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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Never Say Never

Over the course of the last 51 years on this big blue ball, I have often predicted with some authority what I would and would not do, experience, or see and every time I am proven wrong.  When we make such declarative statements, it's as though we are challenging the Creator to prove us wrong and without fail, He always does.  We far too often forget that we are finite wherein He is infinite and not confined by time and space as we know it.  We break vows, promises, and our "word" and it stands as a dark column in the midst of our lives; awaiting our attempts to overcome the beast we ourselves have created.

In the Jewish fast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) wherein we are to examine ourselves and abstain from food or drink for 25 hours so we're "not distracted" by material objects.  Within that observance is what's called the Kol Nidre wherein we are required to write down all of the vows we have taken and burn them, showing us in a tangible way that our vows and declarations are nothing when contrasted with the ultimate vow of redemption made on our behalf.  

Basically, the lesson is to never say "never."

I have had times when I made the strongest of vows not to do something and sure enough, I find myself doing that very thing.  It's like the whole duality of man conundrum Paul talks about in Romans 7 and is a perfect reflection of the belief in the doctrine of human potential.  At no time in the lives of Americans is this failed doctrine made manifest that during election campaigns.  Every single one of the candidates for POTUS has made promises and vowed to the American people that they will or will not do this or that.  Take it within the context of the Kol Nidre and it becomes evident that it is little more than intellectual masturbation; it may feel good but it produces no results.

Candidates lie; it's what they do.  Their consultants coach them to lie with the least amount of angst and to communicate in such a manner that those lies look like truth.  Look around you for a moment.  Think about every elected official whom you have voted into office and bring to mind the promises they made to accomplish something.  More than likely, they have done nothing but made enough noise to get you to think that they've fulfilled their promises but in truth, they are clanging cymbals, banging gongs with flare and fire, resulting in abject emptiness.

I am no different so don't think that I am excluding myself from the insanity.  I have failed to keep marriage vows, have been divorced a bunch, have voted for people whom I declared I would "never vote for again," and I have failed to keep the Commandments...the list goes on ad infinitum.  If we're honest with ourselves, we know that we have all failed to meet even our own standards.

Here are just a few things I proclaimed as truth, only to be proven wrong:

I said that I would never play in a country band, and I did.
I told myself that I would never be in a relationship again, and I am.
I convinced myself that I would never again return to Oklahoma, but here I am in Oklahoma.
I screamed to the heavens that I would never again bother with politics, yet I'm all over it.
I never thought that I would be ghost writing romances, but that's what I am doing.
I was sure that I would always be a proponent of the death penalty, but now I am not.

Never say never, friends because our "never" is where new challenges, excitement, and expressions of faith grow and flourish.

Of course, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.