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Bostic contemplates, "The Year of Our Lord"

Bostic contemplates, "The Year of Our Lord"

Author: Action News 17/Sunday, September 1, 2019/Categories: Front Page, Voices

A View from My Front Porch
By: Louise Bostic

Growing up in a mostly rural community, I walked to school, to the library and to the nearest mission church for services several times a week. Located near Ft Worth, Texas, home of one of the nation’s largest Christian seminaries, many pastors led our little congregation. The ministers, sent directly from the seminary, were always new to their profession, very bright and usually quite young. Although they did not stay at our church long, it was an amazing time for me as a young teen to learn about my guidebook, my church and its ministry under the guidance of some of the very brightest and most well trained young men of our denomination.

Several times a year we had “revival time” where a visiting minister led nightly worship for one to two weeks and delivered a very different theme of sermons from our young pastors. Much was said about punishment and a large portion of our teen age activities outside of school and church were touted as certain to bring the wrath of our Creator. Filtering information with contradictions or inconsistencies and following one’s own conscience when information seemed weak or taken out of context, was beyond the maturity of our peer group and some opted to leave our little congregation under this pressure.

The local newspaper included an astrological column and I eagerly looked for Sagittarius and what the stars had in store for me that day. Almost all the predictions were happy ones and I loved to consider how mystic influences might contribute to my good fortune. Using my “filter system” I enjoyed the predictions with encouragement and challenge, the stranger I was about to meet, the good fortune in store for me or the opportunity about to show its face. Our young seminarians might have riled me for dabbling in the “devil’s” doctrines had I not kept my interests personal and secret.

In some Eastern cultures astrology has a special significance. Years are designated in repeated sequence as being the year of the rat, the year of the ox, the year of the tiger, the year of the rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, in a twelve year cycle. Each year has significance for those born in that year. Born in 1939, the year of the rabbit, my character is allegedly affected by the position of the planets and the magnitude of the universe at the time of my birth and astrology would attribute cyclic influence to the many factors permanently a part of my personality. Some attributes seem to be uncanny in their manifestations. For example, my “time of day” is 5 to 7 am. This has been my most productive time since long before I even heard of astrology.

Isaiah writes about the Year of the Lord or more specifically the “year of the Lord’s favor.” Perhaps Isaiah’s terminology is mere terminology with any reference to astrology unintended. Astrology is only one of many philosophies in our world which appeal to and entrap us if we allow it. Knowledge should offer breadth to our lives, support beliefs and convictions, and allow fuller understanding of one’s own philosophy and religion. If knowledge is confusing perhaps one’s approach to acquisition of knowledge is flawed. Knowledge should strengthen our beliefs when our ideals are based in truth and fact and when enriched with wisdom free us to learn and to understand more completely.

We are endowed with the ability to think and to perceive and should not allow these abilities to be eclipsed or minimized by dreams of enchanted lamps or genies with wishes entrapped in their bottles. Fairy tales, fiction, and fantastic dreams can spice up the reality in our lives enriching the harshness of the world we sometimes see and may even free us to achieve more. Sharing fantasy and piquing the imagination of our children helps to free their own creativity and teaching them to discern facts from fiction helps them to develop discretionary thinking.

Unlike the attributes of astrological philosophy, every year for the One who created us is The Year of Our Lord and that is a comforting bit of truth and wisdom.

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