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Waiting for Permission

“I guess I’m pretty fucked up,” I tell him.

“I’m still waiting around for permission to believe the truth.”

It had been one of those weeks where everything I read made me angry. I wanted to fight everyone whose opinions weren’t the same as mine. I had a hard time thinking clearly through the clouds of dark, angry feelings that hung low over my wrinkled forehead.

“You were once a child in your thinking, but you are reaching maturity. That should be slathered in joy,” Seth says. “Try joy. Try good news.”

But I can’t imagine that. I can’t quiet the urge to fight, to burn, to tear everything down.

I hadn’t even thought about it what was behind all that, until Seth asked me. But as we talked, it all came unraveled. I started putting into words why I wanted to fight every Christian I met that week, why I had to join every argument, counter every position:

I’ve been waiting for permission.

I somehow had to convince all those who disagree with me. It wasn’t enough that my own beliefs should change and shift, I had to make others’ change too. Only then would it be ok for me to believe what I do.

“Why do you need their permission? You are a man with the Spirit of God? Yes?” From the way he asks it, it seems like Seth knows the answer already. I’m not sure if I do.

Am I a man with the Spirit of God? The question catches me off guard.

You see, I was always a bit suspicious of the so-called “Spirit” – the wild, unpredictable, mysterious branch of the trinity. We much preferred the black-and-white letters on the pages of our Bibles. We could see those. We could memorize them, teach them, tell other people what they really mean.

I’ve spent a lot of my life waiting for permission. Waiting for somebody else to read the Bible and tell me what it meant. Waiting for somebody else to be the voice of the Spirit to me.

So when you ask me if I a man with the Spirit of God, I don’t know know what to say. Am I? Is there a grownup who can tell me one way or the other?

I don’t know.

I know I’m ready to believe the truth. I’m tired of waiting for permission.

[ image: eflon ]

published May 20, 2014

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