Straits and Narrows … August 10, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1971)

church of the straitsYou meet the nicest people at the swimming pool.

Water is just wet with possibility: it’s good for splashing, swimming, drinking and even, I hear, washing away sins.

Yesterday I encountered a dear lady during my time of pool play. We had a rather lengthy conversation which placed me in the enjoyable position of “listener” more than “speaker.” (I actually rather prefer that as long as my attention span doesn’t drag me away to drowsiness.)

At the conclusion of our little rendezvous, she said, “The problem in America is that the younger generation doesn’t have any respect for morals and goodness.”

I know that’s a popular opinion. It’s probably the same thing my parents said about me and my friends when we were mere burgeoning bumpkins. But it’s really not the dilemma. The problem is that we suffer from social amnesia, forgetting how to keep things straight and knowing when to narrow down our choices so that we don’t become so pliable that we lack common sense.

I put some thought into it. Now, I don’t consider myself a scholar, but I did come up with three things to help us humans stay on the “strait and narrow,” so we don’t become seething contradictions to those around us:

1. If I want the blessing, I’ve got to be willing to take the blame and if I’m going to take the blame–darned tootin,’ I deserve the blessing. Since people in our culture are frightened of appearing inept in any way at all, the human family seems to scatter in all directions, seeking a corner in which to hide whenever a dish is broken. In doing so, they sacrifice the ability to confess their bumbling, become well-trusted and be part of the team that gets to go out dish-shopping. As long as we extol the technique of subterfuge and hiding our weaknesses, we will never actually be able to participate in the kind of discovery that unearths miracles and blessings. Which leads to:

2. Lying sucks. I hate it when people lie to me; I would assume they feel the same way about my mistruths. Lying sucks because it puts such a cheap price on conversation that we never quite know what is important and what is just another foolish posting on Facebook. We also have no idea whether we can trust the words that come from the mouths of our friends, so we dangerously find ourselves second-guessing for fear of being duped. And how about this?

3. Leave people alone. Just yesterday, driving between my headquarters and the shopping center, a mere mile-and-a-half away, I saw at least six things that my fellow-humans did right in front of my eyes which I found at least stupid, if not unethical. Who cares? As long as we believe that stupidity has a chance of being successful, we will be grumpy about folks who take short cuts and cheat.

It sometimes takes a while, but no bad deed goes unpunished.

And it isn’t a choice between condemning and condoning–it’s really a decision to keep your eyes on the prize of your own life and leave people alone. I will not condemn you, but I’m not necessarily going to condone everything I see, either. My gift is to leave you alone and let it play out. After all, nothing is more annoying than brothers and sisters trying to correct one another instead of letting Mom and Dad do their jobs. And for me, Mother Earth and Father God can take care of it. I’m just going to show up for dinner and make sure I wash behind my ears.

There you go.

Tomorrow I will be sharing at the Church of the Straits in Mackinaw City, Michigan. bridgeEven though I know the “strait” in this case refers to a body of water, I am taking the poetic license of hoping that they also understand that the “strait and narrow” referred to in the gospel is not “strait-laced and narrow-minded,” but rather, straight-forward and narrow in focus to the truth.

I hope they will agree with me–to get the blessing:

  • You’ve gotta take the blame.
  • Lying sucks.
  • And leave people alone.

When you do all of these things, it makes pool time so much more pleasant.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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  1. […] Straits and Narrows … August 10, 2013 (jonathots.wordpress.com) […]

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