Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Conventional Wisdom

I was raised by conservative parents.  While they may have had some slightly liberal social leanings, but only slightly, I was raised with conventional morality.  Fortunately, in my upbringing, the morals I was taught were not to "do right" or "to follow the law" but were genuinely taught to me as a way to make me happy and secure in life.  Morals were for my good, the good of my family, of my community, my state and my nation and for that matter, all humanity.

Those morals largely followed along the lines of the Ten Commandments--Put God first, keep God's day holy and rest at least one day a week, honor your parents, don't steal or want what others have, don't kill someone in being or in spirit, respect marriage and lack thereof. It was never really emphasized to me in my growing up years that having morals was following God's laws.  At Catechism classes, there may have been some teaching like that, but not at home.  I knew from a young age and onward that happiness was doing good and doing the right thing that wasn't self-serving or pleasure seeking.

The times I have been most unhappy have not involved any sense of regret for the things I didn't do or was protected from.  I have been most unhappy when other people, in following their own selfish desires, have let me down or hurt me.  Unhappiness for me could also be caused by the fallen world and the various challenges and accidents it presents to my life.  In those challenging times, I have come to think that if everyone was following conventional morality and not off hearing their own music and dancing their own rhythms that things would be better.  Case in point is my recent surgery.  Folks gathered round and prayed and offered help and support.  I did not come through feeling like a tragedy.  I was strengthened through the experience.  I had weak moments going in, but regardless of my moral state that would have been the case.

I may be a little quirky and unique, but I will never be unconventional.  I seek the Lord and through Him I have found immense happiness and serenity. The straight and narrow path is not an unhappy one.  It is filled with hope and joy.

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