Red sky at night ….
A shepherd’s delight!”
“Red sky in the morning …
A shepherd’s warning“
Is a BEAUTIFUL dawning!
When I was young we used to look out of the window to see what the weather was doing. Now we have the weather forecast (much more accurate computer modelling), and our weather apps (much easier to have a quick look). And the windows are all double-glazed nowadays and usually sealed or too cumbersome to open a crack. Looking out the window is so retro – it’s what our parents used to do.
One of the things I miss about smoking is going outside for a few minutes every hour or so. That very interactive “looking out the window” – sun, snow, rain or shine. I used to know every place with the smallest patch of cover when it rained. All the different corners to catch every ray of sun. All the windbreaks for different wind directions. The best places to spot planes overhead. The local birds and their different calls. The neighbours and their different sounds. I used to know all of that for a few minutes every hour.
There isn’t an app for that – nothing on tv to replace that. And “going outside for a few minutes” every hour … ? There is no need. That would be silly. Make me look desperate (or weird).
Just seeing this “red sky in the morning” reminded me of all that.
And much as I would never go back to smoking – my lungs couldn’t take it anymore – I am also reminded of what caused me to take “quitting” seriously.
One doctor amongst all the doctors who never did.
One doctor who didn’t diagnose a period of illness with “Oh … I see you’re a smoker …. ” – with the obligatory non-judgmental pause – every time that “non-judgmental-judgmental” pause. One doctor who told me to NOT stop quitting – told me that on average it took smokers about six attempts before they successfully quit.
That was all it took.
To be part of the (medical) human race again. To be a smoker who was allowed to be part of the (medical) human race. A human who was allowed to be ill AND a smoker. One doctor in all the doctors I had seen over my entire smoking life.
The first – and only – doctor who allowed me to be a smoker and a patient worth seeing.
And I could speculate that if that doctor hadn’t – then maybe I never would have. But as that never happened it is like the weather and never looking out of the window – someone else’s guess. All I know is what happened. I eventually quit because of that one doctor (and a lot of other stuff along the way).
Christians are quick to judge. That’s what I remember most – the judging.
Not everyone obviously – nothing is “everyone”. But like all the doctors who didn’t (and the one who did) – so too church – and work – and socialising – and living. We all like
I have found as I love more I become Christian less.
Not because all Christians are “bad” or “hypocrites” or anything like that. But because the label gets in the way. The “should” baggage … the “ought to” expectations … the “if you were then you would” not-judging … all of that stuff we do so well. The outside image that becomes so entwiined with the inside beliefs. The “stuff” that becomes so natural we don’t even realise we are doing it anymore. Like breathing. Like not smoking. Like not going outside for a few minutes. Like being a smoker. Like not being a smoker.
I went and got saved. And it got in the way. I became a Christian. And it got in the way. I eventually gave up being both.
And now I am connected to all.
Now the sun in the morning is a sight worth being awake for. Now going outside just for the hell of it no longer “silly”. Now smokers are like me. Now non-smokers are like me. Some are complete assholes and some are not. Just like me. It’s my choice whether to be a complete asshole or not.
This love stuff is life-changing!
(one doctor showed me that)
That is wonderful
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Thank you 🙂
Years ago I had an epiphany – I am not perfect. Now that sounds silly, “of course you’re not perfect, no one is.” But it goes deeper than the surface realization, it goes to the core of Christianity. I am not perfect, and if I am not perfect then how can I possibly judge someone else? Is what I see as their flaw really a flaw in me?
Decades ago a group of scientists working for Bell Labs (Bell was the major (read: only) telephone company in the United States) were working on a radio telescope when they discovered an odd sound coming through. They tried everything to eliminate that sound, including cleaning bird feces from every inch of the telescope, only to find that the sound was coming from space – it was the background noise from the Big Bang.
Point? It is only by cleaning away our own (pardon) crap that we can see the beauty that is around us. It is only by accepting my imperfection that I can see the perfection around me. It is by not judging falsely that the truth can be seen.
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“Now that sounds silly.”
My own epiphany was to learn that “silly” is always someone else’s judgment – and is nothing to do with me at all. And THAT was as liberating as the epiphany you describe.
Ever since I have been freed to voice “silly thoughts and questions”. 🙂
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