Decency and Order… December 26, 2012

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jass in recording studio

It was the first thing Jan asked me this morning. What did I think about yesterday’s Christmas celebration? That was easy to answer. Total, marvelous chaos.

Unfortunately, as people get older, they seem to deny the value of such an occurrence. They become like the Apostle Paul in the Book of Corinthians, who said, “Let everything be done in decency and order.”

What a priss. You gotta be kidding me. To achieve decency and order, you’d have to remove every human being from the room and every electronic piece of equipment that plugs into the wall. What you would have left is a bunch of microscopic organisms which you could not see, as they were being indecent and disorderly.

Our Christmas consisted of fifteen people in a room suited for eight, ranging in ages from five months to sixty-one years (and by the way, I was thinking about being cute by translating the sixty-one years into months, but it was too exhausting).

At no time was anything in control. Mingling torn paper with broken boxes, stocking candy everywhere and everyone’s personal preoccupation with their own gifts, decorum was abandoned in favor of basic survival. I wanted to be grumpy–partially because it’s my responsibility, as an aging American, to fill that position–and somewhat because my business sense told me that efficiency was being lost in moments of glee.

But since  Christmas morning has nothing to do with business nor is there any particular necessity to stifle glee, I laughed at myself, sat back and observed the process, occasionally participating in the fiasco with my own contribution of wild abandon.

Last night we had another situation during the evening meal, when one of the little tykes became very dissatisfied with the seating arrangements since he was not going to be able to sit next to his friend. He threw a fit in front of the whole gathering. Naturally, because we are all grown people who wanted to silence the racket as quickly as possible, the instinct was to give him his way, allowing him to sit anywhere he wanted so that the noise would cease and we could resume munching many calories.

But you see, that’s not the way it works. So instead, we made him sit where he didn’t want to sit but needed to sit, which caused him to launch into a rage and fury similar to a man heading for the gallows who knows deep in his heart that he’s innocent. It was very loud–so clamorous, matter of fact, that after a few moments it became funny. But because we decided to continue our lives over the top of the volcano of voice, he eventually calmed down and donned a sweeter disposition–mainly because he felt really stupid.

It was disruptive. It was loud. It was ill-contained, and it certainly would have pissed off the Apostle Paul, who would have insisted it was indecent and disorderly. Let’s be honest–nothing of quality is ever corralled. That’s just good horse sense.

Take our country, for instance. America is ugly. We do everything ugly. We brought slaves into the country ugly. We treated them ugly. We got rid of slavery ugly. We handled the issue of racial equality ugly. Can there be anything uglier than a Presidential election in America? The only “prosper-ers” are the television stations which make billions of dollars from the negative ads.

Evolution is a violent, often non-sensical process which offers no explanation, nor does it apologize for its scream.

I always get tickled when pastors of churches tell me that their congregation is run by committee. If we were going to invent something that would personify disorder, disruption and often meaningless behavior, it would have to be the committee.

No, we must be honest. Even though we get older and want to turn down the volume, it’s going to go up. The process of spirituality, growth, expansion, inclusion, equality, and freedom … is deafening.

And sitting with a room with people opening up Christmas presents who loved each other enough to get to the same locale but now have entered an “every man for himself” mode, is always going to be bizarre. I am determined to refuse to become the old man in the room who asks the children to calm down so his pacemaker won’t malfunction.

Life is chaos. If you agree with Brother Paul, that it should be in decency and order, be prepared to be on the wrong side of history. For after all, when God created the earth, the first review on His work was that the place He created was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

What a mess.

But you see, God’s not like us. He likes messes. Otherwise, how would you get a chance to clean things up?

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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