Jacob’s is looking for a religious experience in his year-long quest.  Reading this reminds me of the times in my life when I have had big spiritual experiences or awakenings. I think I can count three or four total but the second one is one of the things that the book brings to mind for me.

When I was 21 years old I was already out as a gay man and I had no doubt about being gay. I worked for an insurance company in Columbus Ohio- in the mail room. A few people at work knew I was gay, but most did not. And it happened that a new young lady started to work in my department and for reasons that I couldn’t understand I was just head over heels interested in going out with her, and I kept asking her out and asking her out and asking her out, and she would say no no no, and finally one day she said yes, but the only kind of date- we go out to the christian drive in movie theater.

There was an drive-in movie theater that showed only Christian films and of course I said sure, I be happy to do that because I was going to do anything to go out with her as crazy as that seems, well we never did get to the Christian drive in.

And, she invited me to go to her church with her, and I think that was on Wednesday before a Memorial Day weekend, and we were going to go to the movies over the Memorial Day weekend I think. I went to church with her, and at the church- it was a full Gospel Pentecostal church- I had this amazing experience.

And so I started to go to church with her there and went with her four or five times over the course of a week or two and at some time maybe I’ll write about some of the experience about being there in that church, but I think the the thing I wanted to write about today was that one of the things I got from that experience was what did it mean to really try and be open to God’s call, if there is such as a thing.

If God was really open to welcoming me and that all I had to do is commit myself to God. I was willing to not be gay anymore if that’s what it took and I was really going to give that my best effort, and I did and I quit going out to the gay bar, and I didn’t call any of my gay friends.

I truly gave it my all and and I can truly say that it was an temptation that became a problem for me a although you know that’s the usual narrative that you give something up, and then temptation comes to call and your weak and you loose out and I wasn’t weak, and that never was an issue.

But what did happen that I came to terms with, was that one of the things the church asked me to give up was dancing. Dancing was sinful but I had grown up since I was a little kid dancing, and dancing was always about joy and innocence and good things, and I couldn’t believe that Shirely Temple was to going to hell, because she tap danced.

And as it turned out I realized that God didn’t need me to stop being gay to love me. He just needed me to be committed to living a life that was aligned with the notion of loving others and putting God before all else in whatever language that means.

And so there probably was some sacrifice to my gay lifestyle, but it wasn’t about not being gay any more. It was about having my priorities okay and that’s enough of that story probably to tell today. Thank you for for reading.

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