Sunday, September 15, 2002

Introduction to the PBGs

If you have found this on-line journal by an act of fate (or more likely because of a google search) you may be wondering what "PBGs" stands for.

That is a long and interesting story. Some of the answers to that question are contained in my journal entries themselves. Some of the answers are left up to you to find on your own spiritual journey.

For the impatient here is the quick answer: PBGs is a short code-word for Pop Bottle Gods.

And now for the longer answer. Here is what I have determined about the PBGs thus far on my journey.

I am a Runner (no, not a Jogger, a Runner) and I have spent many lonely hours pounding the pavement training for marathons. If I were to go into the reasons I run, this would be an even longer story, so I'll leave that for another day.

Anyway, over the summer I started a conversation (sort of a thought experiment at first) where I thought about God.

Now, don't get me wrong... I am not a 'religious nut' by any means. I go to church with my family, but for most of my life I have been a questioning Agnostic. I am not, myself, a member of our church. Until recently, I didn't think I had any kind of faith.

God was too big a concept for me to handle in my own musing.

So I imagined my own pair of gods whom I could interact with (notice the lower case 'g' on that folks). You may say "this guy is nuts! Not one but two gods!". Well that is what came to me. I have since learned not to argue with where my mind wanders.

Bear with me while I digress a bit more. I also pick things up on my runs. During my runs, I pick up grocery bags (usually stuck on bushes) and fill them with pop cans and bottles I find lying around. This practice started out as a way to justify buying expensive running shoes ($100+) on a very small running budget. Because of this habit of mine, I am always looking around and squinting at bits of garbage trying to determine if I am seeing a slurpie cup top or the bum of a beer can.

The PBGs came into the picture when I started wondering to myself about why some days there were lots of cans and bottles and other days there were virtually none. I invented small gods to be in control of a small aspect of my confusing world. The Pop Bottle Gods were born.

It wasn't until much later that I discovered that these small fragments of the 'bigger' God (you know, the one everybody else believes in) were simply a metaphor that made it easier to deal with my God phobia.

After my run, I would often relate what I had been thinking about to my well-read church-going wife. It stared out as a fun game and she would sometimes jokingly ask "How were the PBGs today?" We came up with the short hand name to hide our embarrassment for inventing a god (2 actually) and so that we could talk about it without people asking a lot of questions that required long answers.

One day, she said "You know, that sounds a lot like what I reading recently" in a book about spirituality.

After this I started paying more attention to the thoughts that occurred during my morning runs. In fact, I started a journal to record what the PBGs and I 'talked' about.

This is that journal. It is part running log and part spiritual journey. Share it with me. See where I am at. Laugh at me if you want. Take away with you only the parts that make sense and discard what doesn't fit for you.

Just a note about the Suggestions and Suppositions

  • Suggestions are the commandments of the PBGs. They are meant to be followed. Like most commandments, they are deliberately vague and can be interpreted anyway that makes sense to you. I call them Suggestions because, hey, these are minor gods, after all. Who are they to tell you how to run your life.
  • Suppositions are not quite strong enough to be Suggestions, but have a supporting role. I haven't attempted to attach Suppositions to a specific Suggestion.

No comments: