I had my laptop re-imaged this past week because of problems installing and running FCP. Painful. So, tonight I’m spending the first part of my Thanksgiving break re-installing software. This is a very familiar tale for me. Alas, in previous years I was usually installing something for a family member. Not too likely this time. Thus, the reason I’m even bothering to write about this is that, being an alphabetical kind’a guy, one of the first things I’ve spent the evening installing is an expensive product called Accordance, a Bible study tool, that I first purchased in 2004 and have been upgrading as recently as last Spring. When I say “spent the evening” I’m not kidding. I have a stack of CDs that I’ve been feeding to my laptop for several hours. I’m not entirely sure why I’m bothering installing the software, but there seems to be some persistent part of me that continues to want to be connected to my former passion and studies. None of this is logical in the least. But it’s there nonetheless.
I can’t imagine what this means. Why would I bother installing this program? As much as it represents hundreds of dollars, I’ve certainly spent at least as much over the years just on beer (though that would be a hell of a lot of beer…). It’s not about the money. I mean, I’m 2,500 miles from everything I previously knew and I’m completely free to conduct my life however I choose. So at first I chose to not associate myself with any church or fellowship. Yet after five months I find that I cannot seem to ignore my previous spiritual experiences nor play the role of a real skeptical atheist. So what should I do about this? If anything, I’m feeling the need to “be real” and not spend another 15 years in the spiritual wilderness as I felt I had done from the time of my divorce until five years ago.
But at the same time I can’t see myself professing the Apostles’ Creed without editing it down to meaninglessness. Equally I can’t ignore the “Otherness” that I sense in my own thoughts with vague memories of a kind of spiritual intimacy that was perfectly at peace with ignoring all dogma and the entirely compromised lifestyle that I was living that was complete contradictory toward my faith’s traditions. I miss that, not the compromised part. I love the community that I’ve found with my coworkers, but there are even deeper places that I’ve shared with complete strangers I used to go to church with and I can’t seem to shake that drive in my life. And this pesky bible software reminds me of this part of my life.
Maybe this is something that will come into better clarity when I’ve found someone to intimately share the journey with. But even as I write these words I know that the tendency is to go in the opposite direction and devote less time and energy to finding center and more about managing life with the other. Damn. That was a nice thought, to share the journey with someone. Alas, my experience has been that one’s partner is either completely disinterested in spiritual things or is completely invested in one particular interpretation of dogma and would see my unwillingness to “sign up” with her interpretation as a weakness. Yeah, I don’t need that shit in my life. I guess with or without a partner this is my journey to embark on.
Thus, just as I am restoring data and deciding on what to include and what to exclude on this laptop, I’m also trying to determine what to include and exclude from my spiritual understanding. As long as it’s been taking me to do software re-install, it’s a hell of a lot easier to deal with than this spiritual quandary I seem to find myself in. But i’m just silly enough to believe that i will get a handle on it… and then do the next thing. jbb
Music: “I Wish I Was a Girl” by Counting Crows on the This Desert Life CD