They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16:31 NRSV
Random Bible verse generator got me that one today. As I may’ve mentioned, I’m in the process of buying a house. I gotta come up with some thousands of dollars within a certain time-frame and have documentation for where the money came from. Showing up with a sack of loose cash with a big $ on the side wouldn’t work. When I was presented with this info, my brain immediately started churning out plans to get the money the ol’ fashioned way – crime – and ways to launder it so I could use it for the down payment. And then I picked up a buncha extra shifts and talked to the payroll guy about cashing out my vacation hours and it looks like I’ma have the money without having to steal or borrow from a sketchy relative. I ain’t even gotta move money from one place to another and then cover the trail. It’s all legit. Which is odd for me because I think of myself as a person who can’t do things the “normal” way. I was talking to a friend about conversations I’d had with the mortgage lady and how I was trying to figure out much she was on “my side” – like would she be cool with helping me work the system a bit – and he was like “Yeh, you need an alcoholic mortgage agent” and that made sense. Alcoholics naturally default to working the system – running some kinda scam.
I’m tryin’ to get over that. It’s worked okay so far, but I’m thinking it might not be the best possible long-term plan. Working the system sometimes works, but when it succeeds, it reinforces the idea that working the system is a good idea. Which means I go into the next situation thinking I gotta figure out how to work the system. And I always have this underlying sense that I got to where I am by working the system, as opposed to feeling like I got there because I know what I need to know and I’m competent. Looking out ahead, I’m trying to become a pastor in God’s Lutheran church. I don’t wanna be standing at the altar, pronouncing the forgiveness of sins and inviting the Holy Spirit to be present in the Lord’s Meal and feeling like a con.
Changing one’s own self is not as easy as it might seem. Unless you’re hip enough to not think for a fuggin’ second that it seems like it’d be easy in which case it’s every bit as hard as it seems. It might just be up there with loving your neighbor as yourself and doing anything at all with no selfish motivation – in the unpossible category. I have had little or no success with it. I continue to be the irascible scoundrel with some little predilection towards queer wordies and vaguely not quite above-board dealings that I have always been, despite the fact that I have long since ceased to engage in the most egregious examples of grift and bald-faced theft that were once my daily bread and butter.
In addition to buying a house, I’m a coupla weeks into the adult degree program that I mentioned in another post. I’m fairly certain that I could go at that like I did when I was getting my Associate’s degree, which was as I’ve alluded – putting on over. It worked then – I got the degree- and it’d most likely work again, but just getting the degree ain’t the point. This whole process is s’posed to be changing me into a servant of God and that’s gonna mean that who I am deep down is gonna havta change. I can see the inside of me from where I’m sitting and I know that guy ain’t a pastor. That individual is gonna have to be transformed by the unadulterated grace of God or it ain’t gonna work.
I have no doubt that it can be done. The process is laid out before me. I have to write a paper for the first class – due in a few weeks. I’ve been wrestling with it in my head because I really hate academic writing. It’s boring and painful and just wretched and the thought of forcing my ideas into that kinda form for the next however-many years just repulses me, but I’ma havta learn how to do. I expect to not do so good at it at first. This here is my natural writin’ style. This shit ain’t a-gonna do. Writer friends tell me that toeing the college writing line will make me a better writer. They also say they hate college writing. I think everybody hates college writing. But if I stop trying to manipulate things and actually just do the thing, I should come out the other side of it a better writer and a legitimate ordained pastor in God’s Lutheran church.
And then I’ll be saved and so will my household. Actually, I’m saved now. And I’m gonna have a house to hold in the near future. I think I’ma start having Bible study. Prob’ly on Tuesdays.