Trials and ordeals, Kid, trials and ordeals. We are forever coming up against them, as tests of our mettle and an invitation to grow up some more again. How well we rise to the occasion, occasion after occasion, tells the tale. The tale of growing up against our will-- which is the prime requisite for growing up at all. What pushes us into the challenges we would much prefer to avoid? And why do some of us refuse to the point of drug addiction and suicide? These questions carry us into the heart of mystery that is unknown and unknowable. Some of us grow on eternally, and some of us reject the notion that we should be inconvenienced in any way. I present you with Jesus of Nazareth, and Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve couldn't pass the test of attractive to the eyes delicious to the taste. Jesus looked Satan in the eye without blinking, three times. Some have what it takes, others don't have it at all. Why? It wouldn't change anything if we knew. Some of us would still stand up and answer the challenge, others would curl up and turn their face to the wall. The opportunity is a separator of people on The Way, determining whether they keep going, or detour into the wasteland of terminal immaturity. Remember that the next time you are asked to take out the trash, or walk the dog.
Everybody wants you to take what they tell you about God "on faith." Then, they tell you it is a absolute fact if you don't believe them you will go straight to hell, "Like a martin to its gourd," when you die, and suffer miserably until you do. That's what theology and doctrine will do for you. I recommend deciding for yourself what is right, and doing that, until it becomes obvious that you were wrong, then decide what is right based on what you know now, and do that, until it becomes obvious that you were wrong... Our life will teach us what works, and from a collection of things that work, we can decide what is right, good, just, merciful, compassionate, sensible and sane. No kidding. We can actually do that. And then we can live to find out if what we say is so in each situation as it arises. Experimentation, observation and deduction, Kid. Experimentation, observation and deduction. The only thing you have to take on faith is that it matters how we live. Then we find the ways to live that matter the most. And do that.
We have to give our life the reins and see where it goes. And we have to know where we belong, and where we have no business being. It is as though we have been given the reins and our life wants to see what we will do with it. But, we also have to trust our life to know what it is doing and live without being stiff in the saddle and tight on the reins. We have to have a trusting, compassionate, relationship with our life, and relax into its pace and flow, seeing what we can learn from observation and reflection, avoiding rigidity, stern judgment and narrow traces between right and wrong.