From our earliest days, our parents and teachers and friends and family illustrated for us how we should live and what we should think and where the lines of our behavior were drawn and to therefore not cross them. Often parents attempt to fashion little replicas or mini-mes of themselves. Unhappiness and depression and even a bad stomach come from trying to fit our lives into the expectations of society.
I have taken some pleasure in reading the writings of one of my dear friend’s son who has entered the ministry. He seems to downplay the old religious saw of pointing to the man of god for all of the answers to a Christian life… or being a member of a small sect that is to be saved while the rest of honest-hearted Christians burn under the judgment of God.
God is inclusionary, not exclusionary. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16. NIV
The chains of the expectations of others…grow very heavy indeed. It is often the case that a person can go through their entire life and never realize who they are. The certainty with which our advisors speak to us about our life is not reflected in theirs. The Cult Leader Keith Rainere spoke to his acolytes with clear pronouncements of what they must do to meet his expectations. These expectations always redounded to his benefit and when they failed to do something that he thought they should do he told them that they were guilty of an ethical breach…that they could never recover from…although they tried and tried and tried. One young woman was captive in a room for two years in the struggle to regain Raniere’s confidence.
Illness can result from attempting to be someone that we are not. Mental and physical maladies occur when we attempt to form ourselves into the rigid ideology of men and women who have interpreted either the Bible or Faith or simply our life…after their idea of right and wrong and who is in and who is sadly out…
‘Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat…won’t you please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny a hay penny will do…if you haven’t got a hay penny…God bless you…’