My process for choosing my role model unfolded like this (to write it out bluntly!):
In my mind it works like this: There are 6 possible categories that humans can choose from as their belief system, the thing in which they place their trust, meaning, purpose, faith etc – Nothing, Myself, Others, Money, Nature or God. Breaking each one down:
1) Nothing? Then what’s the point of being on the planet? What’s the point in anything? How do you get up out of bed each day? How do you survive each day? Why do you survive each day if it’s for nothing? I cannot answer these questions in any way at all; so I crossed out this option as worth its title.
2) Myself? Ha ha ha ha! Now that is funny! I am THE most challengingly complex human being I have ever come across! I make no sense to myself, emotions all over the show, ups and downs, highs and depressions, put on weight, lose weight, insecurities, constant changes in thoughts, opinions and the information I have. Change my career here and there, never have all the information, occasional procrastinator, boat-rocker etc etc etc… Believe in myself? That would just be daft! Seriously.
3) Others? Ha ha ha ha! A weird-strange lot others are. They are as insecure as I am, some have less brain power than I do, they fluctuate in so many ways it’s scary. Drinkers, smokers, abusers and manipulators. Many others are orientated around power and “being in control”, which is the biggest farce and delusional practice on the planet! One earth quake, one tidal-wave, one volcanic eruption, snake bite, heart attack, aneurism, spot of cancer, HIV, H1N1 and BAM! Guess what? You’re not in control. How can I put my trust in human beings when they are so messed up? Nah, I’ll pass on that one thanks.
4) Money. Whatever! You make it, you die and someone else gets it or spends months fighting over it. You invest it and there’s a recession. You have lots of it and get stuff and the stuff clutters your life and/or adds to your stress levels because you have to maintain it, keep it, insure it and/or worry about it. You travel with it and see this church, the next church and another church, or this hotel, then the next and the next, this beach and the next and the next, this meal and the next and the next… so what? What’s the meaning or purpose in that? Then you get home, the place that’s supposed to be your most favourite place in the world and it’s an anti-climax. Money is metal and paper. I can’t put faith in metal and paper. I prefer to collect it. Pass.
5) Nature. Now this is a better option than the others I reckon, but Nature can’t speak to me. Nature lives and dies, it has nothing eternal about it. That flower is BEAUTIFUL, but dead in a short while. Animals are enchanting, loving, violent, exquisite, unique and many many other adjectives, but they live and die in a short space of time without having done much. Sure, the sun and moon rise and set and there is a fair amount of consistency, but what’s the purpose? The earth is a volatile shape-shifter with its own agenda and unknown reasoning, leaving little to trust in. Nature is created by something more. I’d rather choose to follow the Creator and not the Creation, thanks.
6) God. Creator. Consistent. Permanent. Purposeful. LOVE. God is Love. BINGO! I choose this one. I choose God/Love, to trust in, to believe in and to have my purpose in. He sets a higher bar. He opens up the door to eternal and purpose beyond this messed up cruel world. He is HOPE. Hope for something better, hope for something good. HOPE and LOVE. Choosing God is thus a no-brainer for me. Nothing else offers the peace, hope, consistency and joy that God does. Nothing else makes sense, logical sense like God does. He is so constant and reliable He has been the same for Millenia!
Having worked through the 6 options, I thus had to break down the options of which ‘god’ to choose. This also ended up being a set of 6 representatives as Role Models towards approaching God: Buddha, Allah, Satan, range of Hindi gods, Other (Scientology, Confucius etc) and Jesus; all of whom served a higher purpose, a higher being.
1) Buddah? I went to Taiwan and lived there for 6 months. I spoke to the locals, I went to the temples and I tried to find out what it was all about. I was told they believed in this way because their parents did and their parents did and theirs and so on. The ‘ghost’ worship was a necessity, and that’s why they burnt ghost money… I didn’t get it. I didn’t feel it and my rational mind needed reason and information as to why I would place food on an alter for an invisible ‘god’ to ‘eat’. I was never settled or comfortable in any temple. Not the option for me.
2) Allah? I journeyed to Dubai for this. I listened to the Friday calling. I went into a mosque and saw a faith that makes old people have to bow down on their haunches to pray, a religion that separates men and women to prevent them from worshipping together, and a religion that practices Jihad: Killing other human beings ‘for god’. It also forces death on any who would leave the ‘faith’. I call that “Rule by Fear” and I don’t do Fear. I couldn’t accept it. In my quiet time, in my meditation time, I asked the Universe about it. The reply: “Religion is a power tool. A construct created by men, for men, in order to enforce control. God did not create religion, man did. NO MAN SHOULD KILL ANOTHER. Killing another is an act that takes power from God. It helps man feel superior to God. It takes away God’s right and power to work in that person’s life; His right to heal them and use them to promote His glory! Killing another human being is the same as killing hope. It is the antithesis of faith. It is the same as saying God is weak and cannot help the person. Only God decides when and how every life begins with His miracle of life: “creation”, and ONLY God should decide when and how that life should end, man is not part of that equation. Killing another shows a lack of trust in God.” That response confirmed that Islam was not for me.
3) Satan? The purest form of evil? What’s the point? Who would want to live in hate when they can live in love? Who would choose darkness over light? Angst and anger over peace and calm? Not me… I’m VERY happy to leave this one to the Satanists who worship eternal torture and a sick, twisted view of pain, hurt and harm as being the way to go. Madness, pure insanity in my opinion. Cross that one off the list with some blood.
4) Hindi? The elephant with all the arms scares me. The monkey-shaped god makes me very uncomfortable. The whole concept of worshipping ‘this god for this and the other for that’ I find most unsettling. Praying to this one and then that one and then the other one completely confuses me. It’s too scattered and disjointed for me and my logical one-stop-for-everything preference. I walked away from choosing a seemingly ‘multiple personality/being’ faith.
5) Scientology, Confucius etc? Just didn’t grab my soul and say: “YES!” This is the way the truth and the life. They are so iffy, and seem contrived and not so well established or grounded in something solid to believe, trust and put my faith in. Too based in ‘men’, so I couldn’t rationally choose any of these because that would contradict my decision in my first step not to believe in men. Tom Cruise and John Travolta can keep the hero worship, thanks.
6) Jesus? (I couldn’t go with the Pharisee-type, “law or else” approach of Judaism) I have only one conclusion: Wow! What a man! Reading about this man’s life, how he put the Pharisees in their place and how he loved those in need and helped those less fortunate. How he mentored weak people like me. How he understood suffering and how he held no anger, no hate, no judgment. How intelligent he was, how gracious and humble. How he said that LOVE is the most important thing in the world. How he confirmed and showed that humans should not kill, and he didn’t. This man’s actions matched his words. How he didn’t sit around writing or getting wives, he went out and taught, and shared, and loved. He acted, he did, he contributed, he helped. He offered people love, forgiveness, mercy and joy wherever he went. He aimed for a higher, greater, more wonderful development of self than any other person I have come across in history. He gave, and gave and gave, he never took, he never demanded and he never belittled or degraded. He adored children and helped and appreciated women. He worshipped a constant God, a true God, a God of LOVE. He was awesome. The thought of him and the stories around him create peace and joy in me like none of the others. I LOVE peace and joy and contentment. I love knowing that there is a purpose beyond this screwed up world of lost souls. I love that lost, unhappy people can be found. I love that those who are drowning in whatever it may be (fears, insecurities, hopelessness, debt, pain, ill-health, sadness, depression, whatever) can be completely saved and lifted up. All of this fuel to feed a fire ignited in my soul!
Through Jesus to God had to be my choice. Goodness, mercy, love, patience, peace, hope, why would anyone not want all that? It’s an instantaneous package deal of purpose and reason to get up in the morning. Most especially, it is for free. It is ‘Ruled by GRACE’. This is what has sold and signed the deal of my choice to follow the Role Model of Jesus Christ. There are no criteria, no jackets required, nothing but saying “I’m not happy with what I’ve done, who I’ve hurt and how I’m living, I’m sorry that I’ve chosen such unhappiness, but I know I don’t want the dark sadness anymore, I want light, love and joy, and I know I can get it through God the Father, be with me Lord, we will be awesome together” :-) WHAM! GRACE. It is done. You are loved. Full Stop. SO MUCH OF AWESOME!!! How could I not choose AWESOME Grace and being loved even though I’m so flawed?
Yes, so others ‘admire those who have faith’, and I’m like: Why on earth wouldn’t you choose AWESOMENESS over the crappiness of what this temporal, flawed, drugged, consumerist, nasty, violent, insecure and lonely world offers?
Ha! Not a chance I’m going to believe in anything but God and be guided by the ways of an AMAZING man, a true Son of God, whose life has been transcribed for MILLIONS, whose birth changed the time of Humanity from B.C. to A.D. ! Rock on! Yes folks, I made my logical choice … still, I’m the most complex person I’ve ever come across, so maybe it’s only logical to me… Still, there’s no way on planet earth I’d EVER give up knowing that I’m loved beyond comprehension, provided for beyond understanding and walking in the glory of unconditional love and grace. AMEN!
To those of you who have chosen something else, I take my hat off to you. I have NO IDEA how you get through each day without Love, Faith and/or Hope. Not a clue. Blessings to you.