Monday, March 21, 2011
The Sleeping Giant Gets a Wake Up Call
What started out as being a way of life for me became how I didn’t want to live my life. I started working in the cotton mill when I was 16, cleaning the air units for the different floors, and turning pic clocks on Sundays. Mom insisted that I take the job, and after I found out that I would be working on Sunday mornings, I didn’t argue. Finally, a break from having to listen to the same things I had been taught all my life. Or had I? If I had been taught, then wouldn’t I have a better understanding of what Christianity meant? Some would say yes. I probably would agree, especially now that I have thought more closely about it.
For 2 years I enjoyed having at least one service that I didn’t have to attend. Besides, Sunday nights were usually more casual, and I didn’t have to dress up to go then. But I was still expected to attend every service when I wasn’t working. I lived with my mom and grandparents, and as long as I lived under their roof, so be it.
I couldn’t wait to escape to the next level; Not having to attend at all.
When I was a senior in high school, the pastor talked me into taking a day off from work near graduation, and participating in “Youth Day” at the church. The youth of the church would take over all of the responsibilities for a Sunday, and usually a Senior would be the one to deliver the sermon. Guess who was picked? 3 Guesses and the first 4 don’t count!
After the service, the preacher walked up to me and said, “You’ve found your calling. You’ll make a fine preacher one day.”
“Oh my gosh, get me outta here,” was all I could think. Church people … Jesus Freaks … Stuff Shirt Preachers … HELP!
I graduated from High School, and turned down a scholarship and went in the Army. I wanted to be as far away from home as I could be. I succeeded. West Germany would be my home for the next 2 years. I was happy, with very little complaints.
I moved up in rank as I became eligible, but I was injured while on maneuvers, and so I was discharged on an Honorable, Service Connected Disability discharge.
The back injury brought a lot of pain, but it posed no problem, as I knew how to deal with the pain. Alcohol was cheap, Drugs were easily obtained while I was in service. When I got out, I found out that the same was true in civilian life. People who sat beside me in church were the same ones sitting beside me now that I was back home getting drunk, stoned or a raucous combination. And we wonder why the “outside” people view us as hypocrite’s?
(Next segment: Not only is my view of Christianity getting turned upside down, but I’m now dizzy from it spinning!)