Jonathots: The First Seven Days

The Twenty – Four Hour News Cycle
Sunday, March 30th, 2008

The twenty-four hour news cycle.

Soulless suits simpering sanctimonious sentiments, sensationalizing salacious stories.

“Who are you?” they asked, challenging.

I paused to reflect.

“Who are you!?” they pursued with vigor.

“Me?”

They nodded, impatiently.

I spoke slowly. “I’m just you with different eyes.”

 

“I sure wish that hadn’t happened”
Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Of the more useless statements spoken from day to day, including declarations like, “Gas prices are too high,” and “Teenagers just need to make smarter choices,” topping the list of the most worthless comments of all time is, “I sure wish that hadn’t happened.”

I know there are people who feel regret is a powerful emotion, but truthfully, regret only produces noticeable impact when it leads to legitimate repentance and not just self-pity and lamentation. Of course, I’m human. There are things I desire to have turned out differently than they did. There are things that I deemed worthless to my experience. There are events that I would say have even clouded my judgment, dwarfed my potential and dwindled my passion to pursue better ways. But honestly, that’s because lots of times, I’m just a jerk. There is nothing that happens in the human existence that is not able to be assimilated into our learning curve, applied in a different direction with a varied emphasis that can’t truly bring about a necessary evolution, even an internal revolution that changes our lives forever. And may I say?…for the better. To constantly question the validity and the value of the last thing that just happened is to linger in a puddle of self-pity, failing to derive the best conclusion from the one who comforted us with the words, “For all things work together to the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

Here is a quick idea. Call it a guideline, if you will. The next time something happens that is out of the ordinary, out of whack, out-of-pocket or just out-of-bounds, wait two hundred and fifty minutes before you react to it, think about it or even consider moving in any new direction. Events often come in pairs: one to distract and one that comes a little later–to clarify and explain. That’s right. Wait four hours and ten minutes and see if some clarity and explanation doesn’t come over that foul ball that landed just outside left field. Then you won’t be caught uttering the useless phrase: “I just wish this hadn’t happened.” Instead, you can be one of those emotional geniuses who say, “You know, because this happened, I’ve got this result.”

 

Lineage
Friday March 28th, 2008

I woke up this morning and had some errands to run but had about a half hour to kill. So when I have some time on my hands I usually sit down at the piano and fiddle for a while (I guess it’s incorrect to say you fiddle on a piano)…But anyway, I began to play some chords which led to a melody and I wondered if I should use the piece on the soundtrack for one of the movies. But I liked it so much I decided to put words to it. The end result was a song I entitled Lineage. These are the words:

We are born with God in our mind

We live on through faith from our heart

We possess what we’re destined to give

And we gain as we’re willing to lose

Chorus

This is our life–so much to learn

A moment of breath–no time to burn

Human ways–Fleeting days

Running out from the darkness unknown

Unafraid–Never alone.

I think I’ll debut it on Sunday morning at First UMC in Sacramento. I wish you all could be there.

Maybe I’ll get to sing it to you sometime. Maybe.

“New Places Are Just New”
Thursday March 27th, 2008

The brochure stated with great assurance, “Come discover new, exciting places you’ve never been before.” New places I’ve never been before. The brochure insisted it would be exciting. But are new places we’ve never been before exciting? Or are they a bit foreboding, intimidating or even terrifying?

Stepping on the scale today, I landed at a weight I’ve never been before–at least not in my adult memory. Now, don’t jump to a conclusion. It’s not a high number, but rather, the lowest number that I can remember being since I was eighteen years old. I’m not sick (unless you would include the mental depravity involved in attempting to lose weight). As I stepped off the scale, I of course felt some exuberance, but also a deep humility and certainly some abject terror. I was on foreign turf. Could I keep it up? Could I sustain the progress? What was it actually like to be part of a successful adventure when it came to matters of my pounds and weight? For a brief moment I felt lonely–because new places are not always exciting, as advertised. They are just new. And new is nothing more than a fresh start to prove that you can maintain integrity at what you always have believed and held dear in a place that is unknown to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber, a gas station attendant or a presidential candidate. New opportunity is always just the responsibility to carry the virtue and hope of your old life into your born anew experience.

The loneliness passed. I stepped away from the scale to visit it again in a week. A week of living, loving, eating and hopefully, representing myself well when next we meet.

 

To Be Human
Wednesday March 26th, 2008

It was supposed to be enough to be human and know that God was both creator and friend. But fear somehow sprouted in a garden that was sewn solely with the seed of hope. So the excuse was given air and breath and became part of the experience. With the excuse came the need for guilt–and with guilt, the creation of a plan of redemption marshaled by a doctrine of religion that enforced righteousness rather than simply beckoning the goodness available. Religion soon became domineering, oppressive and languished in a status quo of meaningless repetition, so nations were born. And with nations came pride and with pride came prejudice against those who failed to perform the allegiance necessary to be included. Soon nations rose against nations and a philosophy of nations was demanded, thus creating the body politic.

Politics. The clever manipulation and legal entrapment of your foes into your will through the passage of laws and the stumping of speeches. But soon politics wavered in its promises, giving way to business and business to corporations and corporations to cartels and cartels to violence and destruction. And when the cartels and the corporations failed to find common ground, the world, in one breath of time, surrendered to war. And war ravaged and raped and rekindled every foulness imaginable, decreating the only surety of hell that exists. Securely in hell, the people stood around–lonely and abandoned, with only vague memories of how wonderful it once was–to be human.

 

Inconvenience
Tuesday March 25th, 2008

In a recent survey, 72% of those questioned defined a “good day” as a twenty-four hour period when “nothing bad happened.”

Really. Nothing bad happened. Of course, you remove the word “bad” from that phrase and you have what really makes life dangerous–or at least boring–and that is “nothing happened.” What is bad? I mean, we have “classic” bad, which is “my dog died” or “I’m feeling very sick.” But truly, classic bad doesn’t happen that often. The bad we fear the most is really just varying degrees of inconvenience. My car won’t start. I burned dinner. Or I need to go out and get a job. Living in a day or time when the doctrine of change is being extolled as the next step to growth, how do we ever expect to see change without some level of inconvenience stumbling into our pathway? In other words, I can’t improve my car unless it stops working. I can’t make more money if I don’t get a better job. And I don’t get to try out that brand new Chinese buffet down the road if I don’t occasionally torch my TV dinner.

Inconvenience is not bad, although that reputation precedes it. Inconvenience is the only sure way that life has to gain our attention long enough to get us to evaluate our present circumstances and stimulate us to at least consider attempting something different. Most of the time when nothing bad happens, it’s because we’ve wriggled ourselves into a comfort zone where nothing happens at all and we are just idly sitting by, pacing ourselves, marching in place, waiting for the dog to die or the next sickness to take us down. Here’s a quick definition: bad is anything I can’t change. Everything else is just inconvenience, trying to get me to do what I say I want to do, and that’s change.

 

Jonathots Begins . . .
Monday March 24th, 2008

Everybody is very impressed with the concept of resurrection. I suppose that physically being raised from the dead is an awesome concept, certainly beyond human comprehension. But if life is meant to be lived to its full capacity, a little resurrection happens every morning after we survive the effortlessness of sleep to begin another day with the belief that the bad things can really be different and the good things might actually hang around for another sunset.

Easter.

Believing something happened that really needs to happen every single moment of our lives.

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Published on July 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm  Comments Off on Jonathots: The First Seven Days  
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