Life Through The Eyes Of Shakespeare

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

(Hamlet Act 1, Scene 3)

I probably could guess what my high school english teachers would say about my grasp on the writings of the one and only William Shakespeare, more than likely poor would be the answer.

For as long as I can remember I had a deep inner need to feel accepted.  Maybe, that is a given for any number of men, women, boys, and girls.  Try as I must I felt I could never live up to standards of those around me.

It was the same when I was active in ministry.  Oh, I could hold my own in the music department, but when it came to standing behind the pulpit I felt inadequate.  I strived to master my technique in the delivering of my messages. Yet, at times I felt so out of place.

This feeling of being out of place became quite intense when I first started experiencing panic attacks.  From this, all manner of other things seemed to flow.  I found myself becoming quite reclusive.  It was the complete opposite of my character as a Gospel musician and minister of the Word.  Back then I was not bothered by being out front of a crowd.  Now I totally become nauseous at the thoughts of being in a crowd.

I have been battling and am still battling some inner conflicts.  Conflicts that stemmed from all I was raised to believe.  This is why I made the decision to leave full time ministry.

Maybe, William understood this internal battle of needing acceptance of being true to oneself.  We can feel it through all his writings.

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

Conflicted Still

I started this blog to approach many, so it seems, contradictions.  Things I believed but yet did not manifest in my life.

I was raised and believed that God heals, though most of my life suffered, in one way or the other, with pain.  I stood beside the bed of a Godly woman full of cancer.  Gave the eulogy at my own mother’s homecoming, died from complications of what started out to be the flu.

I always heard that a person who commits suicide cannot go to heaven.  My issue with that is many are suffering with mental health issues.  I can remember a great uncle was found under the exhaust of his’ car, committed suicide. Yet, I know that God is merciful.

This broken person admits freely that there are many questions that still go unanswered.  If you hear a preacher claim he has all the answers, I would suggest he is lying.

So I go from day to day conflicted still!

A Practical Gospel

Mar 12:29-31 MSG
29  Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one;
30  so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’
31  And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

I have always known that the Gospel has to be practical.  People on the whole need help in all manner of things on what to do where the rubber meets the road.

Lesson Learned

These past several days have confirmed to me that people want preachers, pastors, teachers are like them.  No, they want to believe those leaders are not mired in the same sins as those who are listening.

When I was in the ministry I was never open about what was happening in my personal life.  I kept it shielded, compartmentalized, only let it out when I was by myself or with a close confidant.  I found that many Pastors are in the same boat.  They feel constrained, the burden of ministry weighs on them 24/7.  Some don’t even confide to their wives which starts to cause major problems within the marriage.  Pastors and those involved in the ministry are some of the lonliest people in the world.

Since I have started writing about my problems with depression, bi-polar, etc., the readers have shown me that I made the right step.  It has opened a whole new world to me causing some of my lonliness to disappear.

It now it is my fervent prayer that I can share more of my battles in life, yet at the same time share the Gospel of the Cross to the readers of my blog.