Paper Bullets of the Brain

“I may chance have some
odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me,
because I have railed so long (against marriage): but
doth not the appetite alter? a man loves the meat
in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.
Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of
the brain awe a man from the career of his humour?
No….”

From William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

I love this quote, for even though Benedict is referring to his long-standing opposition to love and marriage, its truth applies equally to many circumstances we all face. One being particularly close to home for me are my railings (i.e paper bullets) with respect to the church and its at times inadequate responses to issues close to my heart.

I have written with the purpose of not only sharing my frustration and even deep confusion at times, but to evoke an emotional response from the reader.  To involve you in my process and do it without being concerned with my reputation or image. I have written of the power of prayer, faith and overcoming systemic sin; and followed that up with personal doubts and fiery indictments of the very church in which I have spent my entire life.

In politics it is commonly known as a flip-flop, a change in stance or direction, a reversal of ones previously held beliefs. This is looked upon as a negative trait, particularly by those of the opposing viewpoint; but I would contend it is actually a highly prized quality.

You may hold to a certain set of beliefs and standards and be unwavering in them from the beginning, but that isn’t always realistic for all of us in the process of life. 

We are, in spite of God’s creation, evolving creatures. We are born into complete immaturity of body, mind, and spirit. As we grow we are enlightened to many wonderful and tragic things through experience, both personal and observed. Our reference points are constantly moving thereby creating new potential realities that can distort and even redefine our perspective.

 

Ship_Fog

Like a ship lost in a deep fog whose reference points are based on best guesses, decisions are made with knowledge and information available to that given point.  Then, having once regained full clarity of vision through emergence from near blindness, they may find themselves drastically off the intended course. Now it is a matter of getting ones bearings and evaluating the needed adjustments to continue on to the original destination.

Let me ask you this. What if the captain, having endured the danger and unknown elements with which he was faced, found a different or even better way to his goal? The time that was seemingly lost in the fog was ultimately recovered by learning through this very real difficulty. In retrospect it was all worth it and even beneficial overall.


So let me return to the original question as uttered by Benedict.

“Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of
the brain awe a man from the career of his humour?”

No, they should not.

Paper bullets, I love that imagery. As Christians we are taught the incredible importance of words (which can certainly reveal our hearts), but when we allow ourselves to speak in the processing of our faith, we can realize it is part of the journey we all take to find what we truly believe and eventually put our energy to. We may often think no one else goes through what we do, but breaking the code of silence can be so freeing!

If we were honest, we would agree that there are times we all question God, His tactics, purpose and motives in our lives. As we experience heartache and pain it is natural to wonder why we must be subjected to such things. We may even dip into all out rebellion as we seem to contradict what we professed to believe in less desperate times. If we trust the process and the temporarily unseen goodness of Gods heart, we will emerge stronger in our faith. 

I have always been encouraged by leaders who identified with the journey of the common man. I realize that some of us may be restricted from a public display of this process. If you are a pastor or another leader in the church you may fear that your deep questions will harm others and their faith. But let me ask this; Can we only speak from a position of strength-never revealing our own challenges, weaknesses and doubts? Must we always display an image of unshakeable faith-do we feel it is up to us, and not on God to move the hearts of others? I am just asking, and certainly not judging anyone.

“I may chance have some
odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me,
because I have railed so long..”

The translation here is this; As I journey on some may say, “you said the church was this, or God was that” This is all true, however I don’t regret my words. What has been said is part of a life that has gone from age to age, not without feelings or trouble, and certainly not in ease and relaxation, but in the violence of the birthing process.

My challenges and weaknesses are HD quality real. I am walking through them daily with a heart that isn’t wanting to tear down Christian faith and reveal its faults, but find its strong foundation for myself again. I desire to be re-established, strengthened and re-purposed for what is to come. That is the truth of my words, it is the exciting and never boring tale of a singular life, a life deeply loved by God.

Have a blessed day as you take another step towards eternity.

 

 

 

 

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