Staring Out the Window… November 15, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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logI sent my two sons out into a nearby woods to look for a huge log. They were exhilarated because I had explained to them the concept of a yule log, placed on the fire to burn all night on Christmas Eve.

Honestly, I didn’t expect them to find such a piece of wood just lying on the ground in the forest, but I thought it would be quite an adventure for them, and I just really wanted to be alone.

For the past year and a half, I had settled into a situation that was unsatisfying. There was plenty of money. Everything seemed fine. But I had quietly walked away from my calling, my talent and my aspirations. Oh, I still occasionally wrote something, or sang a song, just to remind myself of former days. But I had swallowed up domestication while allowing myself to be swallowed.

It was a strange series of events which brought me to this little duplex in Sacramento. (Actually, it was Citrus Heights. We were thrilled because our address was on Orange Avenue in Citrus Heights. Isn’t that cool? We thought it was.) Even though our lodge was humble and simple, it was the best thing we’d had as a home for a long time. It had a fireplace, a sunken living room, a dining room and enough bedrooms that you didn’t have to hear another family member snore.

So on this day, as the boys made the trek into the woods, I stared out the window into the cold December grayness. It was so beautiful.

It was also terrific to be moving forward. The sensation was overwhelming and brought tears to my eyes and a resolution to my spirit. I would truly never allow myself to be surrounded by mediocrity again.

As I stared into the distance, I closed my eyes and reopened them like a shutter on a camera, taking a picture. I wanted to make sure I would never forget the morning–surrounded by silence, chilled to the bone by joy and at peace with myself.

It was so beautiful.

All at once, coming toward me in the distance were my two boys. Between them was a large log they found in their quest. I had to laugh. They had performed the impossible. They had done something unexpected.

May we all be so blessed.

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

WE are the US of OUR Lives… May 27, 2013

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 America is not a population–it is a collision.

Yes, it is a fender-bender, accidental conglomeration of people who have ended up in the same place, searching for similar freedoms.

Our churches are not congregations. They are configurations–the makeshift, last-minute gathering of a collage of human beings who often disagree with each other but are bound by what we hope and pray is a common purpose. Our disunity and differences are what challenge us to stay together and keep working, to ferret out similarities.

We spend way too much time trying to find perfect circumstances. We even arrogantly proclaim that we’re on a quest to find a “soul mate.” Life is not a Disney cartoon. It’s not the story of a chambermaid who is secretly a princess who finds herself “slippering” her way into marrying Prince Charming.

It usually consists of two folks who hang around each other long enough that the spark of lust ignites passion one evening. Then they spend time figuring out how to take that initial encounter and turn it into domestication.

What’s wrong with that? Why does everything have to be so antiseptic? Let us be honest. One of the most obnoxious thing about human beings is when they believe they have found God’s will or they have knowledge that exceeds others.

What I saw yesterday in Mabank, Texas, was a mish-mash of humanity which decided to stay together with each other instead of becoming picky and bratty–praying for better converts. Now THAT just might be the definition of God’s will.

We ARE the “us” of our lives.

  • I don’t always agree with my children, but they are my children.
  • I don’t always get along with my friends, but they are my friends.
  • I don’t always concur with strangers, but there’s really nothing strange about them at all, is there?
  • And the United States of America is always at its best when we include all the “we’s” and embrace them as “us” to create “our.” In the process, we collect some weirdos, freaks and people who think they’re extraordinarily normal, who end up being more odd than they thought.

But we do not express the love of God by giving up on anyone. We do not become a better organization by shunning members. And we never, ever discover the beauty of heaven by finding weakness in our fellow humans and displaying it for mockery.

I give great tribute to the people of Mabank. Even though they live in a small town and might be tempted to be snooty and fussy, they’ve decided to pursue the greatest depths of true spirituality, which is: don’t give up on folks just because right now you think they’re ugly.

So on this Memorial Day, as we celebrate our nation and the sacrifice of those who have gone before, let us not forget the power of this idea: the energy of our faith is that we constantly challenge our own prejudices.

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

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