A Petty Party… April 16, 2012

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Apathy, lying and envy.

They are like three homely sisters perched on their beds late at night, brushing their hair, gossiping about all the faults of their friends and neighbors until they are adequately convinced they are better than everyone else and can ease into their beds to snore the night away.

A petty party.

It begins with apathy. “I don’t care to become better.” The only trouble with the doctrine of self-esteem is that it often stagnates the human spirit into accepting the present status instead of improving the situation. We are just “better” when we’re trying to do better. We are happier when we don’t accept sadness as “our lot.” We are more spiritual when we don’t settle for religion.

Because after we become apathetic, lying joins the party. “I will lie and do whatever is necessary to deceive people so that I look better.” Once you accept the fact that apathy is going to be your profile for ongoing endeavors, you immediately face a difficulty. The world around us demands improvement, so if we’re not going to actually improve anything, we’re going to have to lie about it. And if we do decide to lie about it, there will be a challenge to our claims–which brings us to envy.

What is envy? “I will destroy what you are doing–which is obviously better–with my lies.”  For after all, the accomplishments of a dedicated soul can be devastated in a  moment of time by a careless lie told by an envious bystander. It’s what concerns me about our country. You see, “patriotic” I understand–loving the freedom, liberty and “justice for all” that sets this nation apart as a beacon of the possibility of truth. What I do not understand is the apathy that creates lying and a nasty bit of envy, causing us to replace “patriotic” with “pettry-otic.”

Yes, we have begun to tear down other people’s ideas, the endeavors of governments not our own and the accomplishments of individuals across our world simply because they’re not American. Rather than setting a higher standard for ourselves based upon the luxuries and freedoms we enjoy, we have decided to lower our standards and simply criticize the rest of the world.

I refuse to join this petty party. I feel the only way I personally achieve greatness is by utilizing my gift, enjoying the fruits, and simultaneously analyzing how I can do it better. I am astounded that both Republican and Democrat are guilty of pandering to the American public with a political philosophy of, “I’m okay–you’re okay” instead of challenging this great nation to greatness. There is no excuse for a country with as much financial possibility as we possess to either be in debt or to lack in the creative abilities to place us at the forefront. But because we’ve decided that we don’t want to get better, and no one can tell us that we should, we welcome the spirit of lying, which causes us to become envious of other cultures, attacking them and finding fault with their ways. Here is the definition of greatness:

“I will continue to do what I know to do until I am shown something better and then I will gratefully receive it and include it in my life–to pursue better.”

If that is not the mission statement of our country, then we have lost our way. In this election year, I don’t know if there will be anybody with enough guts to say that we Americans have become lazy and have replaced the pride over past accomplishments for the pursuit of present ones. Will anyone have the truthfulness to tell the American people that we JOINED the banks and Wall Street in a financial gluttony that has left us all a bit destitute? Will anyone have the audacity to say how ridiculous it is that we are still fighting racial issues in our country after nearly four hundred years of struggle? And is there any politician who will be willing to speak aloud that American productivity has dropped as we’ve allowed apathy, lying and envy to replace workmanship?

As I stood in front of the congregation in San Diego yesterday morning, I gazed upon a group of people who had so much potential, yet are told by their society that they need not concern themselves with transformation, but instead are given the constant message that “they are all right because they are Americans and Christians.” Well let me tell you, being American and Christian comes with a truckload of responsibility. Being an American means to give freedom to everyone else if you expect it for yourself, and being a Christian requires that you love your neighbor everywhere just as much as you love yourself.

There’s a petty party going on. Criticism, sarcasm and frustration have triggered apathy, lying and envy in us instead of challenging us to ask that most holy question:

“Thank you Lord, for blessing me. Now … how can I do it better?”

**************

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. A Quote from April 16h’s Jonathot definition of greatness:

    “I will continue to do what I know to do until I am shown something better and then I will gratefully receive it and include it in my life–to pursue better.”

    If that is not the mission statement of our country, then we have lost our way
    I pray this becomes branded in my heart. Thank you .

    Like


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