Not That I Was “Looking for God” or Anything

OIPWhen I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t exactly “looking for God” or anything. I mean, I was the guy who wrote, “Man makes God in his own image” in his Psychology journal (and thought it was original) and got an A from a professor who was fired for chewing betel nuts. But then the hospital called and said, “Your father’s dead.” And in some inexpressible way (my fired professor would have cited Freud) that seemed to rip away the false undergirdings I hadn’t even known were there, and to lay the groundwork for an advanced state of “not exactly looking…”

Then there was this girl (there’s always “this girl,” right?). You know, The One, the one you’re going “to spend the rest of your life with.” Until she goes off to spend the rest of your life with someone else.

So I wasn’t exactly “looking for God” or anything,

Just someone who wouldn’t leave.

Still, it came as a surprise to me when my optimism developed a stigmatism. I mean, it was like all of a sudden I realized everything wasn’t getting better with the world. Or with me. And for the first time in my life I wasn’t sure what the world should do.

I mean, not only didn’t we have “the answer.” We didn’t even know what the question was.

“Vanity. All is vanity and chasing after wind,” said the wise man. (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

Hell. Well this is hell, said the fool.

I heard some philosopher’d said that everyone’s heart is a vacuum. “Well, if that’s so,” I thought, “Mine must have a busted dust filter, because it feels like it’s sucking up all the dirt in the world.”

And so I became a pessimist. It wasn’t my natural state, but I turned to be really good at it. I wrote weird paeans to Pessimism like this one:

Nothing is the total that I’ve come to know of late

My heart it lies awanting in a rotting apple crate

Outside of pets and debtors there is ne’er a one can say

That he will be my champion when comes that final day

So get yourself a garden, friend, and teach it how to grow

And if you’re very lucky then it will’na turn and go.

I didn’t know exactly what I meant, but I liked the way it sounded–with an appropriately depressed sort of liking–especially the little Scottish touches.

And then for a while I got into being a “seeker of truth.” And one of my favorite things was what some yogi guy said: “You must always be content to be a seeker, and never be so audacious as to presume you have actually found the Truth.”

It sounded so deep.

But then I got to thinking, “What if the Truth actually did come up to me and tap me on the shoulder one day, and say, “Well, here I am.” I’d probably just have replied, “Shh, go away, can’t you see I’m busy seeking you?”

And I saw that the wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet the same thing happens to all in the end. So how was I more wise? And I said in my heart that even wisdom is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:14)

Still, I had to look at least, to see if I could see what I could see.

“And so I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13)

And so it began.

To read the next episode, click here.

Fool's Odyssey (title art 2)

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Not That I Was “Looking for God” or Anything

  1. Pingback: Where My Journey Began | Mitch Teemley

  2. Gary Fultz says:

    And you instigate another generation of tree climbers hoping to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. numrhood says:

    ecclesiastes 1:11 cast you word upon thee
    you will not sin against thee
    hide the word
    god like the word
    he gave his son


  4. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote says:

    Very good, brother.

    I believe I was around 19 or 20 when I wrote the following weird paean to Pessimism:

    Too late, too late
    ain’t that my fate
    I tried in vain
    to stop the rain

    I should have learned
    how not to care
    that there were raindrops
    in my hair.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I love your writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. you do a very good job at keeping me hooked to the story !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hetty Eliot says:

    Wow what a beautiful reflection, you summed up a whole journey so succinctly and powerfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yep, that seems to be the case. We aren’t looking for God. Until we are. And when we find Him, we find out He’s been there all along, seeking us. (Luke 19:10)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Not That I Was “Looking for God” but… Well, OK, Maybe I Was – Talmidimblogging

  10. gpavants says:


    Always wonderful things come from that “neek” Jesus-centered mind. That is the testament that your story is fact not fiction. Have a great week, brother.

    In Christ,


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Light Strikes My Darkened Heart | Mitch Teemley

  12. CG says:

    I think a response of ‘Shh go away might be more common than we know..Chris

    Liked by 1 person

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