Persistent readers of this space know of my past antagonism with Christianity but have also witnessed that my references have begun to reflect an understanding of random Biblical passages and ideas. Despite that I did rankle a bit as I read of this man's conversation from Pagan to Christian. Even as my "Oh Hell No," mantra kicked in, I saw the makings of a spiritual man. As I have learned to follow my soul, I have listened to the shouted whispers of the Universe. So, I understand when he speaks of following a call.
When he wrote, "But an authentic spiritual life is rarely, if ever, easy." I totally understood. Making that hard left turn in Albuquerque can leave one's friends feeling lost and confused while they stay moving along the I-40. The only way to stay authentic is to make that left turn. Those who love you will make that effort to understand and be supportive. Those with an agenda will resent you. Being with those that love you is so much more important.
My only quibble is that an authentic spiritual life is always easy. When you are moved by the spirit of your soul, it is the easiest thing in the world to turn that wheel. When we project what our spirituality ought to be or try to fit into some mold we have projected upon ourselves then it gets hard. That difficulty is a sign of error.
That isn't how I interpret his words though. The difficulty is more subtle and compassion-based than that. For me, seeing the perfection was the best moment of my life. Difficult was watching someone I respect go into a tizzy over it but living the spiritual life born of that realization is pretty easy.
Mr. Bishop goes on to say, "But here’s the crazy thing: I get the hard polytheists now. I feel like coming to understand their relationship to their Gods has provided me with a context to understand this immediate relationship I’m experiencing with God in Christ." Here he reveals yet another spiritual truth. Your past does not define you, it educates you. He has learned all he could from his Pagan path and is now moving onto more lessons. To this I say, "Hazzah!"
He continues, "If I’ve learned anything during the last several years it is that admitting one’s own ignorance and asking questions of others can lead to the most profound exchanges." This true is the mark of a man of spirit. Sincerely embracing one's ignorance is fundamentally more than parroting wisdom one does not own. Simply put, if you can't discard notions when proven incorrect, you cannot claim the wisdom of ignorance.
So to Mr. Teo Bishop, I wish Godspeed on his journey. May his Pagan past serve him well and his Christian path spur his journey onward.