Redefining Self

I consider myself a golden boy, not because I have any gold,

But because I was borne in a golden year.  I was borne in the year of the number of the element gold.  What a privilege!  And my birthday is the number set of the ratio of hexagons to pentagons in a buckyball, or soccer ball, if you will.  I feel blessed to be associated with such fine numbers at birth.  My mother said I was supposed to be borne on Christmas, according to the doctor.  Shows what doctors know!  Besides, I got the better end of the deal–a fabulous ratio!

Seems life pinned me on a destiny, a fate, and I’m sure it was choice, but still.  It hasn’t been pleasant.  Back on New Year’s Eve of ’99 I went to prayer to God in my journal expressing my willingness to be there for him in so many ways if only I could.  Seems somehow he heard my offering my whole soul unto him, and some time later, around ten months later he came to collect.  Life has been nothing but suffering–and growth–since then.  And sometimes I deny, and sometimes I complain, but I only say what I really feel.  Gotta be true to what’s inside–sincere, even to me.

It was October of 2000.  All it took was a single, very simple mistake.  To cross a boundary that as I crossed, I felt, I intensely, sensed, was a mistake.  I rationalized that I would rather not offend the guy I was with and went ahead, my waning thought being, “I hope this doesn’t cost much!”  Well, after that mistake and 16 and a half years, I really haven’t known peace.  It was collection-time, I guess, for my offering.  Time of reckoning had come!  I was given a chance to experience life without inhibitions.  Those that existed were to be routinely erased.  Censorship discarded.  The biological clock or moral compass or whatever you would call it inside me, did a Bermuda and left me with nothing.  Prayer was futile.  Appeals to God were empty.  Life, itself, was dreary and dark.  I continued to have inspirations, but they never succeeded in producing satisfactions.  A momentary pleasure, and back down the chasm!

At the time that I wrote my appeal to God, that final day of ’99, I had felt such a sweetness in the message of Jesus Christ.  I had known it to be sweeter than I had ever felt.  I had just turned 20.  That sweetness I had not known before.  But at that age, I tasted and I knew.  I felt bolder than ever, unafraid.  I felt a willingness to ride into situations expecting not necessarily success, but to have the words, the expressions, the directive to say “what needed to be said.”  I was riding someone else’s boat , and the gravy train tasted right good!  The guy beside me asked me how I dared to be bold in such a fashion.  I regurgitated stories of Moses and others like Jeremiah who had said, “God, I have no ability to speak.  Don’t ask me to do this thing.”  But then they did.   I said, If they could, so could I.  Where it came from, I did not understand.  But I flew with it.  As hard as I could.  For nearly ten months.  And then crashed.

The floor fell out from underneath me.  The woman whom I had so curiously felt impressed not to visit found ways to destabilize my frame.  Whether through expressions, sayings, comments, looks, demands.  Little by little my power over self dissipated.  I had considered myself a very disciplined person.  Others of the messagers of Jesus’ salvation had tried to avoid me, calling me too strict, “ruler” for the limited English they would pronounce.  They didn’t really want much to do with me.  But this woman challenged me in inexplicable ways.  Invisible ways.  Upon arrival, I would feel like time stopped in her house.  Like the clocks all flew out the window.  Time didn’t exist, anymore.  I couldn’t move from the seat, and hours would pass with no real pressing-ness for anything but laze.  I’d try to think there was something undone–something that HAD TO BE done.  HAD TO BE fixed.  But nothing worked, and the abyss only grew.  My own weaknesses engulfed me.  The ones I had thought so small and insignificant became ginormous all-consuming monsters.  Mistakes came with hell-fire torment I had never known.  I stopped praying for mercy and prayed only for justice.  That I might get what I deserved.  I suppose it was the torment of a damned soul.  The torment of the damned in hell.

All those who had before received me openly thereafter rejected me outright.  Never had I received disciplinary action anywhere but from my mother, and really only til about age seven, because I “straightened up.”  Soon people were happy to lock me in hospitals.  Incarcerate me.  Drug me.  Psychologically intimidate, bully, make fun, prod.  As though I were given a bulls-eye on my forehead.  “Take it out on me!”  And so it went.  And I learned to rise up instead of stay down.  I learned to fight instead of “let it go.”  I learned to retaliate, to counter-attack rather than suffer abuse and injury upon abuse and injury.  I had no satisfaction being weak.  None whatsoever.  I had never needed to be strong.  I had gotten along well enough with a constant and meaningful continuous effort.  That wasn’t enough, anymore.  I had to ENGINEER solutions.  I had to search LIKE NEVER BEFORE for solutions.  Days and nights did not really have meaning, anymore.  Meals.  Friendship.  Family.  All went by the wayside.  I had given myself up in offering to God, and in return I knew bitterness unlike I had ever imagined.

But I became strong.  I became fearless.  I lost all worry.  The Lord showed me my weakness and, and somehow, clues navigated me through the turmoil from turmoil to turmoil and varying degrees of turmoil in the midst of facing problems and fleeing from them.  Sometimes fleeing great distances and for great lengths of time.

I never thought I asked for this, but I guess I did.  I never thought I believed so much in what I really believed, but I guess I did.  My life is the evidence now.  I don’t talk of others, anymore, and their faith.  I talk of me.  I talk of pain.  I talk of suffering. I talk of the abyss and the darkness of hell.  I know because I have been there.  But through it all I have become a new creature.  Fearsome at times, but still, me.  Confident, true, solid, stolid me.  Glory be to God for raking me through the coals of hell and not quitting when I screamed that I wanted to kill him!  I guess now I’m the same as him.  I guess I’ve received his image in my countenance.  At the same time, I can sing the song of redeeming love.  I can look up to God and say, My works have been works of righteousness upon the earth.  I have a clean conscience before God.  No man can take that away from me.  It is the confidence that abides permanently within me for what I have quietly suffered and borne it.  Amen.

Sorry for such a stupid topic.  I guess I’m somber today.  I should be making fun of Trump, like as it were Trump saying, as though he were a toothpaste, “Vote for me.  Two out of three dentists recommend me.  One of the three  is Russia.”  Boy, I am really in a shitty, somber mood today.  Sorry y’all.  Hate to spoil your fun and weekends.

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