G-9: Easy or Ease… January 31, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2137)

 

atlas bigMay we take a moment to sum up the human condition?

The gravity of our situation adds weight and pressure to our lives, creating burden. Feeling this added weight, we tend to gyrate to situations where we can float along and be buoyant. Unfortunately, because this climate is not where we really desire to be or in correlation with our calling, we stagnate, which lends itself to feelings of disappointment.

So even though the added gravity of an environment that questions us may occasionally make us feel defeated, trying to stay in an “easy” climate that does not cause us to grow produces disappointment, which degrades itself to depression.

Sooner or later we must understand that we are not meant to be buoyant. We are not intended to be creatures who merely bob up and down, moving with the flow of the world around us.

  • We have legs.
  • We have a backbone.
  • We are not fish.

We are supposed to endure the gravity of life, but somehow find a way to ease the tribulation and be of good cheer.

Yes, there is a difference between easy and ease, and in finding that distinction, you discover one of the key secrets of human life.

The main thing that has to be conquered is despair. Easy does not defeat it, nor does throwing a fit over your inadequacy scare the dark clouds away. We must find a way to ease the gravity of our situation.

Where do we start?

  1. Being too positive makes you ill-prepared for the realities that will come your way.  1a. Think yes, prepare for no.
  2. Being too negative encompasses your time, which could be better spent in planning and learning. 2a.Consider no; prepare for yes.
  3. Being practical is the art of balancing what you have with what might happen. 3a. Ignore yes and no; focus on the details.
  4. Knowing that surprises are inevitable, it’s a good idea not to take too much time acting surprised. 4a. Difficulty is common to all human beings.
  5. Set small goals so achievement is possible daily. 5a. The blessings and trials of life are delivered with each morning’s portion.

To choose an easy path is to quickly make yourself extinct in your own evolution. To ease the path, you have to consider the factors–every movement is countered by a movement from another direction.

Being aware of that grants you the advantage of not needing to fall into a pit of despair, but rather, pulling up short of the edge, gaining your footing … and living to think and work another day.

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Populie… January 30, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2136)

Archi and EdithTo find what’s right we must be willing to be wrong. If not, we start to lie.

Lying becomes easier when it is accepted by others because they, too, are trying to escape responsibility.

Some lies become popular.

Thus populie.

Once they become populie, they are picked up by the three forces at work in our society, which mold the thinking of the congregated citizenry:

  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Entertainment

Although I am a firm believer in unity, the ideas that bring us together must have a purity which recognizes some form of eternal truth instead of taking the temperature of the air and assessing the direction of the blowing of the present social winds. If we don’t choose to be careful about our pursuits, then gradually we can deteriorate civil rights, human relationships, personal value and “soul” significance.

America is addicted to populie. We depend on plurality to determine our acceptability. If we find ourselves in the minority, we quickly change our opinion to become acceptable, for fear of being considered ignorant and out-of-step.

But you must understand, I have an abiding mistrust of politics, religion and entertainment. Over the years, they have been agents for the types of tradition that maintain stupidity in the name of compromise and peacefulness.

Perhaps one of the greatest populie going on today is the concept that men and women are natural enemies.

Politics promotes this because it grants us a male-dominated system which can characterize women as being “too emotional for leadership.”

Religion adopts it quickly because it fosters female submission and creates a scapegoat for men by blaming Eve and all her sisterhood for original sin.

And entertainment embraces the concept because it is a cheap way to derive human slapstick for their comedies and pathos for their dramas.

Fortunately, reason, common sense and the true spirit of God reject this populie and insist that we work together in the common cause of our humanity. For after all, God did not give different jobs to Adam and to Eve. There is no gospel for women and another for men. And John 3:16 does not read, “For God so loved men that he gave his only begotten son…”

Just because it’s popular does not make a lie any more viable. So what can you do with the populie of “men and women are natural enemies?”

1. Change the language. Talk more about human beings and being human instead of being “manly” or “girlie.”

2. Ask the opposite sex to react in a more enlightened form instead of falling back on our culture’s forced role models.

3. Call out inequality between the sexes when you see it, using humor, but also diligence.

Popular lies–populie–is when religion, politics and entertainment join together in agreement to promote easy ideas instead of instigating needful change.

It is the definition of becoming too worldly.

Because our species will not survive unless men and women celebrate our similarities … and set aside our alleged differences.

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Sometimes… January 29, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2135)

Jon black hat

Sometimes I do something right and I’m surprised how easy it was.

Sometimes I refuse to get upset and end up sleeping better.

I stop talking about God and do my best impersonation.

I refuse to have an opinion and start learning again.

I am amazed that someone wants to make love with me.

Sometimes I don’t honk for honkable offenses.

I laugh at myself  and make more friends.

Sometimes I only eat when I am hungry.

I pretend I’m the other guy looking at me.

Sometimes I don’t have to act interested; I actually am.

I walk back and pick up the trash that fell out of the overstuffed can when I tried to push more in.

Sometimes I really do pray for someone when I say I will pray for him.

I bravely tell the truth and feel clean.

Sometimes I love myself enough not to like me.

And sometimes I wonder if I could upscale … to oftentimes.

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Quatrain of February … January 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2134)

February

I am the one

Which has proper days

To make four weeks

Call me Fabulous February

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A Dying Breed … January 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2133)

cottonShe passed by me without saying a word, heading for the door.  It had all the appearance of an exit. Suddenly she paused, turned on her heel and walked slowly back toward me.

She said, “I’m a dying breed. I was raised two counties over. My mama and daddy grew cotton, so we spent all of our time in the field, crawling on the ground and picking cotton, dragging huge sacks behind us to collect the fruits of our labor. It was so hot that I had to cool my feet in the shade of the plants, and sometimes the work day was eight to ten hours. We didn’t have much, but we always seemed to have enough.”

And then she just stopped talking.

I looked deep into her eyes. It was like bathing in a well of experience. I suppose some people would consider her rural, rustic or maybe even rugged. It isn’t really so. That’s just another example of how we make quick judgments because we’re too lazy to spend time with one another. I realized she was embarrassed with her own silence and would soon slip away, so I decided to ask her a question.

“What did you learn?”

She didn’t miss a beat. “I learned to take care of myself and to not ask too much of others.”

It was one of those simple, beautiful, profound answers, laced with so much experience that additional wording would have been cumbersome.

“I just wanted you to know my story. How I’m part of a dying breed. People today don’t understand and kids would have no idea. I enjoyed your show.”

She quietly turned, walked away and disappeared out the door.

I thought about her words. The truth is, I don’t take care of myself enough. Somewhere between silliness and believing in the abiding grace of God, I float along, thinking that each day is promised to me instead of a gift. Much to learn.

And even though I try hard to be a servant instead of a burden, there are still strides to be made in that arena, too.

I sat and thought for a moment.

  • Some people read the Good Book to find their inspiration, believing it to be the sole source of life and instruction.
  • Others stubbornly wait for God to give them a burning bush to illuminate their path.
  • I suppose there are even people who are praying for an angelic visit to grant them the insight to propel their heart’s desire.

Not me.

Since we’re all part of a breed that’s dying, the smartest thing we can do is listen, observe and believe in other members of the herd that come our way, and accept the beauty: that it’s a gift from God.

 

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Heaven’s Gates(ville) … January 26, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2132)

cring and clazzy billboardThe words are quite stunning.

Though if you stop and think about it, it not only makes sense, but sets in motion a way of thinking, a passage of human heart and a philosophy of life which challenges us to excellence, while providing a plain path.

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Although this phrase is contained in the famous Lord’s Prayer, and often receives no more notice than other lines within the structure, it really is the heart and essence of the mind of Jesus.

Think about it. What is my job?

To find out what heaven is going to be like and do my best every day to construct a prototype in the life provided around me. In so doing, I achieve two goals:

  • Confirm that I actually believe in something instead of mouthing words.
  • Bring a little heaven down to earth.

Where it gets complicated is in trying to summarize heaven to a few ideas instead of getting all caught up in “streets of gold, gates of pearl” and ten thousand years of praise and worship.

I made an attempt. And since I’m in Gatesville, Texas, this weekend, I thought I would share with them the three aspects of heaven I feel are transferrable to earth:

1. God.

I don’t think I want a heaven without God. Gee whiz–I think I could get universal agreement on that. The problem is, God has a speckled reputation. Some people think He’s mean, some would portray him as the hall monitor of morality, and others find him ethereal–floating in the clouds. But after all that gets done, the most universal thing I find about God, and certainly played out through his son, Jesus, is that God is love. Any attempt to portray Him with different light is a dilution of His power.

So if heaven exists with a God of love, it is my mission on earth to bring that love–to myself first and then to others.

2. Unity.

I have good news. There will be no political parties in heaven. No denominations. No races. No religions. All that will survive in the place of Supreme Reward are those who have faith and mercy.

No race. No religion. No politics in heaven.

So it stands to reason that if I want to make a little piece of heaven on earth, I should replicate that in my interactions with my brothers and sisters. I have found a quick way of phrasing that phenomenon. I tell everyone I meet that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Yes, I bring a bit of eternal life every time I eliminate the differences between people and replace them with similarities.

3. Joy.

Since God will dry all our tears in heaven, it is safe to believe that the greatest gift of eternal life is joy. So I believe it will be the mission in my life–however long I am allowed to stomp about–to teach happiness, live happiness, share happiness and be happiness.

Yes. “Be of good cheer.”

Verily, verily I say unto you, sadness and worry do nothing to aid our dilemmas–just start the misery early.

So I believe heaven will be a place with God, unity and joy.

This morning, in Gatesville, Texas, I will tell people that God is love, and any other representation is afoul.

I will insist they understand that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” To build little boxes for people is the busy project of the devil’s workshop.

And I will certainly espouse joy and tell the dear folk to “be of good cheer.”

It is not of much value to bring earthly fear to earthly creatures who are basically a little lower than the angels and a bit higher than the monkeys.

Bringing heaven is allowing the God of love to unify us in good cheer.

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When I Grow Up … January 25, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2131)

IsabellaAs a teenager, one of the greatest horrors was having relatives visit, and feeling the need to communicate with me, they landed on one of two awkward questions:

  1. How’s school?
  2. What do you want to do when you grow up?

Concerning the first question, how’s school?–it’s similar to asking an inmate about his progress in the prison.

And the second question is a bear trap lest you answer incorrectly, with an occupation they deem unacceptable … well, you may end up becoming part of a beheading.

I finally got fed up with the inquiry and told my stuffy Presbyterian aunt that I had aspirations of becoming a Buddhist monk. Gasping, barely able to catch her breath, she turned to my parents in alarm and said, “Did you know about this?”

I quickly retracted my statement, explaining that although I had the waistline of the Buddha, I did not share his politics.

Now, I have a granddaughter who will become fifteen years old on Monday. A recent survey of fifteen-year-olds asked the question: what do you want to be when you grow up?  The top five answers: (1) Rich (2) Famous (3) Powerful (4) Beautiful (5) Sexy

So to my fifteen-year-old granddaughter, Isabella, let me say that when I grow up, I do want to be rich–possessing one more dollar than I need.

Certainly famous, in the sense of dazzling the handful sent my way.

Powerful? Yes. I fully intend to bring energy to wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, to make it more productive and joyful.

Now we come to beautiful. I guess  my definition of that would be to bring along a complete package of myself that makes people want to be with me.

And finally, sexy. Yes, it is truly sexy to find one person who continues to yearn for your touch.

I do not know whether it is possible for someone in their teen years to grasp all these concepts. Shoot, I don’t know whether I do.

  • But there are riches available–and they are more pleasurable with contentment.
  • And fame is not everybody knowing your name, but rather, in having your name bring something of integrity to those who know it.
  • Power is something we possess, not somewhere we are.
  • Beauty changes with time, but as long as it’s radiating from within, it maintains a certain consistency.
  • And I don’t know if there is anything sexier than someone who can carry on a good conversation, while inserting humor.

So there you go. That’s what I want to be when I grow up.

You can see why I decided not to be a Buddhist monk.

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