True stories of miracles, visions, voodoo, snake handlers, civil disobedience, and my search for existential answers along the back roads of the Bible Belt...
Friday, September 12, 2008
The Right Place at the Right Time
Ok, so one of the things I am most hesitant to do on this forum is to name or categorize my beliefs. Partly that's because they're a bit of a moving target, but the main reason is because the whole point of Southern Cross is to share conversations with people holding radically opposing views.
I'd rather leave readers free to draw their own conclusions. Bias is inevitable, but I try to fight against it.
I will say this. I believe in belief. This year has put me through some incredible ups and downs. And I don't think that's going to stop, as much as I feel at home and at rest here in Greenfield. This past week was a rough one, though I won't go into details here.
I have found that having faith that some protective force is looking out for me is incredibly liberating. I've had some spectacularly bad luck, and some spectacularly good luck. Me finding this house, for instance, was a classic instance of being in the right place at the right time.
Does that prove that a Higher Power was looking out for me? Of course not. But it certainly doesn't disprove it. So, faced with two equal and opposing alternatives, I choose to tip the balance toward optimism and against fear.
This book took me through ten states and over 10,000 miles of highway, to rural Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, prosperous New South suburbs and New Orleans after the flood. I talked to pretty much anyone who would talk to me—black and white, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, Baptist, Pentecostal, and Catholic.
I witnessed protest rallies and Pentecostal tent revivals. I visited megachurches and a pacifist Christian commune. I met a few scary people and many more kind, hospitable ones.
I heard some stories you might or might not believe...