At this point, I am going to stop and offer an explanation about some of the events you might be reading about and cause you to draw the wrong conclusions. First, I must remind you that I have been talking about events that happened over thirty years ago. I offer them merely as a way of explaining some of the events in my life that have led to the conclusions I hold today. I had no intention of spending over two and a half years wandering around America to "see what I could see" but it was an attempt to see America for what I had believed her to be. I had read the "book" and saw what others had to say, but somehow there was this "gut" feeling that they were wrong - or perhaps, I had been wrong in my conclusions.
You have heard me say - and I am sure you will hear me say it again, "God moves in mysterious ways..." as I believe it with all that is within me. For example, I am currently reading books written by Bart D. Ehrman, a scholar who has written a number of books concerning the errancy of the Bible and living as I do, in the so-called Bible Belt of American where the inerrancy of the Bible is held to be sacred, I do not care to argue with those who do not believe as I do. I much prefer to read what learned scholars have had to say and use their conclusions as my illumination. It was not the Bible that brought me to the beliefs that I hold, but the writings I have discovered in the Bible that form the basis of my faith. And it excites me when I see those "discoveries" working themselves out in my life.
For example, one of my readers asked that I add dates to my experiences and the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be impossible for me to offer chronological accuracy to my life "on the road". There were times, days, sometimes weeks, where I was "stuck" in a place because of the weather or an attraction I found interesting, various situations. But they had little or nothing to do with my overall experiences.
This morning, as I was reading more of what my mentor, Dr. Ehrman, had to say, he was writing about the many differences in details between what the various Bible authors had to say about events. He was not being critical of them, they merely had made some mistakes. We need to understand that. So, I hope that those reading my words are not going to hold me accountable for my mistakes. I am merely trying to convey the events in my life that led me to the conclusions I will eventually have to offer.
And what is even more intriguing to me, this very morning, I happened to overhear the details of an on-going media debate between what some individual had written about George Clooney's pending marriage. I stopped to hear more about it. Seems the writer had reached conclusions that had angered Clooney and he took to another media avenue to blast the critic. Now, the originator has apologized and we might like to believe the debate has ended, but in the "worlds" in which we live in these days, you can almost believe that those involved will keep the "wars" raging as long as they can.
What really saddens me about such trivia - in my opinion, people who know nothing about the facts in these "debates" will keep them alive in their communities and worse, seem to recall them long after they have disappeared from public view. I am somewhat of a student of modern American history and when I read of how some others have interpreted events that happened decades ago, when I was alive and watching the actual events unfold, I have to wonder - have I mistrusted my memories or perhaps, is it an opportunity to learn from my mistakes?
As these blogs ought to reveal, I have not only had to live through many of my real mistakes, I have had to bear the burden of those who may never accept my apologies.
Back to my journeys tomorrow or perhaps, later today.