Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the category “The Nature of God”

The Nature of God – Part 5

[If you are just now stumbling onto this post without having read the various parts in this series from the beginning, I strongly urge you to go back to the start and continue on from there through each successive post. None of these individual entries stand on their own, and you may wind up with little but confusion and unanswered questions by starting here. That is easily done by entering “The Nature of God” in the search box on the home page, which will list links to all available parts.]

Life continued while I kicked my way through it, thankfully without God. After all, that’s the way I wanted it.

I’d just had my project car’s engine rebuilt. I installed it, put on the cylinder heads, and bent a valve because I misadjusted one of the lifters during final setup. And that damaged the cylinder bore, too. Damn. Printed instructions aren’t always enough. That and other things were starting to go wrong because of my utter inexperience, and one evening as I stopped work, I once again took a last look Read more…

The Nature of God – Part 4

[If you are just now stumbling onto this post without having read the various parts in this series from the beginning, I strongly urge you to go back to the start and continue on from there through each successive post. None of these individual entries stand on their own, and you may wind up with little but confusion and unanswered questions by starting here. That is easily done by entering “The Nature of God” in the search box on the home page, which will list links to all available parts.]

A lot of time passed since my teen years, or so it seemed. When I was about twenty-four, I was working on my hobby car project in the garage. I had always liked cars, and used my automotive hobby to console myself, since epic life disappointments had reached a peak, and I was deeply confused about what the right thing to do was.

Book-smart but not street-smart, the only response to obstacles that had seemed to work for me had been to keep going. Persist. Find a way over, around, under, or through. Or, wait for a passing opportunity, but never back down or give up, especially on a person. Sounds inspiring, but I had not yet discovered the concept of knowing when to quit, either. Never have since, actually. In the right circumstances, that can cause Read more…

The Nature of God – Part 3

[If you are just now stumbling onto this post without having read the various parts in this series from the beginning, I strongly urge you to go back to the start and continue on from there through each successive post. None of these individual entries stand on their own, and you may wind up with little but confusion and unanswered questions by starting here. That is easily done by entering “The Nature of God” in the search box on the home page, which will list links to all available parts.]

I’ve always tended to go along on my merry way, oblivious to what’s going on around me. Just call me One-Track Charlie. I made it to high school without any more incursions into the ethereal realm. On the whole, I didn’t really like high school much. It had its good points here and there, but with my people skills ranking in the single digits, a lot of it was confusing and frustrating. It was disturbingly similar to church. All I was trying to do was to get through it. That is, until one day. I didn’t think about it as some kind of encounter revealing the basic nature of the Supreme Being, but did learn a valuable lesson that stuck with me.

I can’t recall the details of why I was so upset one particular day, but I do remember that I was very resentful of some teacher whom I felt was arbitrary and unfair. Naturally, I was powerless to do anything about it, and as I angrily obsessed about it on the way home, I took a precious moment to Read more…

The Nature of God – Part 2

[If you are just now stumbling onto this post without having read the first part in this series, I urge you to go back to the start and continue on from there through each successive post. None of these individual entries stand on their own, and you may wind up with little but confusion and unanswered questions by starting here. That is easily done by entering “The Nature of God” in the search box on the home page, which will list links to all available parts.]

Ask any honest witness to an event what he or she saw, and it’s unlikely to perfectly match the actual event in every detail. He or she may miss things, read into actions, inject their own emotions and biases, and basically twist it a bit. And it gets worse as time passes. Without microphones and cameras, it can be hard to know what actually happened. And even with those, there’s creative editing.

I’m aware of this whenever I consider the several weird occurrences in my life, of becoming convinced that there actually is a God, and of discovering what He is like. I don’t doubt these occurrences myself, because I easily recall my mindset and expectations of the time, and their failure to match what resulted. These events aren’t exactly something that a camera can capture. But you’ll have to make up your own mind, and perhaps recall strange or unexpected occurrences in your own life. You can review and accept them, or play Scrooge and assign it to “perhaps a bit of bad beef”. I’ve never been much of a fan of the metaphysical, which is pretty peculiar, considering my spiritual faith. But, there you go.

I figure that if I first present some of the events that have influenced my faith, then you’ll be better equipped to mull over any other statements that I make, or at least have a handle on why I present what I might in any someday future posts. You can decide to either let them on through, or to engage your shit filters. That’s up to you. My difficulty has always been that when Christians meet together in a small group for the first time, it’s a common thing to go around the circle and summarize “how you came to Christ”. Most often, these are single-issue things that people are able to gather up into a few sentences, and they have a ring of authenticity that is unmistakable. Unfortunately, I’ve never found a way to succinctly summarize how God steered me to Himself, since the process was a bit of a marathon. Or like a pinball game, actually. That was because of me. When my turn comes in such a group, my response tends to be, “Uh…uh…how much time do you have?” So it is here that I at last have the time and space to cover what actually happened, and can avoid giving short-shrift to meaningful events. So it begins:

When I was a kid, my parents both attended a local Methodist church, and dragged me along. I initially sat in Read more…

The Nature of God – Part 1

Oh no! Look at that title! Not a post about religion! Not another gag-inducing diatribe from somebody trying to shove their beliefs down my throat! I’m not gonna read it!

Relax. You don’t have to. You’re free to stop right here and go on your merry way. It’s called “free will”, and I’m all for it. Whenever I find something else that’s interesting to write about, those articles will be right here as always, posted scattershot as usual. This post is one piece of a lengthy series, each part of which will be added now and then.

But why would I even bother posting a series about my personal beliefs here on a travel blog, when the topic itself has selectively become a pariah in our culture, and merely sharing one’s faith is often now viewed the same as force-feeding? Even Dr. Francis Schaeffer, an influential 20th century theologian, noted, “Non-Christians don’t care what you believe.” I suspect that he’s right. After all, people come to this blog merely to find out how just one more ordinary guy is exploring a somewhat unconventional mobile lifestyle, and to find out what he’s seeing or discovering or thinking about along the way: information, quasi-adventures, mishaps, outlooks, and little victories. Why louse up a good thing?

The answer to that is easy. First, I won’t actually be rummaging through my beliefs as such, the doctrine and dogma of some denomination within the Christian church. That’s not what this series is for. What I personally find interesting are people’s stories – the why and what that happened in their lives to put them where they are now. When they share, I don’t necessarily want them to do nothing but recite the pithy points of their current outlook to me, but instead to describe the why of that outlook – what they observed and felt as each event unfolded and how their reaction to it shaped them. What were their thoughts, and what did they walk away with? Different people react differently to the same circumstantial blessings and hardships. It’s only then that I can properly understand any outlook that someone may present. What you’ll get in this series is as close to the “what happened” as I can muster, with my takeaways from those experiences – brilliant or faulty.

Second, the story that is behind what I believe has been shaped by my experiences, and this blog has from the start included those as well as my own reflections upon them. Just like the rest of it, this is part of what I’ve discovered along the way. After all, this hasn’t really been Read more…

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