, again, none of us were certain, and I was somewhat concerned. Lo’ and behold… he re-emerged. And, when he did, he was different. There was a certain peace about him. He had relinquished all conflict. He wasn’t fighting, anymore. He had chosen the path of serenity.

I envied him at the time, because, although I could certainly relate to his newly chosen path, I myself wasn’t ready to give up the fight, completely. I had reduced a good deal of it. But, I was still hanging on to it. Out of that need for validation, the need to boost my own ego and pride, I continued to feverishly research, debate, blog, and challenge others. I was fighting to prove my superiority. And continuing to act on old wounds, inflicted by the religiosity of others from my past.

There is certainly something to be said for the thirst for knowledge. There’s nothing inherently wrong with certain academic pursuits. But, what for me was a passion was also an obsession. One that consumed me so entirely that it came at too great a cost. It kept me from bettering myself in ways that should have been a greater priority: Seeking stability, financially and otherwise. Spending more time with friends and family. And being completely available to those I love. Not lost in a sea of my own thoughts, but present with them in the moment.

There is a saying: Until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change, no change will come. And that is why most of us have to learn so many of life’s lessons the hard way. Because we don’t change until our old ways are beaten out of us. All too often, it’s the only way. But, the good news is… it can and does happen. So long as we have both the fortitude to reflect on our circumstances, and the willingness to change them.

With that said, I am hanging my hat with blogging and debating about religion. And not just for practical reasons, but because my heart simply isn’t in it, anymore. Sure, I may dabble here and there, or answer questions from those who are interested. But, it will no longer be a priority for me. I am closing that chapter.

Make no mistake, though: I haven’t given up on my dreams. I will still seek after them. It’s just that my dreams have changed. What I want out of life has changed. If indeed it is so that life is finite, that I only have so many years left to experience this world, then I want to live that life to the fullest. I want to have the means to achieve stability and security, travel, spend quality time with the people I cherish most. And to share something special with someone, whomever that may be. Because that facebook friend of mine? He’s right. Love is all that matters.

 

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