With no need for ditching the past!
Yesterday something quite extraordinary happened. For those of you who know me, you will be aware of my utmost respect for the ancients and fascination with the cyclical view of history. Tucidide, the Athenian, wrote that history is a heritage, "a legacy for the forthcoming generations" and that,somehow, it always repeats itself. Hérodote optimistically wished that we would learn something from the past, but was ultimately convinced of the opposite: we make mistakes and,even though we may learn from them,we are gonna make them again. I was erroneously brought up with the unrealistic ideal that once you become a 'born again' Christian, your life is transformed radically to a point of near perfection.. Indeed, being 'born again' encompasses the awakening of the human spiritual dimension and the automatic rejection of the sinful nature; nevertheless, I later discovered, there are issues, struggles,weaknesses which will remain your fight until the day you die. The popular worship song which reads "the weakness that I see in me,will be stripped away by the power of Your Love" may actually be theologically wrong. God ain't gonna come and plunder you off of all of your imperfections and make you into an angel-like superhero over night! In the same hand, this is no condonation for sloppy religiosity. At times I can identify with the "Captives" series by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Beside the Sistine Chapel, la Pieta' and the David, there are a number of less spoken about works which i Prigioni, the Captives, are part of. Michelangelo believed that art was not to be created, but to be brought out of something already existing. He thrived in the dormant vitality of raw materials, masculine, rugged, dynamic personas awaiting to be woken up by the sapient hand of the artist..this credo was the cause of fierce confrontations with fellow art master, Leonardo Da Vinci, who, by contrast, believed that the artist is a creator, an inventor of life. Anyway, history of art apart, the Captives are a crude, passionate expression of wild exuberance screaming to come out. Likewise, I often feel frustration over the weaknesses of old which, for all of my endeavours, I don't seem to be able to shake off me - history repeating itself... I have recently shared about how my latest heartbreaks have been caused not only by the actual facts, but more so by bad experiences, baggage, I have been carrying around for way too long. That's when the really good stuff about Christianity comes out. Forgiveness; Grace. Forgiveness, which is not the equivalent of forgetting all about it, putting a plaster over it, let mommy kiss it better and happily pretend that nothing ever happened. No, forgiveness goes much deeper than that. It allows you to confront your own demons, turn ditches into wells whilst Grace, that wonderful gift of God who loved,loves and will always love us unconditionally, enables you to break free of the chains from the past and start afresh. Last night we broke the chains, send 'that old devil back to hell'. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound indeed. So out with the old crappy, tiresome bondage; in with a new future enlightened by many happy memories and meaningful friendships.
PS: Thanks Dave, you were right.