Disclaimer: Wrote this all in one take. No editing, very little proofing. Paige, my editor, said to just go with it and she will edit it later… like somewhere in 2013, or when the earth fades into the sun. So, enjoy…. Oh, and if you want, make a fun game of it… “Find out How Dumb and Fast Mark Types by Counting All the Mistakes and Putting Them in the Comment Section. Also, I hope, HOPE, that this essay starts conversations. Blake Powell, looking at you! EM… my dear… it would be a shame if you weren’t yelling at me, or near me, for some reason. Felina, come on, where’s the Palin in ya?! All of my Mathews family should be making beautiful funny asses out of themselves by now! And, Adrian, my Adrian will be sitting with me protecting me. But, please comment. Please, follow the blog. Please, like the FB page. Please, send chocolate dark chocolate chip cookies to… 🙂
Years ago I attended a small Bible college inDallas,TX. From the very beginning I was not their “typical” student… and it was painfully obvious. However, I did learn some there, and I hope that a few people learned from me as well.
The one thing that happened was that about two weeks into the school year it was apparent that I was not like the rest of the student body. Maybe it was the fact that I read both our curriculum books and things like The Complete Works of Shakespeare, or maybe it was because I wore Pearl Jam tee shirts, a Soundgarden logo on my bike helmet and my roommate, a close of friend of mine, had a Jim Morrison poster over his bed. Also, it could have been that I was Mexican. Who kows.
But, eventually a young lady had the open-mindedness and the lack of good sense and actually began talking to me. One night, late on the phone, she asked, “Brett, do you even pray?”. At first I was a little offended, but then I realized that when a person has only seen so little of the world it is hard for them to understand a broader portrait.
“ Yes, I pray… but not like you. I don’t lay silent in reverence. I mean, I respect God… but isn’t He my friend? Shouldn’t I be able to be honest with my friend? Why can’t it just be a conversation… and not this big holy thing that we seem to make a deal out of when in reality it is so much more simple than that.”
Years have gone by since then. We have both moved on in different ways. But, yesterday I caught myself thinking about that night, that time in my life… and as I watched the rain pour down from the sky, heard the thunder echoing from behind the piney trees I prayed another real prayer again.
While this may not be your type of prayer, while you might find this too simplistic, or even offensive… I sincerely believe that the more honest that we are with God… the more honest He will be with us… and the whole world could use a hell of a lot more honesty!
By Senator Brett
This isn’t going to be easy. Not for You… and sure as hell not for me. I’m sorry that it has taken so long for me to get to a place where I am comfortable enough to actually tell You this… I know You deserve better. I also know that You know that I am just a man.
For years now I have woken every day and asked You to reveal yourself to me. I’ve told You that I want to know You, in all Your majestic glory… that I want to see my God for Who He Is, so that I can connect with Him, so that I can bask in His presence. I’ve told You many times that I long to see Your face. I’ve lamented over my inadequacy to fully understand You, but that it is my sincere desire to do so, and that I would give anything, just anything, to touch Your hand, to look upon You, to know You. God, I have told you so many many times how much that “knowing You” is my strongest desire.
For so long in my life I have come to You asking for You to reveal to me the Truth of Your being. So many nights I have laid awake in bed just hoping that You would show up and show me the way. I’ve asked You, “God, reveal to me Your truth, Your presence, Your soul.”
But, I’m not gonna say that today. I’m not.
Truth be told, I’m only here for one reason, and one reason alone. I’ve come to apologize.
God, or whatever You call Yourself, please… forgive me. I never wanted You. Ever. And, no matter what I said, no matter what I prayed and whispered in Your name… the truth is that I only wanted You to reveal Yourself to me if You are exactly what I thought You should be. I wanted you to fit in my mold for You. I wanted You to be exactly like I have imagined for so long.
And, the truth is that it’s not even for anything special. It’s… it’s really not… not at all. I need You to be the God that I have been told that You are, or that I have built up in my mind, because I am… so… goddamn… scared… that You might not be. And that if You aren’t everything, everything, that I have stood for, lived for, sacrificed, embraced, embellished and clung onto… well, then I guess that it might not be real. You might not be real… which means that I might not be real either. And just that small thought… just that sliver of an idea that it might be possible… scares the living hell out of me.
What I want is for You to reveal Yourself as I believe You to be… because I am more concerned about being right than I am about really knowing You. That’s because I’m terribly frightened and scared that I could be wrong. You might be something totally different. And I’m scared that if You are not exactly the way I think You should be, and if You don’t line up with what I think of You… then my whole life might have been a waste. I want You to be the God that I want You to be because it validates my existence. It makes my life seem worthwhile… when even I know that that is a tenuous sentiment, at best.
I’m horribly sorry that I think that out of all the men and women that have come before me, out of all the men and women that are here now – the almost 7 billion faces on this spinning piece of molten rock – I somehow still believe that I have You all figured out, or that my version of You is the only right one. I’m sorry that I’m so terribly scared that when I actually pray to You… I’m just hoping that You are like I want You to be.
And, I know that t I am wrong. But, I also know that I am human. No matter what You are, or Who You are… You made me. You made us. You put that curiosity to know You in each and every one of us human beings. You made it innate, unforgiving and relentless. That’s what You did. Not us.
And I’m not gonna lie… sometimes I’m REALLY mad at You. I get SO pissed that You didn’t just lay it down, nice and simple for us. You didn’t just make the path to you undeniable. Why didn’t You use Science and Math?! Why didn’t you make it uncontestable on what we should, and should not, believe? Why did You allow for even the slight possibility that faith could be challenged? For an Almighty God… sometimes You suck!
I feel like I have looked and studied about You for some time. Literally, years of my life have been spent thinking about You, reading about You, trying to find you. Sometimes in a good manner, and sometimes in a “not-so-good” manner. And, yet after all that time I still have a very limited grasp of You. On one end of the spectrum… I took physics and astronomy for one semester in ninth grade… on the other end of the same spectrum… my mother started a Christian school in a friend’s basement just so that I wouldn’t have to go to public school. I spent the majority of my grade school education in a Christian environment. I went on to study deeper on my own, oddly enough, about You… just You… not Math, not Science, not History… just You. And, yet, after all that… I still feel that I know more about Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion than I do about the one true God that I profess made the Heavens and Earth. And, that is not fair… to anyone… ever… at all.
I know that You probably don’t like to be questioned… and maybe there is a point behind it all. Maybe You didn’t point out the directions so easily because You knew that the journey was more important that the destination. And, maybe You are right about that. Maybe.
But, You’re not. Not even close. At least I don’t think so. I don’t know if You have been paying attention, but people down here are killing each other over the metaphor of Your name. They have been doing so since the beginning of recorded time. Our world has mostly always been at war in some parts… and most of the time it has some, or all, to do with You, or how we pronounce Your name, or what we believe You told us we had a right to, or about a thousand different things that are really never about You, even though we say they are.
And it breaks my heart. And I don’t know how it doesn’t break Yours. And, if You say it does… I’m calling “bullshit!” because it has been going on for way too long for You to actually care… because people that care can’t watch their children kill each other over goddamn stupid things.
God, I have to go. There are things that I need to do that have nothing to do with You, but that have to be done in order for me to live here on this planet that You made. I’m sincerely sorry that I yelled at You. I know, I know… You will yell back. AT least I hope so. When You yell back at me… that is when I know that You still care about me.
So, until next time… I will always love You… I just wish that I understood you better… and more… and whole.