Book Shelves

I never truly understood just what it was that the community that I was raised in wanted me to do. Community involving the religion and thought processes that follow. When I was little I was extremely visual and creative, always using my hands to create what was in my head. This talk of being like Jesus was immediately troublesome to me. I was never told to be like Santa Claus. What the world told me about Santa was easily understood. I was simply told to be good. There was no guilt put on me. How dare I be born into sin. “Make your bed.” “Brush your teeth.” Obviously tangible shit to a kid! Santa’s character of giving, along with his bumbling in red persona, was explained with a wink. You’ll know that this is a game. You know you’ll get some presents anyway. Maybe not the one you want the most. I was never told to be like Batman. I liked Batman presents! Wasn’t I supposed to be myself? Was I ever really told to be like anyone? Perhaps another student who performed well. Yet this student was a living human being that I could get to know, and like, or dislike, be courteous, or keep my distance. There was merit in being yourself, but only up to a fine conservative point. Dangerous. As I got older Jesus seemed kind of cool to me, but I still had decided that he was rather still a concept than a reality of worship. Why did I get to play drums, hang out with friends, and be fed consistently? Why did I suffer through early years of strict Christian school? Why did the kid down the street get beaten up everyday? Why did God create an enemy to threaten all of us? Why do other cultures have other gods? I had constant questions. I find these answers rather easily now. When you’re a kid, you ask questions. Or you just decide on your own eventually, and pay for your ideas. What I found to be exhaustingly troublesome as I hit my twenties was this punk rock idea of believing in Jesus. I have decided that following all of these philosophies is just a way to simply “not be.” Things work or they don’t. There is room for improvement, or there is not. All of the books fit on the shelf or they do not. Build another shelf, give some books away, or leave it until you know. Just be. Sitting in a room full of people talking about your stack of books once a week. “I never get to sit next to him.” “She talks too much.” “They never invite me to have Thai food afterwards.” Every Sunday. No, I won’t pray about it. No, I don’t need your advice. No, you don’t get to tell me what “you” think “god” is planning. I am more than fine over here.

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