Saddles

Ever see a cowboy dragging a saddle behind him? It doesn’t matter how well constructed the saddle is or how long the cowboy has owned it. It could have been in the family for years. Maybe it was his grandfather’s, then his father’s, until finally it was given to him. A saddle is a proud thing to own. Well crafted, hand tooled. I have nothing against saddles, but…

There’s no horse. Faith is like dragging a saddle. Old habits die hard because they’re familiar. And familiar feels right. That first Sunday you don’t go to church feels empty. I felt like I’d missed a step in the stairs and I was going to fall headlong. If you’ve ever noticed, people who have strong beliefs are afraid to let go of them. It’s been in the family for years. Their grandfather was a preacher, their dad a pastor, and they’re a Sunday school teacher. To leave this legacy is like spitting in the face of your heritage. It’s also how you define who you are. Sometimes you feel you’re not special anymore. I know this because I left this heritage myself.

To say I lost my faith is somewhat of a misunderstanding. I walked away. I walked away because I was going through the motions, which I could still do if I wanted. I could walk into church and still teach. No one would know the difference, but it wouldn’t be true. The horse isn’t there and I’d just be dragging a saddle around behind me.

 

Common Sense is Not Always Common

I usually laugh when people state, well it’s just common sense. Do we think about what we are saying? We usually mean, that something seems obvious. But Common Sense is the values that we all share in common. Families are all different and we come together and create our own Common. For example, there are many families that think it’s common sense to be clothed when in public or in front of their children, but I’ve known families that had coed showers, father-daughter and such. These weren’t perverted families. Just ordinary families with different practices.

I mention this so we can make our lives a bit more relaxed. Maybe the person smacking their gum didn’t mean to be rude. Or the clerk that wasn’t super duper friendly is just from a family that’s not as upbeat. In Southern United States, Southern Thangs, it’s a common practice to serve sweet iced tea with most meals, but in the UK that practice is very odd. Also, a preacher going to the pub in Ireland or London and drinking a pint (beer) after a Sunday sermon isn’t scandalous. But if he ordered a cup of coffee it would be.

Before we judge a person’s peculiar habits we need to understand them better. Even then it might be best to keep our judgments to ourselves and not rely on common sense to guide our perceptions.

Seth Godin says it well, They’re your words, choose them

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