Losing My Religion

Originally written in 29th January 2001 on the A/A forum in this post

Copyright Phil Crofts 2001. Permission is given to distribute this as long as proper attribution is maintained.

When I lived in 'the body of Christ', when I was devoted to the Church and the Bible, the world appeared to be a city, meticulously constructed with beautiful engravings and huge halls. The walls were deep and strong, to keep us all safe from the corruption and sin of the outside world, and they were guarded by God to prevent Satan intruding. All in all a very comfortable place to live.

One day I wanted to just look up close at one of the engravings on a wall. It didn't quite look right, and I just wanted to check that it wasn't my eyesight. When I reached out to touch the engraving, to my horror my hand went right through. There was nothing but dust left of that engraving. I went to my preacher, as he would have to know about this. I showed him the hole, guiltily expecting him to berate me for it. Instead he acted as if he couldn't see it. He commented upon how beautiful the engraving was, how neatly it fit in with the rest of the decorations, and how his father, and his father's father had also admired this engraving.

As you can imagine this caught me a bit off guard, but I accepted that maybe it was me who was wrong. After all, he was much more intelligent that I was, not to mention wiser. In a spirit of interest however, I went and had a look at some of the other sections of the city. To my amazement I could knock down whole walls and rooms with hardly any effort. After a while I was pulling down the buildings just for the pleasure of being able to. Whenever I pulled down a structure I could see that people were still walking around in it as if nothing had happened. This confused me and scared me.

After a while I knocked down the outer wall, the one that protected me from all of the evil in the world. What I saw was a collection of cities and small towns. I went and had a look at a few of them, but I didn't seem to be able to inhabit them, because again I would accidentally knock holes in the buildings, and find myself unwelcome.

Eventually from my standpoint all that I was left with was a huge flat plain. There was nothing left that could stand up to even the most simple investigation. Nothing was certain, everything crumbled. I could still see my family walking in the air as if their city was still there, but I could not talk to them because they were so far away.

The flat plain was definitely the most intimidating time for me. I could not talk to anybody, I had no shelter, no rules, no group. I spent many hours shouting for people to hear me in their imaginary cities, but to no avail. Perhaps this is what hell is like? No certainty, no right, no wrong, no faith, no God. Maybe Satan found his way in through me. Maybe he is blinding me? I tried everything.

Eventually I worked out that the only option available to me if I wanted somewhere to live was to build it myself. I started out with some building blocks that I thought couldn't be knocked down. "Treat people well", "Learn before believing", "Understand before judging", "Be honest with yourself". These are plain and simple bricks, not the fancy marble sculpturing that my old home had, but at least they seemed to be solid. I didn't understand how they could be solid, and maybe they are no more solid that those that my parents still walk on in their invisible city, but they suffice for my home. I included a garden for contemplation, and I considered myself lucky to have such a large plain to build on.

After a while other people came along who wanted to visit, stay or just help me build an extension. Many of the people who have helped me add extra wings to my house reside on this forum, many are in the real world. I found (or more aptly was found by) a wife who was willing to share my simple home because she had never been in the fabled city. She understood the benefits of the simple truths. In fact she added almost the whole east wing which we call "Family". I think that the best times that I have in my house are when my wife and I look out of our window at the horizon so far away and wonder what is over there, while realising that we are free to go and have a look.

In summary, I love my little house, and its guests and residents. It provides me all of the shelter that I need. I can even put in windows, something that I realised was absent from the city that I grew up in. The time when I found myself alone on the plain was the worst. Once I started to build upon the plain I could look at my home and say "That's what I am here for".

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