Thrown For a Loop

I came across this article on one of the blogs I read regularly.  I took the time to read it and quite frankly, I wish I hadn’t.  It has filled me with questions, or maybe just one BIG question, and a week later, I can’t stop thinking about it.  At this point, you’ve probably yet to click on the link so I’ll fill you in on it’s subject matter.  The article addresses the idea that perhaps a real person named Jesus, who did all those things we are told he did, did not actually exist.  The information that supports this theory is that there is nothing recorded by anyone who lived at the same time that Jesus lived that testifies to any of what we’ve learned.  Everything that we know of Jesus was recorded by people who lived 50 years or more after he died.  So everything we have taken as fact and in some cases based our life upon is at best hear-say (stories passed down through generations) and at worst lies.

For me, I am a skeptic and these days apply common sense first when posed with questions.  I’ve already admitted at least one thing I don’t believe about Jesus’ life and I could probably name a few more.  I don’t accept the Bible as the be all and end all.  I look at it as a piece of literature.  There are many great truths within literature, meaningful messages and even historically accurate settings, but that doesn’t mean we should call the literature a textbook (unless of course we are studying literature).  I had always thought or believed in a historical Jesus, even if I wasn’t sure about all of the stories of his life.  I assumed the facts were there to prove his existence.    This article has thrown me for a loop.

Recently I wrote my first post about Jesus and I mentioned at the end how I feel like I can commune with Jesus.  If I am meditating (or even not meditating) I can ask Jesus for guidance and if I’m listening and aware can get an answer.  So what does this mean exactly, if the article is correct?  With whom am I communing?  Then I had this thought: What if Jesus is a state of mind?

In Hinduism people pray to and call on the power of the various Gods and Goddesses.  There is Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, the God with an elephant head, who is known as the remover of obstacles.  Kali is the Goddesses of death and transformation.  She has many arms and carries decapitated heads in at least one of them.  There are many others, but those two are my personal favorites.  Their stories are myths and metaphors.  That is understood because hybrid elephant and octopus people do not live amongst us.  But still they are prayed to.  When people think of these Gods and Goddesses, they call forth the aspects and characteristics that are represented.  They believe in the energy and they experience it.  So what if Jesus is like the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism?  What if he is merely a symbol of all that man can be and do?  What if he is whatever we want him to be?  To me, he is unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.  For someone else, he is salvation and God in human form.

I guess I will continue to wonder about Jesus.  I want very much to be convinced he was a real person who taught all the lessons I have learned.  I want the author of that article to have missed or overlooked something (or maybe someone to send me a link to snopes that says the whole thing is a lie).  There is another thought that goes through my mind though.  Imagine for a minute that our world is destroyed and a new breed of humans arrive to recolonize.  Along with many aspects of our history, they happen to find a copy of Forrest Gump.  After watching that movie and all of it’s historical accuracy, would they realize that Forrest was just a fictional character or would they write him into the history books?

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Weekend Reflections

It’s Sunday evening and we returned from Savannah this afternoon.  We had a great weekend.  We were blessed with an easy drive to and from, despite the holiday travelers.  It seemed to be the perfect time to be there because the weather was just right.  It was only a  little brisk but even without my jacket (which I forgot) I never got that cold.  Thanksgiving dinner was fabulous.  At 5:30 in the evening we pretty much had Casbah restaurant to ourselves.  I was worried this meant the belly dancer wouldn’t make an appearance but she did.  The girls ran up, tipped her and got a lesson.  They looked adorable.  After they pranced back to the table she pulled me up for  a lesson.  There was no getting out of it, so I danced.  After dinner we walked along the river front and stopped at The Savannah Candy Company and The Warehouse.  The girls played on a boat-shaped “playground” while Mark and I sipped on Yuengling. We ended the evening with the girls telling us all they were thankful for.

Friday morning we headed out for a day of sight-seeing.  We decided to buy a touring package deal.  We took the green and orange bus to the Savannah History Museum.  We watched a movie on Savannah’s history.  I realized there are certain periods of history I am very fascinated by and so much of what took place in Savannah throughout the years intrigued me.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Olglethorpe (the founder of Savannah) had originally prohibited slavery there.  His reasons were less about the inhumanity of it and more about work ethic in general, but it was nice to know it at least began with these kinds of standards.  (Eventually the citizens demanded the use of slaves and the ban was lifted at least until slavery was prohibited nationwide.)  I was also very inspired by Juliette Gordon Low’s story and may even consider putting the girls into Girl Scouts (which is something I was terrified of as a child).  After the tour of that museum (which houses the famous bench that Tom Hanks sat on in Forest Gump) we went back to the river front and had a delicious lunch at Huey’s.  After lunch we went to the Telfair museum and completed the tour of the entire city on the green and orange bus.  It was in the evening we discovered we had arrived in Savannah on the weekend of Holly Days.  Holly Days included an outdoor ice-skating rink and “snow” among many other interesting activities.

On Saturday morning we bought passes for the girls to play in the “snow” and did that for a short while.  Callee got hit with a snow ball immediately upon entering and ran back to me crying.  It was their first time ever seeing “snow” (the “snow” was actually shaved ice blown off of a truck).  After about twenty minutes of getting hit with snowballs we headed to the Owens Thomas house.  It was the first house in Savannah with indoor plumbing.  The architecture was amazing and the entry way made me feel pretty good about the color choice in our master bedroom.  After that tour we ate lunch at Clary’s.  Clary’s was one of the restaurants seen in the movie Goodnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  It was delicious and I’m sure way more fattening then any omelet should be.  We ended Saturday with a Ghost Tour, which wasn’t quite the same without entering the Sorrel-Weed house (a haunted house featured on Ghost Hunters that used to be included in the tour).

I thought about Amy a lot while on the trip.  There were many times when I had to force back tears, but Mark I think knew and asked several times if I was OK.  One of my facebook friends had commented that I would see a frog while on the trip.  I saw a lot of frogs, though not real ones.  I saw so many decorative frogs that I felt there was no way Amy would send signs in that abundance.  Simply put, I realized frogs are cute and a lot of people like them.  So Saturday afternoon (after having come to this conclusion) we stopped one more time for the girls to play in the snow on the way back to our hotel.  I was leaning on the fence and looked down.  There was some sort of toy there and I asked Bella to pick it up.  When she did I realized it was a toy frog.  She handed it to me and I knew IT was from Amy.  I could almost feel Amy’s giddyness at watching my girls play in snow for the very first time.

So this post is way past my personal word count limit, so I will sum it up for now.  I am thankful for a wonderful weekend with my family!  I learn a little something new each time I go to Savannah and definitely make new and special memories with each visit.

*I will add some pictures when Mark moves them from the camera…