Filip loved his religion. He was the kind of man who needed tangible boundaries, real rules to live by.
His was a life lifted directly from the pages of his daily planner. His was no ordinary daily planner! It was a Small Italian Genuine Leather Rita Botta, and it was bursting at the seams as it valiantly attempted to envelop all the oddities Filip had shoved into it during his daily travels between home and office. The Rita Botta could have handled all of the expected norms: a notepad, calendar insert, contact page, and the occasional business and/or credit card flap. Its most formidable challenges, however, came in the form of an oversized black comb, TI 30XA, zip-disk, 7′ wooden crucifix, and 10 - 15 paper-clipped pages torn from “The Screwtape Letters.”
Filip forced it all into his poor, tired Rita Botta.
Many of Fillip’s friends and colleagues chided him regularly for his obvious misuse of such a fine, Italian-made product. The obvious sloppiness was an unprofessional eyesore too. Those closest to him were courageous enough to approach him with the suggestion of upgrading to a hand-held electronic organizer, or even a Pocket Computer.
“The travel-weary Rita Botta could use the break,” they argued.
Not Filip! He would sooner sport a duct-taped, silver-shimmered, ghost of a Rita Botta before embracing impersonal fragments of modern technology. He would not willingly introduce relational estrangement to his near adulterous 6:00 AM black coffee affair between routine inspection of each day’s line-by-line agenda and a burgeoning manic-compulsive tendency. That new-fangled modern technology depended upon batteries, after all, unlike his precious and dependable Rita Botta.
No one could change Filip’s mind regarding his love for an overtly-ordered life. The Rita Botta was just a leaf, hanging from just one branch, jutting from a deeply rooted plant that did not adjust toward the sun’s shifting rays for nourishment, but bent toward the dependable morning, even if it was late, late afternoon. It was, at least for Filip, better to be safe, rather than sorry.
Filip, of course, superimposed this fear over an otherwise liberating religion. Liberation - a kind of absolutely scandalous liberation - was not what Filip looked for in faith. No. Security, dependability, structure, repetition, and accidental-death life insurance was what religion was supposed to be about, at least if it was a good one.
For years Filip lived in fear: fear of the religion he created for himself; fear of its god; fear of the ideas and concepts threatening his philosophy of life; fear of the unending mystery surrounding him like a cold, dark cloud, ruthlessly threatening his Rita Botta.
Finally, Filip died. His Rita Botta was buried with him, of course. His family thought he would have wanted it that way. Besides, it was just too difficult for them to look at its day-to-day calendar, which was, of course, filled out two years in advance.