Unasked and unanswered questions


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In March next year we fly first class.

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It’s a bucket-list kind of thing.  Never thought we would.  Never planned to do it.  But I did – and we are!

And then the guilt!  The carbon footprint bootprint! … the homeless! … the poor! … all those who don’t have! …

Just like sin – guilt is the default go-to.

We went to the Maldives for our 20th.  Another guilt indulgent trip.  I took out a loan for that “indulgence” – did international money transfers (in the days when you had to go to the library for their facsimile machine) – and all behind Mrs Paul’s back – AND we went “top-end” – loaded with guilt indulgence!

We’ve never been back – but have already had nearly twenty years of fantastic memories!

And now – on an almost daily basis – I look at my “FlightRadar24” app and check out where “our flight” is that day.  And every time I imagine being in the nose in “that seat” with Mrs Paul in “that seat”.  What will we be doing – how will we be feeling – who else will be with us – will it … ?

I have discovered this one plane spends its whole life flying west, then being cleaned and refilled and flying east, then being cleaned and refilled and flying west, then being cleaned and refilled and … seven days a week … In fact in every 24 hours of every day this plane is in the air for 18 of them.

It also seems to take off at least 30 minutes late – sometimes an hour – occasionally more than an hour.  And – for the first time – I imagine being in the “Lounges” a little longer – being Stretched Out a little longer – being indulgent guilt-free-stress-free-happy-full a little longer.  So unlike our usual budget flights!

We also booked and paid when it was a very good (massive) price.  Only to find a sale happened a week later and the very good (massive) price could have been a whopping (massive) 25% less!

Mwehhhr … shit happens.

But I’ve come to think this (if I allow) … that this isn’t a guilt laden indulgence.  Now I think this whooping (massive) £s price is actually wonderful value for money.

Because I am already enjoying almost a year of daily happy “pre-memory memories” (Mrs Paul thinks I am nuts).  And when we have done this trip we will have (hopefully) another twenty years of fantastic ”post-memory memories”.

NOW divide the “whopping £’s number” by twenty-one years and …

I am not saying we have to break the bank to make memories.  What I think I am saying is that when we ONLY put a £s price on something – it’s very easy to guilt-trip judge ourselves and others.  And the guilt-tripping judging ourselves is usually this:

“What will people think?”

Or to put it another way “Will my crafted mask of “I am a good person” be tarnished?” Or to put it another way “How do I do (???) and still look good?”

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Inerrant and infallible?

Isn’t that the same?

More about “How do I do (???) and still look good”  than much else?  Because if “the bible says … ”  then it’s not my fault.

Which means I can exclude (and we do) the biblically incorrect and still be absolutely and lovingly biblically correct.   And all because the bible is “inerrant and infallible”.   A biblically correct label we have correctly created.

God says because the bible says and I am doing exactly what God and the bible say I must.

Through the ages that has been the excuse of so many who did stuff others judged as inhumane.  In biblical times that was the claim of the religious elite.

Our creation of labels – our reliance on the label of sin – just like like the label of “what will they think” guilt … Has a lot of unasked AND unanswered questions.

With guilt it is easy – “What will others think (if they find out)?”   With excluding those we don’t like sin it is also easy – “Because the bible says so.”  But is that really what Jesus meant when he said … “You have seen it written but I say” ?

Maybe even though the bible says “Love Without Condition” – we can say (correctly?) that the bible trumps “that” with more important stuff …

No sinning – but can’t not sin.  Gotta love – but can’t love unconditionally.  Gotta be saved – gotta do religious stuff – gotta carry a burden – gotta suffer – gotta earn my way to heaven – gotta be seen to be good – gotta fit in.  

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“You have seen it written but I say”

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Might be worth pondering.

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