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TheRedneckProfessor

I Love The World

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When I was a boy, I was told that the world was evil, that the things of the world were ungodly, and that loving the world was sinful.  I never really could reconcile these things with my deep fascination with the world.  I used to love watching National Geographic documentaries about faraway lands and exotic peoples—the strange rituals and traditions of indigenous tribes, the customs and beliefs of diverse races.  I remember being able to sit for hours reading travel guides about Finland, South Africa, and Japan; and putting together puzzles with pictures of pastoral Irish country sides or South American harbors.

 

Eventually, I came to “put such childish things away”.  I knew that the way of the world would lead me to hell; and that, per The Great Commission, the onus rested upon me to lead the world to jesus.  I accepted my position as an American and a christian.  I accepted the idea that I would not be able to participate in the things of the world because I was meant to be “in the world, but not of the world”.  I was called out, separated… the anointed of god.  I had to place my fascination with all things worldly upon the altar of god and sacrifice it.

 

For many years, I thought nothing of the world, cared nothing for the world, sought only to distance myself from everything but my immediate environment in order to draw closer to god and not be lead astray.  I rarely travelled; never watched travelling programs, or read anything about foreign countries.

 

I missed out on so much…

 

Lately, I’ve come to realize something: 

 

I LOVE THE WORLD.

 

I love the sights and sounds, even the smells of the world.  I love the layers and textures of the food, from kofta kebabs and shawarma to smoked salmon in hollandaise sauce.  I love the drinks of the world—the creamy burn of Latvian Balsam, the acerbic punch of Polish Bison Grass Vodka, the subtle flora of Japanese Sake.  I love the spices: cumin, turmeric, allspice.

 

I love the way the sun reaches through the trees on a soft Southern morning, the feel of sweet summer rain on my face, the fiery leaves of autumn.  I love the sounds of early morning—delivery trucks, the clatter of coffee mugs, quiet conversations… and the smell of freshly baked pastries, biscuits, and bacon.  And I love the quiet reflections of evening when my son quietly practices his violin, against a backdrop of clinking dishes in the kitchen.

 

I love to see squirrels scurry about through the trees, sheep grazing in a pasture, kittens frolicking around the house. 

 

I love airports, because they remind me of all the places in this world that I know I’ll never get to see.  I love sitting at the departure gate, watching other planes taxiing out to the runway and wondering about all the passengers on those planes.  “Where are they going?”  “Who will they meet?”  “What sort of amazing food will they have when they get there?”  I love browsing through the Duty-Free, looking at all the different liqueurs and colognes.  I don’t even smoke anymore, but I still wonder when I find some new brand of cigarette, what it would taste like.  I love the crowds of the airport, the scurry and scamper, passports with brand new visas, the rush to get through security and customs.

 

I love the rickety trams of the Soviet era as they clickety-clack through Odessa streets; and I love the sleek modern trams of Munich.  I love the meat market in Riga and the roosters they put on the spires of their churches instead of crosses.  I love the way old Polish women set up grills on the sides of the street and smoke cheese which they sell for next to nothing.  I love the popping of my ears when the train plunges into a tunnel or when the plane takes off.

 

I’ve been fortunate to have stood on the Knockagh and seen the sun set over Belfast Lough.  I’ve enjoyed an evening stroll through the Planty in Krakow, the sound of practicing musicians filling the air.  I’ve experienced the pleasure of the overnight train from Odessa to Kiev with great company and freely flowing vodka.  I’ve been cursed out in countless languages, and shown appreciation in countless more.

 

But the greatest memory I have so far, is simply a modest meal of shashlik with my wife’s family at their summer home near the sea.

 

This world is a beautiful place; and it’s the only world I’ll ever live in.  There are extra-ordinary places, inspiring people, fascinating customs, incredible food, and a wealth of breath-taking experiences, and they are all just outside the front door.  This is MY world and I plan to squeeze every possible ounce of experience this world has to offer before I leave it.

 

I LOVE THE WORLD.

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Thank you so much Professor for this beautiful message!! Wow!! What a beautiful story! I am so glad you are at this point in your life! This is a 5 star message that will help newcomers on this site!! *****

 

I also am going through this and it is magnificent!! It's not all bad at all!  I'm just so happy to know that I can blast Santana today and not feel any guilt whatsoever!!

 

Thank you again!

 

Hug

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Thank you so much Professor for this beautiful message!! Wow!! What a beautiful story! I am so glad you are at this point in your life! This is a 5 star message that will help newcomers on this site!! *****

 

I also am going through this and it is magnificent!! It's not all bad at all!  I'm just so happy to know that I can blast Santana today and not feel any guilt whatsoever!!

 

Thank you again!

 

Hug

Liberation is an amazing feeling Margee!  I hope you enjoy every minute of your day.

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Thank you so much Professor for this beautiful message!! Wow!! What a beautiful story! I am so glad you are at this point in your life! This is a 5 star message that will help newcomers on this site!! *****

 

I also am going through this and it is magnificent!! It's not all bad at all!  I'm just so happy to know that I can blast Santana today and not feel any guilt whatsoever!!

 

Thank you again!

 

Hug

Liberation is an amazing feeling Margee!  I hope you enjoy every minute of your day.

 

 

I took the liberty to pin this wonderful message for all the newcomers who visit EX-C!  It is most inspiring!!

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Thank you so much Professor for this beautiful message!! Wow!! What a beautiful story! I am so glad you are at this point in your life! This is a 5 star message that will help newcomers on this site!! *****

 

I also am going through this and it is magnificent!! It's not all bad at all!  I'm just so happy to know that I can blast Santana today and not feel any guilt whatsoever!!

 

Thank you again!

 

Hug

Liberation is an amazing feeling Margee!  I hope you enjoy every minute of your day.

 

 

I took the liberty to pin this wonderful message for all the new comers who visit EX-C!  It is most inspiring!!

 

blush.png Aw shucks, Margee.  You're too kind.

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Awesome post, TRP.  I've been to Europe and the USA just once, but the memories pass through my mind every day.  Travel is an education.

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What a beautiful and encouraging post!  Thanks TRP!

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You're most welcome!

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Awesome post, TRP.  I've been to Europe and the USA just once, but the memories pass through my mind every day.  Travel is an education.

I'm hoping to get down to Aussie and Kiwi sometime in my life.  I've got nephews who live there.

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Riga's market is great.  It's the biggest рынок I've seen -- bigger than anything in Moscow or St Petersburg for sure.  I was there in the summer time when strawberries were in season and there were tables of strawberries stretching further and wider than a football field.  I of course bought some along with some pirogi and some Georgian flat bread and had a feast.  Fantastic.

 

I had a similar experience with regard to 'the world'.  I used to be afraid of it, but after I deconverted, my first epiphany was the fact that people are just people.  I think that realization helps me now too in not marginalizing those who are still believers.  Us v them isn't a healthy mindset IMO, no matter which side of the fence you are on.  Yeah, their belief system is fucked up, but they're still just people, no different from any of us.  Some good.  Some bad.  Most just somewhere in the middle. 

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How true.  It is only recently that I decided the world was not "evil". I love the beauty of the South Florida sky at sunset and I love to watch birds.  I always have. The beauty of the light in the morning, flowers, palm trees.  I love to experience the food of different countries and learn about different cultures. How can it be "evil" or in any way "cursed"? 

 

This is true even though I do have an appreciation for the amazing amount of suffering in the world. The beauty still remains.

 

I think to Christians any form of pleasure must be in some way evil.

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Riga's market is great.  It's the biggest рынок I've seen -- bigger than anything in Moscow or St Petersburg for sure.  I was there in the summer time when strawberries were in season and there were tables of strawberries stretching further and wider than a football field.  I of course bought some along with some pirogi and some Georgian flat bread and had a feast.  Fantastic.

What was the name of that church in Riga where for like $1.50 you could go up to the top of their tower and see all of Old Town from a bird's eye view?  God, the scenery from up there was simply amazing.

Riga.jpg

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I had a similar experience with regard to 'the world'.  I used to be afraid of it, but after I deconverted, my first epiphany was the fact that people are just people.  I think that realization helps me now too in not marginalizing those who are still believers.  Us v them isn't a healthy mindset IMO, no matter which side of the fence you are on.  Yeah, their belief system is fucked up, but they're still just people, no different from any of us.  Some good.  Some bad.  Most just somewhere in the middle. 

Yes.  So much of my life I've been afraid of "the world", hiding myself away to keep from being lead astray or hurt.  Now I embrace it, even its quirky people.

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Awesome post, TRP.  I've been to Europe and the USA just once, but the memories pass through my mind every day.  Travel is an education.

I'm hoping to get down to Aussie and Kiwi sometime in my life.  I've got nephews who live there.

 

 

There's about 5 of us Kiwi ex-cs who would love to meet you in Middle Earth some time!

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Riga's market is great.  It's the biggest рынок I've seen -- bigger than anything in Moscow or St Petersburg for sure.  I was there in the summer time when strawberries were in season and there were tables of strawberries stretching further and wider than a football field.  I of course bought some along with some pirogi and some Georgian flat bread and had a feast.  Fantastic.

What was the name of that church in Riga where for like $1.50 you could go up to the top of their tower and see all of Old Town from a bird's eye view?  God, the scenery from up there was simply amazing.

 

 

I missed that.  But here in SPB you can go to the top of St. Isaac's and have a similar view. 

 

I really liked Riga.  It's like a smaller, less congested version of Peter.  I had some visa problems a few years ago and ended up spending 2-3 months there over two different stays so I got to know Riga pretty well. 

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How true.  It is only recently that I decided the world was not "evil". I love the beauty of the South Florida sky at sunset and I love to watch birds.  I always have. The beauty of the light in the morning, flowers, palm trees.  I love to experience the food of different countries and learn about different cultures. How can it be "evil" or in any way "cursed"? 

 

This is true even though I do have an appreciation for the amazing amount of suffering in the world. The beauty still remains.

 

I think to Christians any form of pleasure must be in some way evil.

Oh yes!  The Spanish Moss undulating in the breeze on a spring morning.  I still long to live in Florida again.  The sound of the surf, seagulls, ships heading out to sea.  And a large plate piled high with ropa vieja, empanadas, and papa rellena.

 

The only "sin" would be not enjoying it all.

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Awesome post, TRP.  I've been to Europe and the USA just once, but the memories pass through my mind every day.  Travel is an education.

I'm hoping to get down to Aussie and Kiwi sometime in my life.  I've got nephews who live there.

 

 

There's about 5 of us Kiwi ex-cs who would love to meet you in Middle Earth some time!

 

That would be absolutely awesome!  And I'd buy the first round!

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Riga's market is great.  It's the biggest рынок I've seen -- bigger than anything in Moscow or St Petersburg for sure.  I was there in the summer time when strawberries were in season and there were tables of strawberries stretching further and wider than a football field.  I of course bought some along with some pirogi and some Georgian flat bread and had a feast.  Fantastic.

What was the name of that church in Riga where for like $1.50 you could go up to the top of their tower and see all of Old Town from a bird's eye view?  God, the scenery from up there was simply amazing.

 

 

I missed that.  But here in SPB you can go to the top of St. Isaac's and have a similar view. 

 

I really liked Riga.  It's like a smaller, less congested version of Peter.  I had some visa problems a few years ago and ended up spending 2-3 months there over two different stays so I got to know Riga pretty well. 

 

We had a day and a half long lay-over in Riga between Kiev and Amsterdam.  We stayed in a very nice hostel (couldn't believe it was only $10 per night, with breakfast included).  I was amazed by everything there--the skulls in the churches, the "cat building", and the food was unbelievable.  The only problem I had was that I had left my coat in my checked baggage because it had been so warm in Odessa when we left.  Riga, that day, had a high of 6oC.

cat.jpg

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Yeah, the food in Riga is outstanding.  It's the same as Russian food, but the quality is much, much better IMO.  And I love the Gothic buildings and all the gremlin statues. 

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This world is a beautiful place; and it’s the only world I’ll ever live in.  There are extra-ordinary places, inspiring people, fascinating customs, incredible food, and a wealth of breath-taking experiences, and they are all just outside the front door.  This is MY world and I plan to squeeze every possible ounce of experience this world has to offer before I leave it.

 

I LOVE THE WORLD.

 

Nice one.  Couldn't agree more.

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I'll drink to this!

It's all so precious and rare in this big deadly universe.

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I'll drink to this!

It's all so precious and rare in this big deadly universe.

Slainte! beer.gif

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Wonderfully written. I have shared many of these same thoughts. Side note: When xians quote the "in the world, not of the world", I get stabby. Damn verse isn't even in the Bible, yet they throw it around all the time.

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Wonderfully written. I have shared many of these same thoughts. Side note: When xians quote the "in the world, not of the world", I get stabby. Damn verse isn't even in the Bible, yet they throw it around all the time.

And the whole "shun the appearance of evil" which doesn't actually mean what they always want to claim it means.

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Love the posts.

I love the feel of the warm sun, the cool rain, the sound of birds foraging in the trees. All the sounds of my neighborhood: People out walking, happy and Uber sad hipsters, The contented sounds of my Wife, when She nests in for the night. I love seeing my daughter explore new things, figuring out what it is that she wants to do. The world, the universe, is a big wonderful place.

I will never forget this past April, the day after our anniversary, I was sitting outside with my ukulele, I'm not very good, but I was enjoying it. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I realized deep down that this world is not some evil corrupt place that is about to be destroyed. I allowed myself the pleasure of experiencing it as it is, something I had done secretly without even admitting to myself before.

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