I’m Looking For… A Content God February 4, 2013

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handsGrouchy, grumpy and growling–three attributes we associate with being cantankerous and therefore, usually equated with getting old. Actually, teenagers can be just as grouchy, grumpy and growling as the retirement set, but apparently the younger generation has a better public relations agent.

I believe in God. I belive in God for three reasons:

  1. The world is too magnificent, too intricate and too well-devised to be an accident of a “Big Bang” idea.
  2. I need someone to love me as I find ways, through trial and error, to be more loveable.
  3. I am arrogant enough to desire immortality.

Now, you will notice that I don’t choose to believe in God simply because the Bible tells me so, that I am fearful of the power of His nature, or even because I’m frightened of a devil’s hell. No–I’m looking for a God who’s content–because I know that I’m better when I allow myself to be.

Unfortunately, that book called the Holy Bible presents at least three different Gods, if not more:

  • There’s the God who created the world, walking around like a proud papa, calling everything good and placing gold stars on daily assignments.
  • Then you’ve got the God who had some sort of faith crisis own and began demanding the foreskin from male children, the deaths of the Amorites and Philistines, the forbidding of shrimp scampi and the killing off of folks in Sodom and Gomorrah because…well, because they weren’t right in the head. We go through a season of this God, who seems to be enamored of blood, requesting that small animals be killed as confirmation of forgiveness, and relegating women to the status of cattle.
  • All of a sudden, some of the prophets from the minor leagues started sharing about a God who didn’t like killing animals and preferred mercy over sacrifice, and this carried through until we were given a live and in-person interview through the deeds and ideas of this fellow named Jesus. We were told that he was God. Suddenly back in our presence was a God who cared about people, told stories, condemned hypocrisy and welcomed repentance.

Recently I told a theologian that I was in search of a “content God” who was thrilled with the invention of fish in the ocean. He frowned and replied, “All the gods of the Bible blend into one God, who was all things and whose ways are mysterious. We will not understand until all things are revealed.” I looked into his dissatisfied face (which was grouchy, grumpy and growling) smiled and walked away.

You can feel free to boil down the entire Bible in an attempt to come up with a God who was able to kill children because they mocked a prophet but also heal the lepers because they cried out in praise. Not for me.

My God is a content one–because I know that I’m better when I am content. My God is the one who sat down on Friday afternoon, during his “week” of creation, and looked at man and woman, which He had just formed, and smiled in joy–with a tear in His eye.

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

D.I.A.–Dissing in Action… April 2, 2012

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Cold turkey–a street slang term for the process by which someone who is addicted to drugs escapes the imprisonment by removing the chemical completely and letting a series of painful reactions remind him or her of poor choices and the consequences. There are many symptoms, but among them are (1) irritability; (2) shaky health; (3) a sense of emptiness; (4) frustration; (5) and of course, a nagging temptation to return to the addiction.

Somewhere between the ages of forty-nine and sixty, Mother Nature gradually begins to snatch away estrogen from women and testosterone from men. The former feelings of supremacy and dependency begin to vanish, hinting towards a return to a more chilled-hood of similarity.

But here’s the problem: by this time, women have become unsure of themselves in a society that has relegated them to a subordinate position. Men have taken it for granted that they’re strong and dominant within the species. It is a game changer—and because it does alter the environment, men and women who are interacting in this era of forty-nine to sixty can get mighty cranky with each other because they see old age peeking its wrinkly face from around the corner. So they take it out on each other. A series of what I would refer to as “public-appropriate dissing” ensues. In other words, if anyone suggested to this couple that they were fighting, they would vehemently disagree, explaining that it was just their way of joking around and getting along with each other. And here’s another problem–unless you’re looking in the mirror, aging is something happening to your partner and not you. So when he comes close for that peck on the cheek, every single wrinkle is prevalent to her eyes. And when she walks across the room with a bit of a limp instead of a girlish bounce, memories of former lust seem to fade away.

Just as in the case of withdrawal from hard drugs, these D.I.A.’s (Dissing in Action) become irritable with one another. All at once, things that don’t really matter can become earth-shattering in importance. Simultaneously, some shaky health sets in, which makes them wonder if their partner is going to bring both sadness and financial ruin to the household. Also, the aging process produces a form of emptiness because merely reminiscing about exploits is not like packing your car and going camping. This lends itself to frustration. Discovering you are out of coffee can initiate a cranky rant which can last all morning long, indirectly targeting your roommate. And of course, temptation. Temptation can be one of three little monsters: (A) Why don’t I feel as good as I used to?  Maybe I need a jolt. (B) Let me go spend too much money on something I really don’t need to make me feel young again; and (C) He or she is too old for me. I need a younger model.

I don’t have all the stats, but I think you will find that many marriages that have survived the twenty-plus mark dissolve in this age group, because the disappointment of losing the chemical of choice causes the two parties to begin to blame each other and to diss and fuss. Compounding the problem is the fact that in their addled essence, they were not taught the ongoing equality of the sexes, and in the process of “kidding,” they became overly concerned about things that nature has pretty well in hand. And during the phase of Re-Spend-Ability, they were so shell-shocked by financial concerns and pending doom from attacks of the dollar sign that confidence in one another was eroded.

So when you remove estrogen and testosterone, what you have left is a confused man and a terrified woman, jumbled and jittery about becoming old.

So what should these former “drug addicts” do to counteract this change in their circumstances?

1. Share their feelings. Since men are becoming a bit more vulnerable and women a trifle aggressive, the balance should create an equal playing field for conversation. I understand that it’s hard to start becoming transparent with someone you love at the age of fifty, but what is more difficult is walking around all the time on the verge of a tizzy fit. Create a treaty. And the terms of that treaty are simple: I will allow you and you must allow me to share my present feelings without believing that they are either real or lasting.

2. Share your dreams. By the time one reaches the middle of the century mark , there are things one desired that need to be replaced by realistic alternatives. So you’re not going to get your Corvette, but you could save up your money, rent one for a weekend and go on a trip. You’re not going to actually write that novel about your life, but you could start a journal about what’s going on and what you think about it, so your children will later understand a little piece of your spirit. Dreams don’t have to die just because they failed to end up being complete. If you share your dreams, you can find ways to imitate them that will bring satisfaction because you did it together. Here’s a clue–go ahead and evolve–lest you just end up monkeying around.

3. Share work. You are actually becoming more alike. Use that energy to learn how to do things at the same time for the same purpose. Don’t garden alone. It makes you think too much about what you don’t have. Don’t work on cleaning out the garage without the other person being there. It’s much easier to work out your problems while moving boxes than it is in your own head, staring across the room at your lover, who is unfortunately becoming merely your roomie. Share work. It is a powerful cohesion and perhaps one of the greatest aphrodisiacs.

4. And finally, share wisdom. The only way I know to stay young is to be aware of what’s going on in your world so you can be compassionate to younger folks, on-point when you talk to them and not just some cantankerous, graying individual who pines for the old days. Share wisdom with those who are younger—and that wisdom must be the beautiful mingling of tenderness, humor and ideas.

“Dissing in Action” is something that happens because men and women who failed to learn to co-exist suddenly find themselves sharing rehab together due to their loss of “drugs.” What do you do then? How do you move to the next phase? How can you take the later years of your life and make them the productive celebration of achievement instead of a lamentation over one disappointment after another?

Because shortly after the age of sixty, human beings enter a final phase—one that is certainly misinterpreted in our society, and if they haven’t discovered how to stop “dissing” each other, this next stage will be an agonizing cruise ship trip through hell.

Because sixty-one until we’re no longer here is a return to our chilled-hood status—a phase which I call Eco-Quality.

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Listen to Jonathan sing his gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, accompanied by Janet Clazzy on the WX-5 Wind Machine

 

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Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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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