But, I was so discouraged that I came close to pulling the plug on this whole blog project. Denise tells me to write it just for my self as a type of therapy. But, like Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes, I had this overwhelming feeling that all was in vain. I'm still not sure if I will come back or not.
What got me so discouraged? I think it simply boils down to going to church and making an attempt to get more involved again. It happens every time. I just don't fit in anymore. It is not as blatant as when I was told that I couldn't be a Christian if I didn't believe that the earth was only 6,000 years old.
No, it was just a few subtle comments here and there. I attended the main preaching, then Sunday school led by the pastor, then an evening meeting led by the pastor. It was the first time in a long time that I've attended three lectures by him in one day. The subtle comments weren't even all by him. I even think this discouragement started during our Bible study on Thursday.
If I can't communicate what is so discouraging, that isn't new. Denise has no clue and I've talked about it with her many times. She views the world very differently. To her it is all about relationships (which isn't a bad thing). So the pastor could say that Jesus himself was at his house that morning eating an egg Mcmuffin and it wouldn't bother her. She would say, "Maybe he was." I wish that I could be like that, but I can't.
I think it is the narrative that I must either accept (which I don't) or become a lonely outsider
1) The complete Rush Limbaugh view of all things political,
2) The reason that the Muslims don't like us is because we are so good and they are so evil,
3) This was a God fearing Christian country up until the Democrats got control a few years ago. Now the gays and lesbians have ruined everything. We need to fight to get it back,
4) God is constantly speaking very specifically to each one of us every day. Everything, that's absolutely everything, happens for a reason.
5) Global warming is a myth,
So, these things are not that important (things I think Jesus would roll his eyes at) but have been woven so deeply in the American Evangelical gospel, that to not agree alienates you. It is a shame. I couldn't care less what others believe. I just wish they would grant me the same grace.
I woke up at 4 this morning and grabbed my computer. I started to read about the mainline presbyterian church on the island . . . once more. Then I thought about the nightmare that it would create if I tried to switch churches. I honestly do like all the people at my present church, but to them, I will become the "man who turned his back on God" if I switch. Denise won't go with me, so she will be the "faithful one who stayed with the Lord."
5) Never say anything that is not 100% positive.
It reminds me when I had a retreat for a group of 8 men. We (yes including me) were all Rush ditto-heads, except for one. By the second day this guy, Rob, burst out in anger screaming at all of us. I couldn't figure out what made him so mad . . . except that he was a Democrat. Now I think I know how he felt.
It should be Jesus + NOTHING. Not Jesus + be a good Republican, or Jesus + Hate the Muslims, gays and those who swear or Jesus + be at all the church programs.
I'm just blabbing. But I can certainly feel the draw of why so many leave the church . . . never to come back again.
With those discouraging words I will add once more how I, as the literary virgin, am enjoying my venture into good reading. I've never been so in touch with the raw human condition as I have through the eyes of those authors.
Speaking of which, I've decided to make further attempts to find an agent for my manuscript. I think what motivated me was the fact that one of my best friends' friend, has a book in the top 5 on the New York Times best selling non-fiction list. It is her fist book. I don't know how she got it published.
It reminds me of the vanity factor (as in Solomon) again. I watched the biathlon on Sunday. I've spent many days at Whistler and the Olympics bring it all home again. But this American had spent the last 15 years training for that moment. Then, as it was his turn, it started snowing hard with wet snow. So, by chance, his dreams were crushed and all that hard work went down the tubes. The wet snow made the trail much, much slower. Those who went before the snow hit, had much faster times.
It is that way with writing. I wish the best writer would win. I could clearly be the looser in that case and it wouldn't bother me. However, the way it works, so much depends on luck. You can't get published without an agent. An agent accepts about 5% of submissions (or less, sometimes much less). They do not want to see your manuscript but to only read one paragraph about it. So your 20 years of hard work comes down to one paragraph.
To make things even more an issue of luck, is the fact that there is not set guidelines of what will get their attention (except for avoiding the typos which I'm sure I did not here). I've had two different agents tell me opposite things. "It's too much about yourself" or "You didn't say enough about yourself." It is a toss of the dice to get "heard." I wouldn't bother me at all if a publisher read one of my manuscripts completely and then tell me it is crap. But this game of spending years and yet to have one manuscript read . . . that can drive you nuts.