Contrary… December 28, 2011

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Jonathan in Miami

“Contrary to popular opinion …”

Actually, nobody is particularly interested in that. But there is nothing we enjoy today that was not, at one time, contrary to popular opinion.

  • The I-phone was, at one time, the “what the hell were you thinking?” phone.
  • Civil rights was certainly more, “go back to the colored section, write a letter to the editor and we’ll get back to you.”
  • Computers were deemed to be the fodder for science fiction movies, instead of ways for grandmas to communicate with their grandchildren.

Everything of quality is contrary. I wish I could shout that, but it would make me seem … well, contrary. For after all, shouting is contrary to the standards of today’s thinking (unless you’re a politician).

I have learned one valuable lesson in my journey through the roads and passages of human life. The things that we deem to be difficult, or “sent to harass us,” are actually the seeds sent by God to bless us. It would be impossible for God to be just and fair and sprinkle only well-explained possibilities, joys and emotional marshmallow cream over the earth.

For instance, I certainly didn’t teach my children to be better people by lavishing them with gifts, lightening their loads or telling them that everything they did was perfect.  To help my children grow up, I inconvenienced them. I gave them chores, I set household rules (which they decided were unnecessary) and when they chose to break them, there were punishments that followed. They often considered me a tyrant–an irrelevant relic of former times and an uncaring personage who was more interested in maintaining order than in their personal needs. Isn’t this exactly the way most people feel about God–that He’s a tyrant, a relic of former times and unconcerned about our personal feelings?

As a good Father, once He introduces any type of inconvenience, we use it as a stumbling block for our relationship with Him and walk around baffled over why life has suddenly become so painfully difficult. To understand how this system works, we must agree on three things:

1. The only way to make life fair is to make it equally restrictive for everyone. Without this, we create an atmosphere where easy solutions create lazy, unmotivated and uncreative beings.

2. Everyone has complete free will or the whole thing is a joke. If at any point we believe that God is stepping in to perform His will against our ways, we lose the sense that this planet is evenly balanced with more energy assessed towards those who seek to find, knock to have it opened and ask to receive.

3. Don’t walk away from what you think was sent to harass, but instead, harness any available input. I have become successful by picking up what other people don’t want, fear or deem to be useless–and have gained treasure from it. If you’re going to wait around for everything to come to you fully assembled, polished, well-painted, in a lovely box with a bow–you will spend most of your time doing nothing and the rest of your time complaining about nothing to do.

There is a “harass factor” to life. Opportunity comes with a contrary nature. It is never what we expect, rarely what we want and only occasionally even feasible. It demands that intelligent people of good cheer harness what’s presented without complaining and use it well until better options arrive.

For example, I have used a butter knife as a screwdriver, and in doing so, was completely content–but soon found that someone ran to offer their screwdriver to assist in the project. I will tell you this: no one will even offer you a screwdriver if you’re just lamenting what you screwed up and you’re not actually trying to screw it down. Just as God rewards those who diligently seek him, human beings reward each other by offering assistance to those who are trying to work with what they have instead of rejecting it and stomping away, pouting.

Get this straight–life is contrary. It is that way so that it can actually be fair to everyone. It is a door rather than a house. It is a penny rather than a dollar. It is a smile instead of an open invitation. It is a greeting rather than a banquet.

Life is sent to harass, hoping to find determined souls who will harness the potentials that exist while waiting for reinforcements. And what happens if the reinforcements don’t arrive? You will astound yourself with your own abilities to adapt.

I began exercising two days ago. I thought on the second day it would be easier. It was harder. My muscles seemed to be aware of my devious plan to engage them and became defensive. They ached and my joints creaked. But I persevered through Day Two, and woke up this morning expecting to be rewarded with rejuvenated energy. I’ve never felt so miserable in all my life. It took me years to get out of shape, yet I was looking for a forty-eight hour reclamation. I am hoping it will not take me years to get back in shape, but I CERTAINLY know that I am thirty days or more from having any benefit or feeling any purpose at all. Will I make it? I have a chance if I understand that life is contrary because God is good.  And if I take what was meant to harass and harness its better parts, I can certainly count on people, life and God to more quickly come to my aid.

Brats always lose. The squeaky wheel may get the grease, but eventually people put it in the garage because it’s just too high maintenance.

  • God will harass. I need to harness.
  • Life is contrary. I need to comply.
  • Nothing is simple. I need to simplify it.
  • We are all in search of what is fair. What we get is the next quandary.

So contrary to what people think–contrary is what people get.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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