Thursday, August 24, 2006

Down The RabbitHole

I sit here, in a slew of chaotic business robotics and meaningless antics, with
corporate lackies foaming at the mouth at the next consumerist-capitalist
target they can milk from emerging conglomerate companies that 'claim' they
want premium customer service but really want to give opportunity for their
spoiled, blue-collar whiners to have a soapbox on which to spout their stories
of sadness and woe while third world countries struggle for clean breathing
air and drinking water...and all the while, I'm smiling internally, knowing that
a sea of tranquility is a quiet wanderer down a back country
road in the friscillating dusklight, slowly approaching, but nearing nonetheless.

This tranquility and peace comes from a place that some people refer to as
fake and surreal while others have described and experienced it as being
'actually' magical - not a magic cheaply shown by persons who pull rabbits
from hats but a magic that is real - a magic that runs as deep as the stories of
C. S. Lewis and Tolkein, hinting at that indescribable something that guides,
protects and desires to know us intimately. Everyone has arrived at where they
are, on a spiritual plane, through many venues. For me, I have found God
there, time and time again. It's as if the actual land has a glowing source just
beneath the grass that is detected but never seen. My feet feel light - my head
less heavy. The cold and technical superficial din of the world is drowned out
and two things become expemlified - nature and people.

But the greatest thing is that once people are removed from the drone and
placed into this setting, it exposes the core. For some, this process is negative
and they never want to return. For others, they feel no 'core' or 'magic' essence
and see it as a place of games and trickery and leave feeling betrayed. And
yet, for others, the magic is found and does not stay there - it sticks to their
feet and shoes and clothes and when they leave, it comes with them. It may
not be as evident as it is while you are there, as the glowing and the
supernaturality of the land is missed, but the magic manifests in a different
way on the outside.It becomes less airy - more hard and fastened to your
memories and bones, giving strength to unseen places. And those who know it
and taste it are addicted in a way that is sometimes incomprehensible. It leaks
on to others - some are scared, frightened and yet some are attracted.

Wherever you can find those places in life, I urge you, brothers and sisters,
to go there. You may not be able to stay long but the visit will always help you
on the long, long road of this life. I'm going, and I hope to be more alive upon
my return, for this world wears me down. So, as I look back upon the path that
I have already burned through this field, I say that these little stops along
the way make the journey all that much more worthwhile.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

No Quarter

My last few blogs have been post-modernistic dead-tech rants of
some sort that have taken a heap out of me. I know
what Todd feels like in the sense that when you blog, you
always feel like it has to be good, noteworthy or epiphanal.
But I don't feel epiphanal today. I'm just working, trying to
stay alive and beat the heat.

I think that depression, anxiety and stress are all integrally
linked. If you have a job you like, or at least spend your
days doing something minutely meaningful by your own
standards, stress is not necessarily a bad thing - it just
means there is a lot to do but you don't mind doing it and
have the underlying knowledge that it will get done.
On the flipside, however, if you LOATHE your job or occupation
and find no meaning or intrinsic value in your means to
obtain monetary re-imbursement, stress is always a bad
thing because it signifies more BAD things to do that constantly
pile up and wait for no man. Thus, this kind of bad stress
leads to anxiety because you get the feeling of 'there
is much to do and how can i cope when i hate doing it'
ultimately leading to a 'what am i doing with my life' type
statement - depression.

And there you have it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Social Justice, Useless Morality and the Conquest Therein
Christians. A sea of boiling masses, formed with much zeal from their beginnings,
eager to overflow on up out of the banks of containment and lay to waste all
living things opposing their opinions. Why does it have to be this way? Why must
most North American Christians go through a 'second conversion' experience
to see all the living things they killed with their opinion-angled truths in the
early days? Why do some people never have a second conversion and stay
ignorant? Why does Donald Miller have to write books about the jack-assery
of Christians and set up a booth, on a very socialist/left-wing college campus,
and personally apologize to people for our doings? Why do we speak in a
language that only an elect group understand while the outsiders shrug their
shoulders at the foreign dialect?

The real guts of the issue lie in this question: Who do we blame- The church
or just our dumb-ass human selves? I think that, for whatever reason, North
America, from its very un-humble beginnings, positioned its citizens into a
Culture that bred fear that can be seen in a few key bullet points.
1. Fear the enemy.
2. Fear the stranger/outsider.
3. Fear any opposition.
Even from the foundings of this landmass we stand upon, there is massive
controversy (you can read about it in Wikipedia) about Christopher
Colombus and whether he truly was a hero or a monster. To this day,
Americans praise the Italian discoverer's exploits as patriotic (i.e. Columbus
Day, Columbus, OHIO, etc.) but even Columbus' own diary arguably
seals his own fate as he knowingly engaged is such heinous acts as mass
genocide and slave trading. Columbus saw his opportunity upon
encountering Early Native Americans, but instead of working with them
to better the land and resources and future opportunities for both parties,
he saw the foreigners as dangerous and slaughtered them.This is an
attitude passed down to us from the beginnings of our landmass - fear the

To Christians, at least the North American variety, the foreigner or space
of the other is inhabited by the 'sinner' who needs forgiveness but does
not know it. Though anyone who clearly understands scripture as a
whole knows that we are all in need of redemption at the core of our
being, this is something that can only be decided and understood on a
personal level, or, on a 'heart' level - a place where no man really has
the eyes to see. Even though many argue that outward action reflects
the happenings of the heart, I disagree. I disagree because...people
are stupid, intimidated, jealous, anxious beings who don't really know
HOW to act and guage their actions mostly upon the measuring stick of
their peers or where they seek acceptance. One's heart may be utterly
frayed and busted up while their outward appearance reflects happiness,
contentment and sheer joy to everyone who views them.

When Jesus met with the woman at the well, before He made any pre-
dispositions about her situation (which he knew already, for obvious reasons),
he listened. He met her, eye to eye, and heard her speak rude, insolent
words: The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a
Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (John 4:9). In that era,
any woman speaking to a man in this nature, or in an 'out of turn' fashion,
would have been due for discipline of some kind, most likely physical. If
anyone had the right to discipline this crazy, multi-partnered, loud woman
for her nefarious actions, it was Jesus. But He didn't. He took the high road -
addressed her and accepted her for who she was, and then spoke to her
situation with grace, encouraging her to go back and make things right in her life.

This must always serve as a constant reminder when we approach the space
of the 'other', or, for the purposes of this journal, the foreigner. If the One
whom we claim to have relationship with, love and follow reacted with only
acceptance, grace and constructive encouragement to the foreigner - then
who the hell are WE to form opinions about people because of their
outward appearance and actions. The work of the Spirit happens on a level
that we are almost completely blind to - no one but Jesus truly knows what
a person has uttered in private, inside his head or cried out in search of
substance. As I once heard Bill Hybels say to a conference of over-eager
teens, "As Christians, our job is not behaviour modification, but to be carriers
of the Spirit of transformation". (Amen, Bill. I've heard many people rip you
off since then and not cite your words properly, but at least the intent is there.)

We are to be conductors - glowing arrows pointing to the source of our
light that gives people hope - not picketing, argumentative and haggling with
people in useless moral battles of no consequence. We must never let morality
replace spirituality but I fear it has been already sort of happening for a while now.
Fight the good fight friends - let the foreigner into your living room instead of

locking him out, and like my friend Jared once wisely said "Get down on the
floors, on your hands and knees, and scrub with people in their problems" and
then, just maybe, they'll be interested in just What makes you the way you are.
Let's stop the moral warring - it goes nowhere and it's not what we're here to


Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavenly realms.

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