(14-25 October 1993) after Josiah Gilbert Holland

1 The fundamental teachings of Jesus recognized the gulf between the rich man and the poor man— What you do for worldly eminence can darken the workings of the heart. Yet he believed in cataclysmic change, in unconditional forgiveness. He believed that good deeds without a loving intent can deceive others but not bring you closer to God. 2 In America, you can invent yourself. You don’t have the constraints of small-town gossip; you can leave home after high school and never return to have your mother call you “Tommy” or old friends induce your old ways. From books on popular psychology or diets to a different brand name or soft drink, self help, twelve step, what’s new, and what’s hip can create, or at least express a new you. 3 Sudden conversions can happen— Consider Buddha or Saint Paul. How could Heaven be any different? Consider what you have to work with. You can go read Shakespeare, study, ask, try, pray, take the time— to equal any other human being— then, dead, it should suddenly occur to you? Better late than never, but would it be too silly to expect that it were possible here on earth, and, yes, for you?