Crib or Cell
When you were young you found yourself behind the bars of your crib. It meant safety. It meant giving you a secure place to grow without hurting yourself. It gave you a boundary within which you could find comfort. They provided a proper freedom within which to discover and grow.
But at some point those bars were no longer appropriate. The time came when the bars became a restriction. They meant not safety, but control. They meant not comfort, but incarceration. They meant not growth, but restraint. The bars of your crib had become the bars of your cell.
I am amazed by the new intellectual freedom I am experiencing, embracing and enjoying now that I have moved outside of the constraints of the professional ministry. I realize that I permitted those constraints for the sake of others. I could feel my mind literally pressing against the bars that I willingly acknowledged in order not to upset people.
Now that the bars are not there, the intellectual freedom is, well, mind-blowing. It took me a while to adjust to this startling new liberty. But now that I have it, I can never go back.
Some commenters, all of whom I appreciate and respect, now ask if I am a believer or an atheist. I can't answer that question. But I personally take it as a compliment that I am difficult to label. I have always rejected labels, and I will continue to do so. I continue to seek for a unified theory of human reality, which includes the religious/a-religious spiritual/a-spiritual factor.