Today I turn 33. Jesus Christ, John Belushi, Eva Braun, Sam Cooke, Chris Farley... all dead, aged 33.
The last 6 years of Life have been transformative for me. Most notably in how I see and treat others. ~ In 1997 a middle school guidance counselor informed me that my Slosson Test results put me in the top 0.06% of the population for intelligence (as if such a thing can be measured). This was perhaps not the wisest thing to tell a 14 year old, as for the next 14 years I was an egotistical jerk. And not just any egotistical jerk, but a highly intelligent evangelical fundamentalist one. I was an expert debater and apologetic. I just knew what was Right and what was Wrong, and I expected (demanded) that others agree. When they didn't, I browbeat them with The Truth that they were sinners and that Jesus loved them anyway. There were more than a few things missing from my life during that time: Life Experiences, Wisdom and Empathy, among them.
During those years, I didn't know Peace. Sure, I 'had Jesus', but what good is a heirship for Heaven if one's heart doesn't understand Love? At age 28 I had been out of the Navy for 2 years. The Life Experiences I gained being an unemployed disabled vet, trying to survive the hell of obtaining a Chemical Engineering Degree, caused me to start questioning many of the beliefs and viewpoints I had cultivated while being a life-long die-hard supporter of the GOP. I was so angry that my Personal Responsibility, Civic Engagement (voting), and Morality weren't providing me Peace. The truth was, my eyes were looking outward and the cares of my spirit were looking inward. Hint: That's bass-ackwards.
Today my Life Focus isn't on the morality of this "Christian Nation"; my Life Focus is on Loving Others, where they are, how I can. I honestly could not care less about issuing marriage licences, building walls between us and Canada, or defunding PP and Obamacare. None of this really matters. Politicians are going politician, contrarians and going to contrary, and money will continue to be the driving force of our society. I can't control or change any of that, and obsessing on it is guaranteed to rob me of Peace. What I can control is this, I can focus my eyes inward on my own heart and focus the cares of my spirit on serving others. Others that need serving are all around us, if we can just get past ourselves (and our Network News).
My CakeDay wish is this: May God, in his Infinite Mercy, use me, The Intelligent Frustrated Idiot, for His Good Purpose, so that others may know I follow The True Christ by the way I Love others. (Luke 11:11-12)