Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The path does not define the traveler

I have realized that, as a transsexual woman, I have an incredibly unique perspective on the human condition. Those of us who have experienced life through both the scarlet fog of testosterone and the pink glow of estrogen know the human condition like no one else possibly could. I spent four years in a military academy and was a US Marine. I'm now a femmie girl hippy chic. I reloaded my own ammunition and competed in amateur pistol competitions. Now I'm a vegetarian who can't watch even PG-13 movies because there is too much violence!

At the risk of seeming vain... oh who am I fooling! I passed that line of demarcation some time back... I'm going to quote myself from a former post. Sometimes I say stuff that even I like!

The path does not define the traveler, rather the traveler experiences the path and allows herself to become whom God wishes her to be.

Robert M. Pirsig said; I've noticed that people who have never worked with steel have trouble seeing this... that the motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon. They associate metal with given shapes... pipes, rods, girders, tools, parts... all of them fixed and inviolable, and think of it as primarily physical. But a person who does machining or foundry work or forge work or welding sees "steel" as having no shape at all. Steel can be any shape you want if you are skilled enough, and any shape but the one you want if you are not.

I believe that we are the 'steel' in God's machine shop and foundry. My job is simply to be His hands and His eyes and to shape myself to His will. The paths we take, the experiences we accumulate; these are the tools and processes that He uses to cast, hammer, machine, and polish us into the shape He wishes us to be. 

A pair of tongs is not defined as the anvil on which they were forged; they are simply tongs. Neither am I defined by the paths on which I was forged. I am simply a child of God.

People who have never worked with steel have difficulty with this concept. I often hear people defining themselves as the many paths on which they have traveled who are seemingly unaware of who they are in the absence of those paths. Both a hammer and a pair of tongs takes the same path from forge to foundry, but they have very different purposes.

My job is to get out of God's way and let Him shape me to His purpose. The tools He has used to shape me have been transsexuality, addiction, prostitution, education, homosexuality, jail, the USMC, engineering school, mental institutions, treatment facilities, cults, and reading, to name a few. For me, being able to divorce who I am as a tool for His glory from how I have been formed into that tool is a significant step in allowing Him to put the finishing touches and polish on me as a child of God. If I hold on to the paths by which I was forged I am not allowing Him to buff me out to the sheen necessary to reflect His will. 

If I hold on to the baggage of the past how can I pack for the journey of the future? If I am so obsessed with the furnace and forge of my birth that I cannot face the task he sets before me, of what worth am I? 

It is of the deadliest temptation to slide into self reflection, to become a practitioner  of narcissism and navel gazing who refuses to face ahead while wallowing in self pity for my past. Of what good am I while doing so? I may pad the pockets of a therapist and the drug company who manufactures lithium and sertraline. I may line the coffers of the book publisher whose tomes assure me that I am right to feel harmed. But who am I helping, really?

Did Saul of Tarsus refuse Jesus' call (Acts 9) to carry His word to the gentiles? A man who I have (I believe justifiably) referred to as the Hermann Wilhelm Göring of biblical times, Paul could have refused God's call, wallowing instead in self pity for the horrors he then realized that he had committed. Instead, he answered Jesus' call and threw himself in front of proverbial bus after bus as a tool cast, forged, shaped, and polished in the horror of his own past.

A man apparently of small stature, poor eyesight, meek when in person, and unpopular, he could have bemoaned his lack of a perfect stature, sight, and personality, and could have felt pity on himself for his lack of friends and his use by God as a whip of cords to drive home His will. Instead, he wielded God's hammer forcefully on his fellows and other Christians, doing his best to help them find God's way. He referred to himself as the worst of sinners and said that good itself does not dwell in me. Still, He accepted that God had chosen him as a tool, let go of the baggage of his past, and carried the message to the best of his ability.

I am simply a child of God.

Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. - Immanuel Kant


  1. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story! Incredible <3

  2. Thank you for naming your Truth!


Please remember that I am posting my story solely for the purpose of helping others clarify their own. I will appreciate your supportive, kind, or constructive comments.