I was sitting in Sunday School listening to the discussion leader handle a discussion on the writings of Paul. Paul is probably my least favorite writer in the Bible. In fact, I almost refused to get baptized because the Church accepted the writings of Paul -- but was told I couldn't pick and choose what was scripture. That was kind of what the lesson was all about, namely that there was only one Gospel and you had to swallow it whole or spit it out.
The problem I have always had with Paul is that his writing is so very convoluted, perhaps it was just the era -- but it reads like a high school senior that has just been given his first heavy philosophy treatise and a thesaurus at the same time. The convolution has resulted in quite a few different Churches getting basically confused and wandering off into fairly strange paths -- like celibate priests, etc. There is also this tendency by Paul to kind of say that something is just his opinion, but putting it in his ecclesiastical epistles anyway -- which leads to like short Roman style haircuts and head scarves, that sort of thing.
So, I am sitting their automatically in my skeptical mental mode and the discussion basically revolves around the idea that you shouldn't go off into small groups and try to figure out what the scriptures say and what is doctrine and what is not. You know the "If you are not united you are not Mine" trip.
And I am thinking that's good. Christ gives us a pattern for prayer so that we will not imitate the "heathen" and say canned prayers, so what do we do we turn His pattern into the best known canned prayer of all. But...I digress...I am thinking yeah that's good, Paul writes a bunch of convoluted sometimes vague and occasionally sprinkled with acknowledged personal opinion which sends believers off in about a thousand different directions and we use Paul to say now we need to get the doctrine straight!
And...then the bell rang, I went home and sat in my garden for several hours listening to the Catbird screech and some unindentified bird whose call is engrained in my brain as a harbinger of fall and I forgot all about Paul. Then I went searching for a rose in my hedge that I had seen with a bright red bud which I was hoping was in bloom -- unfortunately, when I found where the bud was a bird or deer had eaten it. Guess it was a Zen moment or something.