Oxford to London. A Change and a Memory.
My double-decker left. I was there, the next bus would depart in two hours. What would I do? I had a book with me. It was about the goodness of God. I decided to read. What else to do with life, but to make the time pass? I preferred to be alone at times in Oxford. I could think about how I am different there. I enjoyed being different from who I was. I did not know how to define it yet, or what it was that was changing me. But it was no problem, I liked to think about nothing.
I believed an adaptation of the concept of truth. My mistake was that I did not see how it could be applicable to my life. Christianity is applicable only in abstract terms and to too vast an audience. It would never be able to fully give me what I wanted. I did not live in a place for it to work on me forever. It started when I was a young kid. I left Canada when I was 9 years old. My parents enrolled me into a private school in Slovakia. And I spent some great years there. I met people that I could witness to and be special to, people that I clinged to for meaning. Andrej was one of them. He is still a friend. Someone that I can open up to about almost everything. There is probably not one person I can be myself with more than him, since he knows me for as long as I can remember.
I would walk to and from school with him. I would spend days at his house discussing youthful passions. The railroads were cold. I would count them for the sake of boredom. “Pray pray pray and live a life of gratitude. Look up at the sky and see the vast greatness of God.”
It was up until my high school years that we all went our own ways. For some reason I represented this Christian faith. What I think it was was not a faith that I had but rather a shyness that I could not shake. It was my immaturity that preached — not my faith.
True Faith is a Sacrificial Faith not a Receiving Faith
Faith only preaches when you have another option. It only works if you are forced to make a choice from better to worse. It does not work the other way around. It will work if you forsake your character for the sake of meekness. Christianity in this world would not seem irrelevant if Christians would do this. On the other hand, they become Christians to find a partner, to fit into a social group that is overtly introverted, to be special, to be heard, to deal with personal issues, etc. Christians should on the other hand go to faith to forsake their partners, social groups, families, and friends. They should go to Christ not to be heard by people but to be heard by him. If you are a Christian - that is your life. He is the utmost of life. Nothing can separate it from your reality. Jesus himself said to forsake your family (Luke 14:33). He also said that he is the life (John 14:6). He is a radical and he is not to be listened to. I say this not to guilt Christians. I say this to prove to them why their religion is unlivable. Do not point to grace. Point to the impracticality of listening and existing by his terms.
That trip. That bus ride. Oxford to London. It gave me a point in life to reflect on. In Oxford I could reflect on everything that I was raised up to believe. And so I made sense of the state of my Christian faith in childhood. It was a mere representation of my inner longing to belong. It was a fabrication of the truth. It was an outcome of my upbringing. It was a dream: to be happy. It was change that made me reconsider my pursuit for happiness. It was the cultural and intellectual difference that I accidentally walked into that made me consider Atheism. And I will continue to consider Christianity for its validity in the same way. That is my hope.
At one point, I tried to capture the state of change for my life philosophy that occurred in Oxford. I summarized it in my blog post, My Three Stages of Happiness. If you liked this blog and wanted some further reading on that lovely experience I would love if you gave that a read and gave me some feedback. It means the world to me.
Comments and claps are welcome! :)
Until next time, keep reflecting.