Friday, January 8, 2010

Right or Wrong?

Beginning a new year causes me to reflect a lot. Lately I've been thinking about how much I've changed over the years.

I was raised close to my grandparents. They visited a lot and then lived on our property in a house back of us to help their daughter, my Mom, with raising her eleven children. My Dad traveled, and they apparently thought my Mom needed help. And they helped a lot. They raised chickens, milked cows, raised calves for beef, and pigs for meat. We also had a large garden we all worked in. My grandparents were very much a part of my growing up years.

My grandfather used to tell me that "blacks" did not have souls. That was my upbringing. Do you know how hard it is to change that thinking? I'm glad to report that I have made a total turnaround from that kind of terrible prejudicial old South thinking. Someone's nationality or race is to me now sort of like what color of eyes or hair does someone have. What does it matter? I look back now and shudder at how odd and full of hate that whole prejudice thing is and was. Totally wrong, totally bad.

Something else that's trivial compared to prejudice (which is horrible, especially when passed down) that I've changed about is that my parents taught us that it was wrong to dance. I took a strong "Christian" stand against dancing. I was a cheerleader and even, shock of all shocks, was voted Miss EHS (Edmond HS). It was hard to not dance when your sponsors and teachers would encourage you to at all the mixers and get-togethers. But I was a "good girl"!!

A few years ago I started clogging. I love it! Then as I reflected on things, I got a little angry (funny angry) at being taught that dancing was wrong. I'm not very good at it, but I love it!! Think of all the fun things I've missed over the years by thinking that dancing was wrong. I even tried to shame and guilt my own kids into not dancing. Can you believe it? Hard for me to believe now, but that's what happened.

Another odd no-no was that I should not go to movies. My Dad said to me one time, "What if Jesus returned while you were at the show?" When I started dating and going to drive-in movies, I would often look over my shoulder at the sky and hope that Jesus wouldn't return because I was sure He would be ashamed of my being at the movies. Huh? That is so funny to me now. I'm a "movie" person. I love movies, especially good movies, especially real-story movies. Think of all I missed thinking and being taught that it was "sin" to go to the movies. :-(

As I married and became a pastor's wife in the sixties, it was the teaching in our circles that it was definitely wrong for women to wear pants to church. I could even find some scriptures that seemed to say that. (Notice: seemed to say) Now, I wear pants all the time. It even feels funny to wear a dress, which I rarely do. Hmmm... I've really changed my thinking on this also.

I've been thinking recently about some of these things I've been pretty strong on in my beliefs in the past. Now I'm either changed or definitely questioning. It helps me to go back and realize how much my beliefs and thinking have changed over the years and where I am now.

I always want to be teachable and open and learning. It makes me wonder like the Cox commercial, "Wonder what else I don't know?" What other beliefs and thoughts do I have and hold to that need to be re-thought and considered in my understanding of grace as taught in the scriptures.

I'm on a quest! I want to know!!
I'll keep you posted.


Cathy_H said...

I love this post!!

Becky Dietz said...

Praise God for truth that sets us free!! I've been/am being delivered from much wrong thinking. Thanks for sharing yours. I don't think our kids can imagine the thinking/prejudices of the past!

Marcy Faye Hallden said...

I'm so glad I found your blog via Becky. I am loving reading it. I have changed a lot of my thinking too--of how I was raised, and I am only 34. I loved your post!!

Cherri said...

peoples life styles? choices? yes - what else are we against that might be preferences - whether best or not - it does raise many questions - and THANK YOU for being open and learning - I think that is my best legacy from you and dad - Cherri

Mary Burleson said...

Thanks for the comments. I've switched to comment approval before posting because someone posted a foreign language comment, and I wasn't sure what it said or what it was. A friend who follows my blog e-mailed me and suggested I should delete that comment, which I did. I know that sometimes blogs are "ambushed" and to hopefully prevent that, I decided to approve comments for awhile instead of having automatic posting. Hope that won't hinder anyone from commenting. Love to get comments and read what others are thinking.

Rex Ray said...

I relate somewhat to your upbringing. We could not play cards or even dominoes. And dancing?- that was nothing but the devil.:) I still think it is public courtship unless its the kind where the partners hardly touch each other.

My twin brother (Hez) and I got our ‘kissing department’ stunted in the first grade. He asked what it would be like to kiss a girl. I told him I didn’t know and he got me to ask mother.
“Whose been talking to you about kissing girls?”
“Hez asked me.”
“Hez Ray, you shouldn’t be thinking about such things!” (She really poured it on us.)

We grew up bashful. Part of it was caused by going to a new school every year, and like you, we were know as ‘good’ boys.

After I started dating at 18 in high school, Hez asked how it felt to kiss a girl. I didn’t want to talk to him and I told him it was like kissing a dead fish.

Long story short, at 23 he finally kissed a girl (in her hair) that became his wife for 54 years now. She asked, “What was that?”
“That was a kiss.”
“You call that a kiss! I’ll show you what a kiss is”, and she planted one on him.
Hez said his mind was going round and round – Rex lied to me!