Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

26 04 2014

I was meditating upon my life upon the last little bit of time, weeks, months, year, years….you name it.  I’ve always said that I don’t have an anger problem.  The numerous little things that happen in my life…they don’t get me mad.  I don’t slam the doors, or throw stuff around, or worse, hit people; in anger.  I know that probably wasn’t the best usage of a semicolon, but just go with it.  I live a life with a little bit of aggravation in it, all the time.  I have customers who think that by being rude, they’re being funny.  Or they have the personality of a rock.  When I go to do something on my to-do list, I get distracted by other things, and then, I realize that I’ve just distracted myself for two hours and the first thing on my to-do list is still not done.  Like going to the grocery store today.  Or relationships not doing what they expect me to do.  In these little things, I get a little irritated and frustrated…so I’ve always thought that I never had an anger problem.

Until recently.  I don’t want to go into all the details of this situation, but something really sad happened.  And the news was told about this thing, and then I was just expected to deal with it.  My first response was in anger….anger that just wants to violently rearrange things and abandon the entire thing.  Which is not characteristic of me and everything I stand for.  It took about three days for the anger to cool off, and I start looking at the whole situation, and not just the parts that hurt me.  And then I found compassion, love and grace.  I found the desire to protect the situation, preserve the love and my connections to it.  But that love and grace and compassion, it was not my first instinct or response here.  

I was meditating upon that fact and the recollection of my life is other scenarios where I should’ve responded with grace and compassion and love…instead, I responded in anger.  And that really, really moves me.  It shames me.  And what shames me even more is the reflection I have upon something bigger, through my actions.  

I don’t think it’s wrong at all, for you to be upset over something happening, especially when you’re involved in it, and that situation is a direct blow to you and who you are.  I don’t think it’s wrong at all for you to finally stand up for yourself after some scenario has you repeatedly being hurt.  I don’t think that standing firm in what you deserve and demanding that someone else treat you what you deserve after not being given that.  Not at all.  I regret, however, that I did that in anger, and part of my anger was eliminating all feelings I have for that person, and not being able to love on them as I was able to before.  But I think it’s all about balance and perspective.  I think that you have to do that in moments where you’re not angry or hurt with them, and you’re able to clearly think and examine the whole picture, not just your view on it.  

My true desire for my life is that I have the patience to wait out the waves of anger, and learn to respond first with grace and love, compassion that sees the whole picture, and the commitment that doesn’t fade just because of one incident.  My true desire for my life is that I learn to act and move in both love for others and self-love, and be able to avoid response until I am able to look at both sides of the issues.  

But as for where I messed up earlier?  Now is not the time to respond to that.  Now is not the time to make things right with that.  Now is the time to simply let myself heal, and to resolve to make sure that I do not respond with anger and hurt the next time around.  As for now, the fact that I have an anger problem is very real, and I’m grateful that I now know that and I’m grateful that I have been through what I have been through to, that made me realize the severity of my anger problem.  

What about you?  How have you learned to handle your anger?

Easter Reflection-Friday or Sunday?

20 04 2014

I hate the thing that says “there are two kinds of people….” and then someone introduces the dividing line between different groups of people.  I know that I do this quite often, I truly do.  I meditated upon this fact and reflected upon this, and realized that I think we have enough dividing lines drawn across the race of humanity, so I’m hoping that from this point on, I’ll stop creating these dividing lines.  

So instead of asking you which one you are, and how you respond, I am simply going to explain two of the personas of the types of people who profess to be Christians, and you can add to it, or take it what you will.  These two personas explain a whole lot about the believers that make up the Christian church, and I think it provides some insight into the church as a whole.  I hope you find encouragement in this.

Friday People

In saying that a person is a Friday person, I refer not to the fact that “hey!  It’s the weekend, let’s party!” Or “I don’t have to work tomorrow, I can sleep in!!”  In the significance of the Easter story, the thing that determines which one of the two perspectives I am mentioning in today’s segment, if you are a Friday person, your outlook, perspective and frame of mind is based upon the perspectives of the believers on that Friday crucifixion day.  

When you look at that Friday, you see an innocent man on a cross, the most gruesome and public ways a person can die.  You see him surrounded by these followers, who had hope that he would not die on this cross, and you see the blood and water pour out of the side.  You hear the ripping of the veil in the tabernacles, you see the darkened sky.  You hear the wails of weeping and mourning among the disciples and believers.  The “righteous” Sadducees and Pharisees are walking away from this scene, victorious, dusting themselves off, patting each other on the back, and going home to rejoice that this pain-in-the-butt-Jesus is dead, no longer around to put them in their places.  They thought themselves superior to judge the heart of one man and demand his death, simply because he disagreed with them.  They left him to die, and he died.  Those who followed Jesus were devastated.  Death is devastating, especially when it’s a friend who has promised to rise again, to defeat death.  

People who are Friday believers, feel it is more necessary to focus on the unworthiness of sinners and how demented and lost all people are.  They focus on the badness of people, and how horrific people can be.  They look at the realities of life, without giving a real reason for redemption.  They are often self-righteous, and deem themselves worthy to judge others, their hearts and write them off as inferior.  People who are Friday Christians, often live in defeat, because they look at their present circumstances and see no way out.  They see no way to overcome their struggles and are overwhelmed with the task of continuing to struggle.  They mingle in their similar circles, never seeing need to reach out to others who are hurting, or noticing the need for hope in those who are having a hard time.  They blame the person, say they’ve brought those hard times upon themselves, than see that there’s more than meets the eye.  They do not welcome those who may not fully agree with them, or may challenge them to change their perspectives.  Instead of looking at the individual person, they make cut and dry statements that do not acknowledge the humanity of the person or the need to consider that person as an equal.  

Sunday Believers

On that Resurrection day, it paints quite a different story here.  On that morning, you see two women approaching the tomb, and the stone that sealed the tomb is cast aside, a heavenly messenger tells them that Jesus has indeed defeated death.  You see them run to tell the disciples, who then run to the tomb and go away from the tomb, praising God.  They later see Jesus in the flesh, see his scars, feel his touch and know that he is alive.  The defeat and demons they dealt with on Friday are gone on Sunday, for the story did not end there.  There was more to come.

Those who are Sunday believers, realize that the focus of the entire Bible and our faith, is on not the fallen-ness of humanity, but the generous grace of God.  The way that God worked it all out, and made his plan come to being.  The plan was made out of the love of God for all of humankind, and the fact is, our faith should also reflect that.  They are motivated to share the good news, because it is contagious, and they have a hope.  The hope is in the fact that hopefully, one day soon, there will be a day where the believers will be all reunited, body and soul, together.  This, they call, heaven.  This earth is full of pain and sorrow, and the church, faith is not there to make people feel worse about themselves, it’s to encourage them to continue to look forward to getting out of the struggles.  But in the meanwhile, there are things to be done, and growth to happen.  Discipleship is not an option, it’s a requirement, in that the person feels driven and compelled to spend time with God in the hopes that they will continue to be made like God.  They are humbled by the love and grace of God, and they see people as their equals.  Humbly, they see the need to unite for a common cause.  In addition, progress is advocated for, simply because that is the coming kingdom, and they are actively moved by the spirit in the process, and see the need to validate humanity and all people, through as many avenues as possible.  They’re moving beyond what the rules say, and into the heart behind the keeping of the laws.  Realizing it is wrong to steal not because of a law, but because to steal is to not love their fellow human being.

If I am honest, there’s a little bit of both in me.  I am sure that there are more things I can say about both, but this is enough for me for right now.  

Hey friends!!

11 04 2014

I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  There’s alot going on right now, and I truly wish I could invest in this blog.  But I am focusing most of my efforts on the Living Single blog project.  Go ahead and check it out, you know you wanna.

I am truly excited about all that’s going on in my life right now, and I hope that you all are doing well.

I’ll post a new entry soon, I’m working on one for the Easter season.

Why I Have to Believe

2 04 2014

I was sitting here thinking of some various particular things and scenarios that are going on in my life right now.  I am exaimining some struggles that not only myself have, but others as well….and don’t worry, this isn’t a counseling session, where I talk about all my feelings and all that I’m going through.  

Recently, I’ve been having something of a ‘crisis of faith.’  When I say recently, I would say the last 4 years of my life have been chaotic, and I have not known what to believe, or how to believe in something other than myself.  I wasn’t sure that if I really believed.  I mean, it’s all so incredible, the story that faith teaches us.  How can it be real?  How can people believe in something they can’t see?  It’s ridiculous.

And I’m right.  It is ridiculous.  This life that we live is so ridiculous and so frustrating.  The cards that are in my deck are not always the same cards in your deck.  Some people get a really shoddy deck.  Some people get an okay deck.  And some people, they have this amazing, pristine deck of cards.  Mine are a little worn, some are bent, there’s probably something spilled on them.  I know at least one or two cards are torn.  

Go with me on this metaphor for a moment.  I have to believe that the deck of cards I have right now is not the only deck I have.  Because if this deck is all I’ve got, then there’s really no reason for me to hope, to strive for goodness, to find peace, to help others, to love even.  And loving is the greatest gift I can give another person.  I have to believe that this deck of cards is not it, and that one day, all of us will be given a new deck of cards.  

This world and this life….can suck.  Majorly.  It hurts to live sometimes.  It hurts to love sometimes.  I have to believe that the best is yet to come.  Because if the best is not yet to come….well, to me, it’s almost a suicidal thought.  The thought is so depressing and so heartbreaking that I simply can’t survive.  I can’t go on living my life in the way that it is.  

There are people that are out there who simply exist to hurt other people and to cause pain and suffering to others.  The justice part of me has to believe that this is the only heaven they will ever have.  I don’t know if I believe in a hell, but I do think that I believe in death, and death can be pretty scary.  Ceasing to exist?  How do you love then?  I have to believe that those who have done nothing good in their lifetime, like murderers or something like that, I have to believe that to those people, their deck is all they get.  

And there are people out there who struggle.  People who get handed a deck stacked with cancer, disability.  People whose decks are wrecked with heartache, with people walking out on them, people who have had to bandage their cards back together…I have to believe that this is the only hell they’ll ever know.  I have to believe that those of us who try to be a good person, who try to love other people and embody that spirit of unselfish love…I have to believe that this life is only the worst of it.

To totally reject religion and to welcome the idea that this life is all there is….that, to me, seems like a very depressing worldview.  I can’t survive in that reality and in that perspective.  I have to go somewhere else when I die.  I have to.  This can’t be all of it.  It just can’t.  I have to believe that I live on, and that my spirit will last beyond my life.  I have to.