Making Nice

Making Nice (1,242)

August 18th, 2011

When I get up every morning and have the blessing of sharing this jonathots with people all over the world, I feel a great responsibility to try to be positive and certainly edifying. You and I hear too much negativity. Today is jonathots number 1,242. That means that for 1,242 days I have shared my thoughts, heart, silliness, discoveries and journey.

Yes—I feel a great sense of need to be an exhorter—one who tries to find the brighter side of the coin instead of constantly flipping it to produce the darker side. Yet I must tell you that in the pursuit of “making nice,” we must all realize that to actually discover things that are real, lasting, spiritual and emotionally uplifting, we do have to dispel myths and falsehoods that eat away at the foundation of our joy and contentment.

There is not a night that I perform in front of an audience that I’m not thrilled to have such an opportunity. I know it sounds unrealistic, but I am constantly enthralled with the process. Oh, sometimes I get tired and creaky and I’m not particularly excited about carrying in my equipment or doing a sound check, but by the time I get to my green room to sip some water, eat some fruit and change my clothes, I am ready to interact with my fellow-human-beings and give them the little dab that God has granted me.

Candidly, though, I must tell you that the reactions are not always the same. What Jesus said is absolutely true—that “we must be careful when all men speak well of us.” I also must be careful that I do not write down some of my revelations in road travel based upon weariness, or connote to you in any way that some unfavorable response was limited to a particular village or town. It is not so.

Every night when I arrive at a concert, I am universally greeted with apathy. It seems a little perplexing, because these are the people who actually decided to attend, and yet they project the new American ridiculous notion that “there’s nothing new under the sun” and that blessing is really not available. It probably takes the first ten minutes of my show to break through the crustiness of a society that has given up on the notion of being anointed or changed.

You may find that critical. I don’t. I think it’s a living reality that causes our politicians to ignore the masses in favor of their own will. It prompts religionists to believe that mankind is either all-depraved or somehow all-good—yet absent enthusiasm. And it allows corporations to think they can manipulate the surrounding horde to perform whatever function they deem necessary. Some things in life are just wrong.

Fortunately for me, God has given me humor, music, a bit of cleverness and a voice which allows me to address these injustices with a jocular style instead of hell-fire and brimstone. But it doesn’t change the problem. It doesn’t create an atmosphere that is ideal simply because we all want to “make nice.” Here are the five things I know that are presently imbalanced in our society:

1. The cross has no business being tied to politics. When I see a political rally with a cross hanging in the background, I am sickened by the notion that manipulative politicians believe they can use the lifestyle of Jesus to project their temporary solutions, which may or may not have any merit. Go ahead and be political—just get the cross out of it.

2. Gossip is mean. Mean is hurtful. Hurtful destroys humans. Humans are who God loves. Got it? And I’m talking about all renditions of gossip—even those backbiting dialogues that lead off with, “I’m just trying to help…” Free will is God’s will. It hasn’t changed and it won’t because you or I want to rule the moment.

3. Religion is to God what campaigning is to politics—banners, slogans, speeches and rallies instead of the substantial ideas that make life better. Is campaigning necessary? In a democratic society, I guess so. But it doesn’t have anything to do with governing or giving folks a chance to have a better life. Is religion necessary for godliness? I suppose so. But it doesn’t produce “life and it more abundantly.”

4. Overemphasis on our own personal family is a silent attempt to shut out the rest of the world and make them strangers instead of our brothers and sisters. I’m not suggesting we love our families less. I am merely stating what Jesus said—“if you love those who love you, you’re no better than the heathen.” My true challenge in life is not to express love to those who applaud me or buy my books, or those who gather around my Thanksgiving table. My true challenge is to love those who decide to ignore me and move on. Jesus would never have told us to “love our enemies” unless we were going to have some.

5. And finally, life is too short to do anything long. Anybody who begins a discussion by saying, “This is going to take a long time…” or “Good things take a while…” or “Rome wasn’t built in a day…” is just softening me up for defeat. I am convinced that if we cannot address something in a twenty-four hour period and see a little progress, thinking that we’re going to get ten years to achieve the goal is not only presumptuous but also smacks of the sinister.

I realize that some of you may disagree with what I’ve written, and there are even people reading the jonathots who are considering whether to have me into their church or not. They may be afraid that I will arrive and say something untoward. Not so. The five things I stated above are difficulties—but they don’t need to be harped upon by some disgruntled prophet. They just need to be taken into consideration as we find ways to impart the delightful message of joy and love to a world that seems to have lost its capacity for understanding and feeling—dead from the heart up.

I have the most wonderful job in the world. I get to share my life, my dreams and my insights with those “who have an ear to hear.” But I will not lie to you—when they choose to reject my spirit, I can end up being the loneliest man in the room. But I decided a long time ago that it’s better to be lonely, knowing that your heart is in the right place, than dancing at a party that was not of your own making.

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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