Older I get, less rigid I become. Is it happening to you? I was thinking today about myself when I was 15 compared to now (noo, I am NOT going to tell you my exact age smarty-pants!).
I am not particularly more emotional (unless you decide to tell me that Taco Bell’s $1 deal is over and if that’s true: Houston, weve got a problem! but seriously, I realize that I am not as stiffed and rigid as I was years ago.
When I was 15, if someone would offer me a coffee candy it would be like if they”re asking me to drink 5 bottles of liquor, tequila and rum all at the same time. I would decline immediately citing religious reasons; the other person’s face was always a mix of comedy (because the first thing they did was laugh but upon realizing I wasn’t laughing their face was more like”¦”you”re kidding right?”) and total disbelief.
Oh and don’t let me get started with dating. Every guy (non-member) who showed any interest in me romantically would be categorize immediately as a PLOCB= Possible Law Of Chastity Breaker and every single part of my body would have invisible colorful and noisy little alarms that will go off at the slightest attempt to touch anything that you’re not supposed to touch. Even if they didn’t try to do anything, I didn’t give them the chance to get to know me, after all they were non-members and in my way of thinking, not worth enough the risk.
Every less-active person was less-active because their testimonies were very weak and not like mine because I was always “active “and so sure of everything. I was the perfect critic of those parents who didn’t seem to know how to handle their children in Church, about that young woman coming with a skirt I deemed too short, that young man who only speaks stupid things in my class and doesn’t seem to understand that if he doesn’t come with a white shirt he is not worthy enough to pass the Sacrament, foolish boy. I was so happy I wasn’t like them. I was BETTER.
Then I experienced what I call an epiphany-process. No, I didn’t see God or Jesus or Angels and it wasn’t one event that gave me that understanding. The epiphany came through several and rough life changing challenges and situations (that I continue experience on a daily basis) that made me realize that things of the Spirit are not as rigid as I thought they were but instead there was room for understanding, there was room for flexibility, there was room for patience, acceptance and meekness. It came the deep understanding that not everything is black or white.
I believe religion should help us become a more tolerant bunch of folks. Being tolerant doesn’t mean agreeing, it means you are willing to accept that someone thinks differently than you and act differently than you but you’re heck ready to love them sincerely regardless of those choices.
I don’t know if age is bringing these thoughts to my life but I like it.