When I compare the results of my life's works based on where I've stored my beliefs at each various point in my life, I see major differences. Yes, it's true that when I have held the belief that the world was in God's hands and that the final victory over evil, sin, corruption is promised and that we need not worry about that, I have always managed to lead a happy, fruitful and productive life. When I have questioned those beliefs, my life has been in disarray, confused and filled with feelings of hopelessness.
So, does this mean that I can't function without a belief structure of some kind? Can I not believe in myself? It seems that when I let God handle the shit I can't handle and I handle the things he/she/it gives to me to handle, things seem to work out better. My mother, who reads my journal every day, is probably grinning from ear-to-ear right now and making exclamations similar to "Well it's about time!" or "It took her this long?" or "I tried to tell her that." right now.
Some would label it as a fruitless search for something one already had. Whee! Where's my tail, where's my tail?! Yeah well, it's only fruitless if we don't learn anything. We only go on the journey when something doesn't add up.
I'll try to explain. Let's assume there's a culture that believes that chairs made from wood and metal are good but chairs with no structure, like bean bags are bad. Those bean bags may be comfortable, but they make you lazy. Yet this same culture says beds are good ... even though they're comfortable and make you lazy.
Now, Little One grows up in this culture and learns what his culture tells him. He accepts what he's learned based on his admiration for those that have taught him and how their lives are filled with joy, prosperity and peace. He grows up with these structures in place. He then goes out into the world where there are other cultures that believe differently.
To some, who have no opinion, he is able to share and explain how he feels and they accept it and follow what he teaches. Then one day, he meets a new culture that sits around on bean bags but aren't lazy at all. They sleep wherever they want, including the floor, and are quite comfortable to do so. But he recognizes the same joy in their lives as what he has in his own life. How can this be? They don't follow the rules!!
And so, a crisis of faith begins. He begins to question the rules and begins to "try out" this new way of thinking. He discovers that sitting in bean bags is fun and lying on the floor can be very comfortable. Suddenly the idea of sitting on a hard chair makes no sense to him. And why bother with a bed when the floor is right there? But now he is at odds with his teachings. They will not go away, after all, they are part of who he is. Soon, he begins to notice that sometimes he is lazy in the bean bag and sometimes he is not. Oof. This is really making no sense for Little One now. Everything seems to be topsy-turvy and confusing. Is there nothing that is sacred anymore? Are both cultures wrong? What is Little One to believe in now?
This is the moment where Little One either begins to realize the commonalities in the stories told by both cultures, or gives up on ever reconciling the two. It has nothing to do with chairs or beds. It's "this is how we do it and it works pretty good for us." Neither culture cared to confuse Little One. They simply tried to share their ways with him that he might understand them.
Now, when one culture can view another culture and see the commonalities in their beliefs without judging each other as "wrong" for their beliefs, that will be the day when true unity can be achieved. But until then, the culture wars will continue to thrive until enough of the shell has been thrown away and we can all see the same thing in each other. I pray fervently for that day. Until then, I'll do what works for me and those I care about. See every part of me... not just the part that you like or don't like. See the whole, and you'll see me. With the next song, feel free to replace the word God and any gender references with whatever it is you believe in.
You've felt in your spirit
God's shown you something new
Something no-one else has thought of
But only you can do
But just as your desire grew
You got a little depressed
'Cause you found no destination
For your dreams to manifest
Your desire is the confirmation the destination is there
God wouldn't put it in your spirit if it wasn't going nowhere
(okay, bad grammar but I know what he's saying)
So set your sights on the promises and don't you be scared
For your desire is the confirmation the destination is there
His vision's for a certain hour
I know it won't be late
His promises will strengthen you
If only you will wait
Don't follow someone else's dreams
Keep your own in sight
For the vision that God gives you
Will keep you all your life