Installment 87

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On February 8, 2014 we attended services. During praise and worship, I prayed. I began: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who brings good things to life.

In that prayer, the Divine conveyed:

You my son are there, here, forever to stay, no more going back, your decision made,

In light of that, I really haven’t gone back. In the sense that I support that adult men and adult women have the God-given privilege to determine how they want to conduct themselves in a marital arrangement and in the sense that the Scriptures never condemn a marital arrangement of one man having multiple wives.

In a sense, I can’t go back. Even if I did as family and religious affiliates want, I can’t go back. For them it is simply not enough for me to not have a second wife. For them they want me to stop examining the Scriptures and stop teaching the applications of the Scriptures regarding marriage and how the Scriptures do not condemn polygamy.

So I can’t go back. The Scriptures are what they are, and the Scriptures do not condemn polygamy. As I have expressed elsewhere, Mary and I are still monogamous, but we anticipate that our marriage will change to include a second wife.

Returning to the prayer, the Divine added:

Tonight you are to announce who you are.

Back then, I wanted some clarification, so I asked: What exactly does that mean? The Divine responded:

Let others know who you are, begin informing them of your life, privately, publicly, in every way, do it, be not ashamed, unashamed of who you are,

In a sense, since then, I have been doing that, and writing “My Story” is part of that.

But part of that is also conveying that through the course of those months, I was given, for lack of a better term, the name David Paul (see Installment 74). I am not totally certain why the name was given. I just know that as much as I had experienced the other things in my spiritual walk, I also experienced that.

In the months that have passed since the name was given, I have interacted with many individuals. With some of them, I have shared the name David, others David Paul. Some of those people are people who doubt that the Divine is leading me, yet they easily refer to me as David.

With those particular people, it is perplexing. On one hand they accept my “new” name, but don’t accept my “new” me – both of which come about because of the Divine’s leading, neither of which can be without the Divine’s leading. So to me, it seems that to accept the one is to accept the other, and to deny the one is to deny the other.

Am I ashamed of the person I am? No.

Back in 2013/2014 I think I was. But in the months that followed those years, I have had many discussions, and those discussions have helped me learn how to understand myself in the scope of the world around me. That was not an easy process.

It took me all that time to accept the new me, and I have yet to fully implement my new name. But I have accepted both the new name and new me, even though by many I still am called by my birth name.

Returning to the prayer, the Divine added:

but be respectful of all involved, for not all can handle this.

Here’s the thing, not everyone can come to terms with me and the direction my life has taken. I am not sure why. For me, Scripturally, it seems fairly clear, what the Divine has not condemned, humanity cannot condemn.

Yet, I did and continue to do my best to be courteous and considerate to everyone. As I conversed with people, I experienced the situation personally. For some, the discussion is like a refreshing walk by a calm stream. For others, it is a storm that crashes onto their shore, washing away house and home. I am uncertain why such differing responses exist, but they do.

However, I will continue to present that the Scriptures do not condemn polygamy, and provide rationale expressing the importance of accepting the Scriptures over the doctrines that have been shared. I do my best to be civil, but I cannot return to the doctrine of monogamy-only, and a marriage with two wives is in my future.

Returning to my prayer, consider that the Divine added:

Now you are you, let’s roll, let’s truly begin. Life love is forever. Amazing, is it not?

It took me until January 2016 to come to terms with who I had become. But life did begin. Because since March 2014, I have approached and managed life in significantly different ways.

During the month of February I continued meditating, praying, and studying. I also began reading the Gospel of John, investigating it for lessons that I needed to learn.

On March 1, 2014 I spent time in prayer at Havdalah. I began with the blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who gives permission to alter and adapt. The Divine responded:

Yes. But why that?

I replied: Because of tonight. The Divine responded:

Yes. But why?

I replied: Because I felt like you had given me permission to alter my attendance. The Divine responded:

But you’re still here.

By altering my attendance I mean that my family and I did not attend services during that Havdalah. By “you’re still here” it means that while I was not at the facility where the services were being held I was still there, in that moment, praying during what is called havdalah.

I replied to the Divine with: Yes. The Divine responded:

Then, you did not change. We are still together at the appointed time. Just in a different location for you.

That is an important concept. Because we, as humans, think that a change of location is a change, an altering, with the Divine. That is NOT how it was described. The Divine declared that I did not change, because I was with the Divine at the appointed time for prayer. Because that did not change, technically there was no alteration, even though my physical location had changed.

Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:

You are about to end your work driving this school bus.

Things like this are what led me to step away from driving the school bus. It really was only a matter of days, maybe a couple of weeks, from this prayer that I stepped away from driving. The Divine continued:

But you have learned some very important lessons.

I am not sure I can state all the lessons I learned while driving a school bus, but the Divine listed five.

One. You can manage many children.

Believe it or not children did not and do not bother me. But once I had transitioned myself from youth group leadership, I moved away from working with children. It had been many years since I had worked with so many children, and so many different ages of children.

The Divine continued:

Two. You learned you don’t mind children, very young to adolescent.

That basically covers the entire age range of children that I, as a bus driver, had to manage. The students ranged from Kindergarten all the way to High School. Of course, by the nature of the school system, Elementary was not on the bus at the same time as High School.

But that doesn’t mean anything. For within minutes, as a bus driver, one has to negotiate issues with a five year old then up to an eighteen year old. Believe it or not, there are many challenges that go into those few minutes, and it takes a lot of effort to transition from youth to adult, and then still be willing to converse with the administration and teachers. The personal dynamics are tremendous.

The Divine continued:

Third, people around you don’t care about you, don’t give a rip what you think, what you do, as long as you meet their expectations…

You know, that is a difficult reality, because in the church and in family that is NOT the case. Both church and family care, whereas the workforce really only cares about you accomplishing your assigned tasks. That is both liberating and debilitating. It is liberating, in the sense that you really don’t have to care too much about other people. It is debilitating, in the sense that if you do not have a good support network at home, things can look desperate.

The Divine continued:

Four. There are people who watch you and see you and look up to you…

That is something that I actually did not know I needed to learn. I knew that regarding the church, and to a lesser degree family, and to a lesser degree my neighbors. So when I went into school bus driving I really did not sense a need to be concerned that others would look up to me. But by the time I had stepped away from driving, I did notice that reality, from co-workers, to admin, to the students.

The Divine continued:

Fifth, you are more capable than you imagine,

After the experience I had with pulpit ministry, my personal confidence was at an all time low. I went to Bible School needing to understand the Scriptures. I left with the understanding that people wanted to see the Scriptures opened to them.

Experience taught me that most congregants only want what they want. It is the few that look for more. That, along with the poor behavior of people who identified themselves as Christians, devastated me. It stripped me of confidence in myself, and especially in others.

It took driving that school bus to help me regain some personal confidence. When I began driving I had NO idea that my personal confidence was so low. But with the help of a co-worker challenging me to do and become more, I did achieve, and for that I will always be grateful.

That was the beginning of me regaining confidence in my own being. After I stepped away from bus driving, I had to learn how to see myself in light of my family and their perceptions. That took nearly two grueling years. I love my family, but who I am and what I do is no longer determined by how they doctrinally interpret me.

I have regained much confidence in myself, overall that took many years. So consider that the Divine continued with the following:

you took yourself and put yourself, of course by my direction, in a very humbling field, which is one reason why so many quit.

That is actually quite insightful and helpful. It definitely helped explain why so many people cannot do very well as bus drivers. The reality is that bus drivers are in a very humble position, they are asked to do many things that administration and educators themselves will not do. Sadly, what’s more is there is a significant number of administrators and educators who are more than willing to express their outright disdain for bus drivers.

The work of a bus driver is very demanding. Traffic despises buses. Parents are often demanding and less than helpful. Then the school system increases the difficulty. Yet, all expect the school bus driver to be respectful and mindful of the job’s responsibilities. And to think that I thought that pulpit ministers get crapped on, bus drivers have it worse.

It is no longer a wonder to me why people don’t want to drive a bus, and when they do they become discouraged.

Returning to the prayer, the Divine continued:

However, you did so because you have the heart of a servant, that is what I wanted you most to see…

That is something that I did not fully realize when I went into driving a school bus. However, I do recall that when I applied for the work, one of those who interviewed me learned of my background as a minister and encouraged me saying, in effect, that the skills I learned in ministry would become needed, not to drive the bus, but to interact with all the people.

However, what I did not know when I began driving the bus is that the heart of the servant was required. Truly, I thought, when I began the work, you could show up, do your work, go home. That really cannot be done. If that is the approach to the work of a school bus driver, the bus driver will not be successful in managing the dynamics of the interactions on the bus.

The Divine then continued:

Now, we are going to take all those things and put them to work in your family.

And that is exactly what has happened. In March of 2014, when I stepped away from the work world to return home, I didn’t fully understand it. But looking back, I can certainly see it.

From there the Divine conveyed concepts about how I was to help my family, to take care of tasks that needed to be done, and described some positive ways in which to interact with my wives.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, Mary and I are still single as in monogamous. But I expect that to be changing. It has been about six months since I began writing the Installments to “My Story” but I can see how things have changed even in the last six months.

I look forward to this next part of my life.

Blessings and Shalom