I awoke this morning in a contemplative mood introspectively recalling past decisions and choices that proved me a kind-of maverick. If it should not be done, not because it wasn’t legal [whatever ‘it’ was, it was always legal] but, because it was inadvisable, and dumb, I gave it a second thought and often—Oh Why not! Perhaps, if no one else thought of it or the chances at success were statistically low, I had to try. Perhaps, the little boy in me had not grown up yet and I was still at play in my own adult-size fantasy. I like to imagine someone starting to pray for me when God interrupts and inquires with a sigh, “Okay, what has he done now!”
When I asked my bride—now of near 55 years—to marry me, I was at college earning a buck an hour in a part time position on campus, with no driver’s license and owning only “literally” the shirt on my back [it was a T Shirt that was black from use], and no place to rent anyway as a married couple —any local apartments for rent were already gobbled up by wiser planners of pending matrimony. My, then, “boss” thought I was planning a wedding a year from that June when school was out. “No,” I corrected him, “this June!”
But in my own defense, my real goal was always noteworthy, like negotiating a career change at age 50 with no money and little emotional resources left in my clinical despondency. The drive to try was historically part of me by then [probably genetic]. Perhaps, the crazier the idea the more I thought, “Why not!” But over all this professional commotion and personal drama, there was God and His grace and providence—and peace—which always gave me a sense that He had my six (as they say).
I have probably at least a hundred smaller examples of trying something that I knew going in would challenge either my abilities and/or my intelligence—any or all of which give example of the fact that I like to think for myself—even when those who knew me best and cared thought I was losing my grip on reality. For those spiritually minded folk: sometimes the line between faith and “nuts” is blurry, and I think I was on the side of faith!
As a footnote, this is the primary reason I keep my intellectual distance from our youngest who is working on his “MDiv” [Master of Divinity] and is in full time ministry. My advice to him would be “Don’t do or say what I do or say—except always love your mother.” This because he is a leader with a heart which I can not improve on. God has him. I call him my “Samuel.” I have written over 20 books with which I decorate a shelf in his library with a proviso: Don’t read them—at least not until you get your degree.
I’m at it again! I am currently writing a book on a theory of the atonement which I do not find explained quite this way. It is not spelled out specifically in our worship songs or hymns or even in the preacher’s sermons, although, for anyone who loves the Lord, it is common knowledge. There are a couple well known scholars that at least suggest that I am on to something. No one will be reading it anyway. It’s Okay.