A Big Mistake
The Microsoft Word program I used to start this web site invites one to put one’s “Interests” under a heading on the home page. As I did that I realised that I was making a Big Mistake.
I wrote “photography”. I was going to write “walking”, “computing”, and even “religion”, and then I realised I’m not interested in these things at all. Not the slightest. You see, these things are all methods, techniques, ways in which one’s real interests can be expressed.
The truth is I am not interested in photography at all. What I am interested in is expressing the glory – yes, the joy – of the world around me and capturing it to remember, to share and to help others experience something of what I felt at the time. Similarly, “walking” is the way I combine the need for physical exercise with sensual contact with the world about me. Computing becomes the way in which I use a slightly useful piece of equipment to share, record and express these sensations. (In fact, “computing” is merely the art of self-defence in this technologically dependant world.)
But interest in “religion” – God save us from people who are interested in “religion”! – is just a total waste of time. If you need a word that encompasses witnessing to the Glory of God in Himself, His creation and our my fellow human beings, encouraging them to know, love and recognise Him in everything, and to help them transcend the limits of their own knowledge of Him, then “religion” may do, I suppose. But to most people (and often even to “religious” people) it means something totally boring and irrelevant. Religion is worthless unless it enables us to rise above the rites and rituals to a closeness to our heavenly Father, and know here in life the joy and compassion that we are built to experience. Any religion that offers “pie in the sky” has missed the point almost completely.
You might just as well say you are interested in “driving”. Oh, yes, you may enjoy driving, or even want to be a better driver, but the purpose of driving is to get you where you want to go. Enjoy the journey, by all means, but if at the end you a just back where you started then you have missed the point. Driving like photography, like computing, like religion, is merely a means to an end.
Concentrate on the end, and you will find joy in the doing. Look at yourself driving, and you won’t get the experience that you say you like. Concentrate on the photo, and the beauty eludes you, become obsessed with the walk and every step will be a pain. The joy escapes.
Prayer is like that too. Look at yourself praying, and you do not look at the object of your adoration, you see only a technique, and one which has to fail you! That’s why religion is abandoned by so many, who still have an underlying spiritual hunger, those who have exhausted the joy in shopping, for whom acquisition of material goods has turned sour.
Still under construction (01/01/2000)
This Web Page is Matters_Arising