Recognizing What One Has   Leave a comment

Above:  My Desk, June 21, 2017

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor


To recognize (at least partially) what one has and to give God thanks for it is to pursue a positive course of action.  Too often we human beings become grateful only after the fact and mix gratitude with regret for not having x anymore.  Frequently that regret overshadows our gratitude.

I have been spending perhaps excessive amounts of time with Google Earth recently.  I have been looking up places used to live, examining street views, and stirring up old memories, some of them faint because they come from my early childhood.  (I have consistently clear memories from about seven years of age forward.  I have sporadic memories prior to 1979/1980.)  I spent much of my early life in a series of United Methodist parsonages scattered across the South Georgia Annual Conference.  Often my family and I lived in small, provincial communities–sometimes in small towns, sometimes outside them, in the county.  This annoyed my father, who expressed himself frankly in private, in journal entries, as he complained about how small many minds were.  The experience of having to muzzle himself in public frustrated him.  The lack of intellectual stimulation outside my bookish home certainly frustrated me.

If, for some reason, fate will ever be so cruel as to require me to live in any of these communities again, I will not join any of those congregations, which will have nothing to offer to me.  I am of a particular spiritual type (Anglican-Lutheran-Catholic), which a rural Methodist church cannot satisfy.  Also, I abhor Southern Gospel music.

I am preparing to commence my thirteenth year in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, and at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church in early August.  These places are where I belong, at least for the time being.  I acknowledge the possibility that perhaps I should leave both of them one day and pursue opportunity and spiritual fellowship in another location, but I have no desire to relocate needlessly and foolishly.  As of now, grocery stories are plentiful and adjacent to my home, I lack no intellectual stimulation, I get to speak my mind freely in church without anyone accusing me of having committed heresy, and I take communion twice a week.  (I have long felt closest to God in that sacrament.)  I am the parish librarian, presiding over a splendid collection of books in a room I have transformed into a sacred space, complete with Marian iconography.  Also, no longer do I live in a proverbial glass house, living under the expectations of others that I at least appear holier than they.  Life as a layman and just another member of the congregation is wonderful.

I know at least some of what I have and thank God for that of which I am aware.



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