What went wrong
It’s true you know. The closer one gets to one’s Sell-by date, the more time is spent looking back on one’s life and wondering ‘what went wrong’.
In my case I find myself looking back to the crazy time I decided that I was maybe, ‘holier than thou’ and should train as an Anglican Priest to prove a point.
Believe it or not and to cut a very long story short, I was accepted and went for training at the now extinct Salisbury and Wells Theological College, (I’ve always felt that I had something to with its demise but that’s another story for another time). Anyway, within a few short months I think it’s fair to say, I had the distinct feeling that I might have made a big mistake and had been reading the signs wrong.
[NOTE: I put this feeling down to a recent pondering and subsequent enlightenment that throughout my life, I have been unable to, and have great difficulty in how you say…’Towing the line’. Or to be brutally honest, arrogance, i.e. ‘my way or the highway’].
Those ‘few short month’ I referred to a moment ago, kicked in when I realised most of the would-be Priests and Vicars I trained with (I include myself here) were, rather than disciples, hangers-on. All desperately looking for a way through their fear of life and who they really were, that didn’t leave them at the bottom of the pile.
To put in simply.
We/they all were in desperate need of someone to tell them what to do. The need for an authority figure to berate us when we misbehaved and sedate us if we had any thoughts of misbehaving. Someone/something to confess to and feel better about ourselves.
I fitted the bill perfectly. .I felt so much better about myself especially when I realised the comedic value of lots of grown men and women falling to their knees to confess their so-called ‘sins’. Usually, those moments in their lives when they had succumbed to their natural urges, sex and that, something I did all the time.
It was around that time that my vision/my idea of God, which was a little ‘loose’ to start with, started to diverge from the Gospel of the Church of England.
To cut a long story short I ended up as the last Ordinand in College without a job to go to. I gave up going to the chapel unless I had to and spent my time indulging. Anything to keep my mind off my original reasoning on being there. I felt a fool.
I actually was Ordained (Coventry Cathedral 1990/910. I ended up a Reverend-Imposter. A fraud. The only thing that got me through was telling myself that I was a servant of the people rather than God. I was a social worker in a priest’s clothing.
However, there is no way I regret my time at Salisbury and Wells.
I learnt a lot. Especially about myself. I learnt that like all others, I am a complicated beast. I am unique (as are you). What suits me does not usually suit another. This realisation, I hope enables me to go a little way to understand my brothers and sisters and maybe assist in solving the complications and stresses in their own lives.
I think differently now.
For instance, there is no room for prayer in my life anymore. Meditation, yes, asking for ‘get out of jail’ cards, no.
I am hardwired for survival and the easier and more pleasurable my life the better.
I demand revenge from those who have hurt me (there goes forgiveness).
Sadly, I see no sign of this loving God that people talk about.
Somewhere along the line, we have misinterpreted, got it wrong. I suspect banking all on a tome written a very long time ago by a different culture, was perhaps our greatest mistake.
This has been a rambling post from the stratfordian