Faithful – Semper Fi

This is part of the Daily Post challenge – they pick a topic and we respond.  Today’s Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

Faith?  I think I’ve always had it, some days/years stronger than others, admittedly.  I remember my first miracle – likely there had been many, but this one, this one stood out tall and remains fresh to this day.  I was 17 and I was ditching a lot of school.  Not to be cool, just bored out of my mind.  It wasn’t that spending time across the street having coffee with the rent-a-cop was more fun, but it was interesting.  We had a hotel across the street from the school and I grew so familiar to management that one day they invited me in on a business meeting to get my take on whatever was under discussion.  Two or three blocks away was another coffee shop/diner and that grew boring as well.  This particular day, I had returned to campus for my accounting class – 12th grade, and I stopped before going in and just sent an urgent prayer upwards:  “Please I have to stop ditching and I can’t do it by myself.  Help me.”  Something like that.

Twenty minutes later, head down, doing an accounting problem, I heard the door open and someone walk by to the teacher’s desk at the front of the class.  When I heard my name whispered, I glanced up.  A student delivering a message from one teacher to another.  Huh.  About me.  Huh.  Couldn’t gleam a thing, but the student, having delivered the message, grinned at me and walked on by.  To the best of my knowledge, I wasn’t on Penny’s hit list, so maybe it was good news?  As class was ending, the teacher called me over, “Mr. Jorgensen wants to see you during the lunch period.”  Mr. Jorgensen (if that was his name) was the drama teacher and he and I didn’t get along.  I took drama classes and was in the drama club, but I’d made the mistake of insulting Mr. Jorgensen and he paid me back in full.  That year they were putting on The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and it was my favorite play.  I had wanted the role of Sandy, a very smart, sharp student of Brodie’s who ultimately betrays her.  I didn’t even make callbacks.  The assistant professor actually apologized to me, which is how I knew it was payback.  Rehearsals had been ongoing for weeks.  I walked into Jorgensen’s classroom.  He was seated at his desk doing something and ignored me.  Fine.  I can outlast just about anybody.  He finally looked up and over at me, “Yes?”

“You asked for me.”

He took his glasses off and polished ’em.  “Oh, yes.  Well, it turns out the role of Sandy has come available.  Do you want it?”

“Yes.”

“There is one condition.”

I looked at him warily.  “And that would be?”

He studied me with an indifference that was chilling.  I had really pissed him off with that comment.  “I understand that you ditch class a lot.”  Uh oh…  “If you miss one of your classes, you will not be allowed to continue as Sandy.  I do not care if it is opening night – you will not go on if I find out you have ditched a class.  Do you accept?”

“Yes.”  I walked out of his classroom on air.  It was the one thing I wanted that year, to play Sandy.  God had heard my prayer and it took 20  minutes to make it a reality.

That was probably the right place to end this entry.  Except…. here’s the thing, those miracles just kept on coming.  Maybe it was because I had two Great Aunts that were Mother Superiors of their Orders.  Maybe it was because I had three middle names.  Maybe it is because God truly looks after drunks and idiots.  I grew up in times that were tough, cynical, life-threatening, and barren of beauty and grace.  I came of age in the 70’s and it was bleak if you had a romantic bone in your body.  The 60’s  had thrown out all the rules, leaving nothing to guide us coming up behind them, except on a first date, do you want sex before or after dinner?  Bleak, I tell you.

Every time I remembered to yell to God for help, He was there.  Day by day, brick by brick, stumbling, falling, year after year, He was there.  And, frankly, I don’t care if it is a He/She/It.  Something greater than myself was there, actively listening and responding.  It is natural to question the existence of God or a Higher Power or the Source – whatever you feel comfortable calling It.  I went through the years of cynicism and doubt, disbelief, and the embrace of being lonelier than any other person on earth.  God was patient with me, free will was mine to exercise or not.  Stuff happened – no need to go into it here, but it is best summed up for me by “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.  Therefore I have continued in my faithfulness to thee.”  Jeremiah 31:3.  That was God talking to me.  Well, I come from a family of Marines.  Always look after those who watch your six.  Semper Fi.  May I always have my faith.  Because my life is so much richer for it.  Thank You, God.  Semper Fidelis

10 thoughts on “Faithful – Semper Fi

  1. I remember once, years ago, while I was going though the first stages of the inevitable separation from my, then, husband, I had this dream.
    I was sitting on God’s lap. Like a small child. And He cradled me like the kid I am to Him. There were all these people surrounding Him, trying to get to me, and He kept them away. Kept me safe from harm.
    And I realised that He is a part of my life, I must just hold out my hand, He will take it.
    Since then, I’ve always had petrol in my car, smokes in my pocket, and a way to make ends meet.
    If I did not have faith, I would not have seen these things for the miracles they are.
    Your story has made me realise, once again, that I can only really live a decent life if I let God lead me to the right path – thanks!

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    • 68ghia – well, you just made my day! I almost didn’t publish that, thinking who would be interested… Now, there’s a miracle for us. As a note re whether people accept your smoking or whatever, what I discovered was: the most loud and pious who insist if you are spiritual, you must be a perfect temple missed the entire point. We are works in progress and thank You, God, that You have infinite understanding and patience. The ones who were so rigid broke and those of us who kept the pursuit going lasted. Just my observation. Grin.

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    • Bill, I am honored you would make the trip. You made a lot of ’em today – I can tell by my list of comments under Stats. This gives me a chance to review ’em, too. Thank you, Ham. Thank you very much indeed. Best ~ HuntMode

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