No Rest for the Wicked?

But the wicked are like the troubled sea,
when it cannot rest,
whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
There is no peace, saith my God, for the wicked.
Isaiah 57:20-21 KJV

No rest and no peace for the wicked? That may be true in some ways. If you’re a fugitive being hunted by the CIA like Edward Snowden, you are doomed to a life without rest.

However, in one very important way, I find that life is much more restful now that I’m one of the wicked. I can accept people as they are. I can sincerely wish their dreams will come true. I don’t have to be anxious because their wishes and actions are not what God supposedly wants them to be.

Back in my evangelical days, if one of my children had abandoned the faith I would have been incredibly anxious. Now, I only want my kids to live with integrity, whether that’s with faith or without it. As they have emerged into adulthood, their take on the faith in which they were raised has varied, but they all have very high integrity. I get to enjoy each one of them without worrying over their souls.

It’s not that I think every possible way of thinking or acting is just fine. There are still things that bug me a great deal. The world’s troubled seas still cast up mire and dirt.

During a storm, it is a bad idea to tie your boat to a fixed dock. It can be dashed to pieces. Far better to moor or anchor your boat where it can adjust itself to face the wind.

In yet another surprise from my deconversion that  I find that I am safer, happier and more at peace when I’m anchored in open water.

4 responses to “No Rest for the Wicked?

  1. Well, I’m curious about your “anchor.” Exactly what it is? Or to put it another way, from whence comes the value of the “integrity” that you hope for your kids? On the atheist rubric, integrity is an accidental byproduct of a blind evolutionary process, and when we die, it will make no difference whether we had integrity or not. There isn’t really a moral anchor for atheism, only an arbitrary preference, subject to every breeze.

    • Thank you for your comment. Your take on atheists’ morality is exactly what mine was during my 40 years as evangelical.

      I admit to thinking that integrity is a byproduct of evolution, but I differ with you on evolution being “blind.” On the contrary, the process of natural selection is ruthlessly clear-eyed. This point deserves a more lengthy treatment than I can give in this comment, so I’ll devote a whole post to it shortly. Please stay tuned.

      Regarding your statement that “when we die it will make no difference whether we had integrity or not:” It is important to me in *this* life to know that my children and others I care about enjoy a good life even after I’m gone. To the extent that my own integrity can help make their world a little better, it *does* make a difference.

      Atheists’ morality is far from an “arbitrary preference.” It may not come out exactly the same as the morality in the Bible, for example, but because every person’s moral faculties have been shaped by eons of selection-pressure to value things like fair play and compassion (see that forthcoming post), nobody but a sociopath has a morality that is “subject to every breeze.” Not even atheists.

  2. it’s odd, but I find peace when floating free… no tethers. We choose our tethers and evolution has chosen a couple for us. Farming/ranching – it’s a tether. One that we can no longer live without, most of us. Freedom is a funny word. We’ll never know the freedom of a lion on the tundra or an eagle in the air. Most of us won’t. We’re boxed into our gilded cages pretending that our cage is better than the next person’s cage.

    Why worry over storms, it’s in this cage that you’ll die.

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