Yesterday I attended two Sunday School lessons. The second was filled with truth and light.
At one point during the first, my arms and hands were shaking uncontrollably. I had to take a time out, unnecessarily heading to the restroom. It wasn’t anger. It wasn’t sorrow, grief, guilt, or regret. Nor was it pain, or suffering. Not frustration. Not…. Maybe is was some combination of all of the above. In any case, it wasn’t medical or Oxycodone withdrawal.
We were “discussing” that period of Jesus life prior to his capture and crucifixion that includes (at least some of) His most important and profound teachings. We skipped all that. Instead, we talked about Jewish traditions surrounding the Passover. Much (perhaps most) of that information was wrong. Little connected back to the Savior.
As I have pondered the causation for my visceral response, I have considered that it might have been:
- the false doctrines, or
- the testimony that those were true, or
- the willingly blind and welcome acceptance by the students, or
- the passive culture that abhors real discussion and learning, or
- the comprehension of the difficulty discerning truth from error, or
- the omnipresent memory that I had instilled similar (expletives avoided) for decades, or
- the understanding that the heavens might likewise viscerally respond to the things I say today, or
- the implicit cognition that I remain intractably ignorant, or
- the spiritual response to spiritual darkness (euphemism intentional).
Probably all of that and more.
Regarding that which I previously and that which I continue to believe and teach that was and is wrong, I am reminded of the parable of the Rabbi and the feather pillow (this version especially topical as the article speaks also to antisemitism). Here, I intend the substitution of unbelief for rumor. Perhaps my soul was better understanding the severity of the consequence of my hubris (past and present) and the near helplessness of the situation. Repair and reconciliation are impossible. If there was ever a need for an infinite atonement…. No wonder this parable is frequently taught during Yom Kippur.
Recently the thought “came to mind:” you can’t go back, you can only go forward.
I doubt I have ever fully grasped repentance.