The rapid change of my frame of reference changed a pattern of judgment and criticism I'd had for the first half of my life. It was time to begin to grow up. The new challenge was to not transfer this critical spirit to people I found to be less tolerant and open-minded than my new-found freedom. They abound everywhere. Even in California.
Perhaps this happens to everyone who has teenagers, but I began to see the world through their eyes, and love it!
We started a new little 'church' where I bug the poor pastor constantly about not just seeing the back of people's heads in church. It's probably my over-zealous phase. I went down south (SoCal churches are SO HIP) to the Catalyst West Conference and joined a room full of twenty-somethings in beating on plastic pails for worship.
In addition to enjoying VERY LOUD worship music, and wearing shorts to 'church', I regularly go to our town's night club to hear new bands, and am no longer afraid of loud music or tattoos. I must confess, piercings still make me a little nervous.
My faith has not taken a nosedive. In fact, I've begun to see what a wonderful wide world of love and beauty God allows us to experience. I've seen Him at work in places I never knew He would go. My box, once quite cramped, is getting bigger all the time. Don't get me wrong, my life continues to experience the ups and downs like everyone else. My bills and checks come in the mail and not always in the right sequence, my critical spirit is still growling around when I least expect it, and any day now, I'll have to make room for in-laws and grandchildren. (this is no announcement, just a lovely inevitability!) My skin wrinkles at an astounding rate now that I've passed the half century mark. As my father used to quote some old Swede, "Ve get too late schmart, and too soon olt!".
But I've decided that I want to be the kind of person whose vision only expands with age.