The Big Three

The Big Three (1,164)

June 1st, 2011

“Jonathan, it’s just not that simple.”

People have said that to me all my life. I think it’s because one of the ways folks try to appear intelligent is by complicating everything in their journey—to make it look difficult.

For instance, we don’t feel like we’re really exercising unless we pant and sweat. People never brag about how “little” time it takes to do something. And we’re always careful to explain the intricate details of every activity so as to make it clear to the hearer that it was a Herculean effort to produce results.

Not for me. I like it simple. I like my emotions to be pure and open, my mind to be ready with the information I have, but also have a door provided to receive any input that might assist me. I like my body to be as healthy as it can be based upon my own genetics and efforts. And I like my spiritual life to be free of scriptural confusion and colliding doctrines which darken the image of God instead of illuminating His face.

Speaking of God, I think there are three things about Him that need to be taken into consideration in the midst of any discussion or presentation of spiritual matters. They are simple—and I’m sure some would insist they are too simple, failing to factor in all the aspects of the Almighty. This is true. But I don’t care because since I am mortal and finite in understanding, I am quite satisfied to deal with the Partly-Mighty instead of the All-Mighty.

Here are the three: (1) God is love; (2) God is light, and (3) God is not mocked. Honestly, my dear friend, I live by these.

Because God is love, I know that love, by God’s standard, means to relate and not judge. We equate love to an emotion of passion or selflessness, but since no human being is capable of achieving those emotions regularly, I think love is better explained as relating. And the only way I can relate to anyone is by pretending that it’s me in the situation.

Case in point: what would I feel like if I were black? What would it be like to be a Palestinian? What would it be like to be an Israeli? What would it be like to be gay? What would it be like to be homeless?

The answers come back quickly. If I were black, I would want people to ignore my color the way I want people to ignore the fact that I’m fat. If I were Palestinian, I would want to be recognized as an equal with my neighbors while being held to the standard of accepting their independence. If I were Israeli, I would take into consideration that having the upper hand at this point does not grant me the privilege of being controlling. If I were gay, I would want people to try to comprehend that I mean no malice, but am only working with what I know. And if I were homeless, I would not demand to be given a place to live, but would like it if you wouldn’t treat me like a cockroach if I asked you for two bits on the street.

God is love—He relates—so much so that He decided to become human. So even though He understood human beings the way a doctor understands the human body through study, every doctor becomes a better physician by occasionally becoming a patient. So God became better able to relate by becoming Jesus.

God is light. I believe anything in life that brings understanding instead of assumptions—illuminating instead of darkening and exposing instead of covering up—is God. I do not want to be party to any movement that believes that we honor religion by rejecting progress. You’ve got to be kidding! Understanding demands that I learn and take that information and turn it immediately into some sort of action, confirming that I recognize the validity of my discovery. Translated, that means that we don’t learn anything until we do some representation of what we just acquired. That’s when understanding arrives.

God is light—He promotes understanding. He takes knowledge and turns it into enrichment. I like that. Otherwise we go around assuming—basing decisions on what we’re going to do next on details that are not perfectly linked to the situation at hand.

I joke with my business partner, Janet, about the fact that she tries to relate everything to playing the oboe. I will agree with her that parallels and comparisons are sometimes quite helpful in life, but assuming that playing the oboe covers every eventuality might be a bit short sighted. Assuming is what causes us to lock people out of our lives without ever taking an inventory of what they’re bringing. God is light—and light illuminates. And illumination is the process by which we understand instead of assuming we already know.

And finally, God is not mocked. The rest of that scripture is: “… and whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” There is something liberating about taking responsibility for one’s own actions, therefore gaining control over one’s own life. Otherwise we spend all of our time looking for someone else to blame for our own inadequacies. And if they are to blame, they are also the source of my solution—and therefore I am at the mercy of their whim.

Candidly, that sucks. If we will admit that “what we sow, we will reap,” we can take responsibility for our own lives and shock the world with a fit of honesty when what they’re anticipating is the shadow of deceit.

God is love, God is light and God is not mocked. These teach us to relate instead of judge, understand instead of assume and take responsibility rather than blaming others. Applying of these three precepts would keep us from ninety per cent of the problems we encounter when we interact with our fellow-man. And when you remove the problems between brothers and sisters, it makes it a lot easier to get along with Dad. That’s why I call it The Big Three—and that’s why I shared it with you today.

And that’s why I plan on keeping it holy in my life, even when I, myself, may fall short of the excellence. That’s why I like it.

Because it’s simple.

Published in: on June 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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