Fear. The final frontier. To boldly go where I was afeared to go before. To seek out new courage. To stretch these well-worn comfort zones. To find new life in me where no life was before.
I was taught fear is a necessary check to keep me safe from harm. The fight or
fear flight syndrome.
Then I was saved. Filled-up and over-flowing of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah.
What is real and what is imagination?
I was taught mind-games as a conscious strategy. The ability to overlay negative thoughts with positive ones. To grow the good stuff and shrink the bad stuff. To have conversations with myself from three different standpoints. To lead others from a bad place to a good place. To liberate. To heal. To re-program mine and others’ thinking. There is a whole toolbox of techniques and skills.
My brain is a fertile playground – receptive and enthusiastic for games – a willing and trusting partner in manipulation. I have found “being saved” to be another mind-game (and that doesn’t make it a bad thing btw)
Because some are “saved” by exercise. Others are “saved” by a mentor. Most of us have been in dark places and light places. Most of us have been “saved” more than once. I hear it called having an epiphany. I have had quite a few epiphanies. Those moments when things fall into place and I embrace change. Embracing something new … something I have resisted … something I have pushed away … something I feared … something I never knew I feared. And then didn’t fear any more.
I think we learn to fear fear. We are taught to fear. We are taught that fear itself is dangerous. Fear is to be avoided. Fear is bad. And when I was saved and filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit – in those moments I did not fear. And then I did again. And then the doubts began.
If I was actually overflowing of the Holy Spirit – I shouldn’t fear. So if I feared – I was bad. But over time I was less overflowing and had no idea why. So not only did I still fear stuff – my overflowing wasn’t – and both fed doubts. And the pretending began. The being a Good Christian pretending. Actually that isn’t true.
Pretending never went away.
When I was fearlessly overflowing I wondered why others weren’t. But you can’t wonder that out loud. That is judging others – and judging isn’t allowed. Nor is pride. And it felt pretty good being fearless and overflowed. So you can’t say that either. Humble is good. A sinner saved is good. But humble is better. And all that is the same pretending as I did before being saved – just with being “chosen” now in the mix.
Which is why I think being saved is just another mind-game (and still don’t think it a bad thing). My mind loves games. My mind is great at games.
When my wife … our children … a friend … a colleague … my boss … or anyone really … When they piss me off – I play mind-games. Sometimes I call it forgiveness. Sometimes I call it love. Sometimes I call it bomb-defusing. Sometimes I detach. It is called healing. Self-healing. And I prefer to self-heal than self-harm.
So if you “believe” you have a relationship with God or Jesus or whatever you call the biblical I Am – or if you don’t “believe” and believe (instead) that “believers” are fruit-cakes with a screw loose – then I am pretty sure that we all play mind-games that we all call belief. And some mind-games are so addictive we call belief “fact” and “evidence”.
And that is when the trouble starts.
I think life would be so much gentler if we celebrated what we have in common rather than insisted on being right (until we change our minds). I know that my God Soft Hands Jesus does.
So you believe in Allah … why should I tell you you are wrong? So you are an Atheist … ditto. So you think I should believe in a God closer to that in the bible … ditto. So you thought one thing some years ago and now think something different … so do I. You don’t think love is always the answer … nor did I but now I do.
So I don’t need to think as you think – and that is a change from what I used to think. And it is also why I don’t need you to think as I do – and that is another change. And you know those “epiphanies” I mentioned … ? Mine usually happen later. When everyone has gone home.
So why should I expect you to be any different?