Wednesday, December 7, 2011
A recent post from a friend of mine kind of triggered this one because it helped me understand a different part. -Thanks for the comments by the way, I really appreciated them, and found both to be enlightening.-
While I agree with Dan that there is definitely a chemical thing that we overlook and I liked the idea that we as humans take what we like and exaggerate it to the point of it being harmful; I also liked this idea that perhaps self-image has something to do with as well that Erik brought up.
So, I find myself back where I started, because there are so many things to take into account.
Still, I came across another thought about it. Perhaps we return to the abuse because we feel numb to the world? Like I said, this post is triggered by another (which contained this sense of needing to be and feel alive). Perhaps, we as humans, have this deep, innate, unquenchable desire to not just survive, but to live. I have yet to meet a person who likes being in so much routine that their brains go on autopilot and they stop being the individuals they were created to be. Which leads me to believe that maybe, on a subconscious level, we all find ways to keep us from becoming total zombies.
So, am I saying that people enter abusive relationships because they feel like it's the only thing that reminds them they are actually alive? It's plausible, but I can't really say one way or the other because I don't really know. But there is a reason, why can't this be one of them?
Everyone has a reason for the things they do, whether it's to start trouble or run away from it; to overeat or not eat at all; to be around people all the time or to refuse to be around people, etc. There is a reason, and I think that reason is actually a lot of different reasons all wrapped around and intricately woven into each other that they can't be picked apart like twizzler candy.
So, that's about how far my thoughts went on this, even though I spent time trying to get further. I guess this is one of those things where I have to experience it to understand it better (but I don't really want that to be honest).
This concludes my thoughts from "A Question For You"
Grace and Peace
Friday, December 2, 2011
Why is it, that the people who follow a God who wants to bring people to himself, feel the need to bash people with our truths and actually turn people away? It boggles my mind how unloving we can be toward others. No wonder everyone hates us!
The issue being discussed in the comments was gay marriage. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure where I stand with it, but I am looking through it and working out that part of my faith; both sides of the argument feel a little weak and blanketed in Scripture (yes, both have Scriptures to support their view). Regardless, I don't think it is right to just start spouting Bible verses at people and expect them to accept it with grace, much less to change their ways. When has that ever worked?
In a society who puts so much emphasis on intellectual and critical thinking, the Christian institution is years behind. Our churches keep trying to bring about this emotional response, but emotions are fleeting and I, for one, don't put much stock in decisions I make when I'm emotional. I try to think about the decision after I have calmed down enough to think clearly.
Still, I see a lot of people get incredibly aggressive when trying to "defend the faith". I've seen people get into screaming matches over predestination and free will. In the end, does it really matter?
In the narrative of Jesus' life we find that the religious leaders of the time went to Christ with a lot of controversial issues trying to trip him up. More times than not he would end up turning the discussion a completely different direction. I think he did that, because he knew that there was something more important and deeper to consider with each issue than just the topic on hand. I wonder if he sometimes sighs in exasperation at our simple thinking.
"I gave you critical thinking! Why are you oversimplifying this again?"
I don't think he's necessarily frustrated with us, but I think he wants to knock some sense into us sometimes.
An additional thought: I spent a lot of time at a "Christian School" and "Bible College" and let me just say that know-it-all Christians tend to cause more harm than good. I can list at least five examples where an individual did something that led to a lot of harm, and all in the name of "God". To fellow believers! While unacceptable, one might understand why there might be a schism between Christians and non-Christians. But when there is a schism between the people within the organization, trouble ensue.
I don't think we are supposed to all agree on everything. Fact is, we're probably all wrong about something in one way or another. This is why I try to stay open to how others "interpret Scripture" and why I try to truly -listen- when people are sharing how they feel about anything. I want to know and then work through it myself and decide whether or not I feel like it lines up with the God I know in such a limited way.
We need to wake up to what we are doing; people have been telling us for years. We need to get our heads out of the sand, and leave our little Christian bubble and observe, and listen, and discuss, and love.
People didn't listen to Jesus because he was some phenomenal speaker, or because he had great wisdom. No, I think people listened to Jesus initially because he showed them how much he -cared- for them. Ultimately, they benefited from his wisdom, and they were able to learn a great deal about God through him.
But, as cliche as it is, it rings true:
"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
No one cares what you believe, until they see that you care about them as an individual.
And, I am probably oversimplifying things again, I do that often. So, if you have any questions, as usual, you can always post them in the comments or talk with me directly. I'd be more than happy to flesh these thoughts out with you.
Monday, November 28, 2011
The trend is that both men and women tend to get themselves wrapped up in the "wrong person"; meaning, they are in relationships that are abusive or unhealthy in some way. I am constantly baffled by this. If you are unhappy why keep going back to that person? I suppose the psychoanalysts would probably comment on some obscure past where the individual is so wounded that they feel like at least the person they are with gives them attention. While that might play into it sometimes, I think that is a really weak analysis and that they need to look a little deeper.
I do believe that our past has a part it plays (which is why you might like one person over another) and I believe that there are wounds in our lives that influence how we treat each other, but I have a hard time believing that this is all there is. I suppose this comes from knowing some people who have actually been with good people but the relationship refused to work because of one thing or another, or from some who refuse to leave the relationship permanently because of something that drives them toward each other. Perhaps it is the result of faulty logic, but again, that would be a side effect and not always the case.
So what is it? What drives us back to the same type of people over and over again?
I have a few theories but I really want to work those thoughts out a little further before I post again on the subject. So, I ask you, the general populace, why do you think that we as a species do crazy stuff like this?
Monday, November 21, 2011
I've been going through a little bit of trouble lately. Not so much in the physical sense, and certainly not a negative thing, but still trouble nonetheless.
You see, my spirit is troubled over my own complacency.
Lately I have been having these thoughts along the lines, "Is this really all there is?" Don't misunderstand, I love my job, the church I go to, and the family I've been blessed with. I believe that I am where I am supposed to be at this point in time, but I also feel like I'm missing something; like there is something else I need to be doing and I'm just ignoring it completely. This had led to several different interesting situations, and perhaps left me a little bewildered by it all.
What is that something I'm missing? Is it merely an emotion? Is it some higher task that God has called me to? Is it just the result of going through some of the emotional lows last week, and now that I'm on the rise the feeling will pass? I don't know. All I really do know is that I'm experiencing it here and now, and so I will address it.
I think writing has become a big part of who I am. That isn't really evidenced by this blog at the moment, and I hope to change that, but I do write frequently and enjoy it immensely. I enjoy it to the point of haven written over 40,000 words in a story that may never get published and desiring to continue in that story until it is complete. Which is something I've never felt before. So perhaps this is the something I'm missing?
I also think that teaching is something that is to arise in my future. Specifically, teaching Scripture to people in a public speaking medium. I in no way have the training for such a thing, and yet I can't escape the feeling. I have been out of a full time ministry position for around a year and a half now, feel hesitant to return any time soon, and yet I feel, with a high percentage of certainty, that God is going to take me back into the belly of the beast known as ministry. And it is a beast; no one else in all of the Christian circles are held to a higher standard than those who are more than volunteers in any ministry. Perhaps this is the "something" missing?
It could go beyond these things though (and I suspect that these things are part of the answer). What the beyond is I can only guess at, and I suppose this is where the "comment on the human life" comes into play today.
I think when it comes down to the grind, everyone has these points in their life where they feel troubled by a "something" or maybe a "someone". I think the most noticeable evidence of this is what we call a "mid-life crisis". However, I don't believe that it is limited to middle aged men and women. This is an underlying thing that permeates every age. To be honest, I don't know what the source of these moments are, and maybe it is different for each person, but I have a sneaking suspicion its one of God's ways of trying to get our attention.
It is also a way to become more aware of who you are as an individual. I recently just finished a book. The final book of the Inheritance Cycle to be exact. In this series of books, there is mention of a "true name" for every living and innate thing. Furthermore, if you know the true name of that person or thing, you had complete control over them. Thus, the knowledge of your true name (which revealed all of who you are for better or worse) is incredibly dangerous, but as you might imagine, can also be very enlightening. As I read I wondered, do we have true names? Now, I don't really think that there is a name out there that if said I'm just going to fall over unable to control myself, but the idea that there is a way to understand ourselves so deeply is intriguing. As one who strives for self-awareness, I think it would be worthwhile to learn my "true name" or "true self" as I'm really referring to it; however, it isn't always the prettiest and it is hard to not want to hide from the truth of it all. Definitely something to think about.
Well, I think I've bored you enough with my broken and incomplete thoughts. Besides, if I wanted to leave a novel for you to read I would have just copy and pasted my story.
Grace and Peace
Monday, July 4, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I am no Superman, but I am not weak.
I am never alone, but I am often by myself.
People don't get me, but I am understood.
I can do nothing, but I'm not helpless.
My life is a paradox.
Christianity is very much a paradox to life, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I don't really have meaningful conversations anymore. Sometimes, my wife and I will talk about something with significance, but that usually occurs because we need to resolve an issue, or it is concerns an aspect of the story I've been working on. Otherwise, I don't really have friends here who I can talk to about absolutely nothing, and everything at the same time.
However, I can't say that meaningful conversations are the only thing I miss. I also miss the feeling that I'm doing something meaningful with my life. I look at my life and ask questions like: “What am I doing that can impact another in a positive way?” or, “How am I doing anything significant where I am at now?” But the truth is, I just never learned to fully appreciate how even a friendly smile can be meaningful for someone else. It seems that I have fallen into a trap that I never wanted to be in. I think that I had subconsciously come to the belief that only when I was in ministry that I was doing something significant. This is a mindset that makes me blanch, and one that I have fought against for about as long as I've been able to understand the negative aspects of the mindset.
The truth is, there are thousands of Christians who, every day, put meaning in the work that they do. Every day they go to work and share the Master's way through their words, their attitudes, and their lifestyle, and here I am feeling so insignificant because there is no grandiose title that says “look at me, I'm doing good stuff for God!” What a way to start an ego trip. I'm actually glad that I'm not working for a church at the moment. It has been very good for me.
I am working on fully understanding what it means to find significance in what I do. Let's be honest here, working in retail doesn't really change the world; however, on the bright side, all the people you interact with and leave a good impression with can lead to a life that is changed one day at a time. So, although I'm not where I want to be, I know I am where I need to be. I am thankful for the moments like this when God makes me realize something that I didn't even realize I had done. He is everything meaningful in all the “meaningless” times I experience, and I know that one day I will be given the opportunity to have a plethora of meaningful conversations again, and I know that every day is a chance to do something meaningful, if only for one person. It is something worth pursuing, even if only one individual is impacted.
Just some thoughts.
Grace and Peace.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Life has definitely been full of ups and downs, lefts and rights, and even some diagonals. While I have had quite a few good things happen to me in the past few months, the reality is that growing up has not gotten any easier, and it still sucks.
Lately, my wife and I have been having trouble with the people she got a school loan with. They call endlessly, are generally uninformed of the things we have done to correct problems or make up payments that we are behind, and do not do what they say they will do. So, despite doing our best to take care of the loan payments, they are not making it easy, and it is hurting our pocket book quite a bit. Of course, this would not be such an issue if I did not have to make payments to my school, or try to find ways to rent an apartment and finally get out of my in-laws house.
Don't get me wrong, I am completely grateful to my in-laws for housing us, but I want to get out. I feel a little trapped within the walls of the house, and I'm constantly on my toes. I need a place for my own, and I don't want to burden them any more than I already have been (though, they would never admit that).
I am grateful for having a job, but truthfully I don't have the hours or pay I need to satisfy the greedy loans. I'm hoping that I will actually have some type of return for taxes, even if it is small. Still, a small paycheck is better than no paycheck. And I can't really say that everything is awful, because it's not. I still have a roof over my head, I still have family who loves and cares for me, I still have friends who actually like to talk to me, and God is still providing for me in ways that blow my mind, including financially.
So, all that to say, "Hi, I'm still alive." Things really aren't all that bad, it just feels overbearing at times.
Grace and Peace