G8: Sink or Swim … January 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog


current ripI discovered that the correct term is “rip current.” In my innocence and ignorance I’ve always referred to it as “undertow.”

I only experienced it personally one time, while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean near Jacksonville Beach. It had taken me a couple of days to get up the courage to get into the water, because I had heard all the rumors about sharks and all sorts of foreign life forms swimming around you while you decided to play in the tide.

So gradually I inched my way deeper into the sea, when all at once I was propelled–not viciously, but certainly purposefully. I’d heard of the rip current, so I knew not to fight it, but I could not remember what to do to overcome it.

In just a matter of a few moments I found myself about two hundred and fifty yards from the shore, deposited in a shallow patch of water about six-and-a-half feet deep, where I was comfortable treading, but not standing.

My heart was racing. I was frightened. Land seemed so far away.

Yet the water around me was calm–actually rather peaceful. I experienced a strange sensation–I just wanted to stay there. Since I didn’t know how to get to shore anyway, and the surroundings were not threatening, my heart’s desire was to leave well enough alone and just float and stroke.

I don’t know how long I stayed in that position. What was really odd was that for a brief moment, I wished I could become a fish so I wouldn’t have to make any more decisions about saving myself. Just swim away to my new destiny.

I was at peace.

Yet it was an insecure sense of well-being, because obviously, I was not a fish, did not belong in the ocean and needed to swim away from my circumstance to evolve back into my real life.

I didn’t want to. Matter of fact, nobody even knew where I was. Nobody knew I was missing yet, and there was something comforting about the waves splashing against my shoulders as I moved my arms back and forth and bicycled with my legs to stay afloat.

I don’t know how much longer I would have remained in my indecision, but suddenly another human being swam up and asked if I was all right. I nodded, but in truth, I wasn’t.

I was afraid to change my situation, even though my position was detrimental and would eventually cost me my life. After all, there was nothing to eat, no drink and assuredly, exhaustion would overtake me and I would drown in six-and-a-half feet of water.

I listened as my rescuer explained how to swim through the undertow. I think he realized I was dazed, so he joined me on the journey to my real home. I was reluctant the whole way.

That is, until I got onto the sand, looked out at the billowing waves and realized how foolish I was to think that I belonged there.

Creation is necessary. To believe that everything around us appeared from nowhere would actually be the greatest step of faith that anyone, anywhere could ever muster.

Somebody created the foundations of the world. Likewise, evolution is obvious. No master designer would create a prototype and then not improve upon it with detail and subtleties.

We have one unique job in life–and that is to recognize that just because we’ve been deposited into a foreign environment and it feels welcoming, does not mean that we are to remain there.

We must evolve to where we can grow. I had no life in the haven of liquid. I just had temporary reassurance.

  • My purpose was on land.
  • I could only grow on land.
  • I could only succeed on land.
  • I could only be happy on land.

To achieve my next place of expansion, I had to swim–because without swimming, I would eventually sink.

What feels secure is rarely the answer. There’s a certain amount of swimming against the tide that is necessary in order for us to land … where we belong.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

As It Relates… March 16, 2013


Sharing personal stories with people to let them know we understand their plight, is a good thing–until we steal from them the much-needed moment in the spotlight they deserve during their hour of need. For after all, there are times that each one of us must blow off steam and believe that our particular predicament is unique, special and not exactly like a thousand other things that somebody else has been through before.

The conclusion? We need to realize that life is not here to be analyzed as it “relates to me” nearly so much as it is to be compassionately approached “as it relates.

I don’t want to confuse you here. Let me give you an example.

I’ve had an epiphany this year on the issue of killing. Just for the record, I’ve never been in favor of it, but I have realized that as it relates to me, there are times I have felt that killing was necessary or even noble in order to achieve a perceived good. The truth of the matter is, killing leaves something dead. And something dead is no longer relatable in this life passage and can no longer be redeemed.

This is not a good thing.

But if I just dealt with it as it “relates to me,” I would think that as long as I wasn’t involved in murderous plots, or supporting the demise of other human beings, I should be all right. However, I have come to realize that all killing stems from violence. I also became aware that I was allowing some violence into my life via my entertainment choices and even sometimes my reading material.

It begged the question: why do I have any intrigue with violence, which is a precursor for killing?

It was a great question. It made me realize that I allowed violent entertainment choices into my life as a release for some of my frustrations. I knew I wasn’t going to kill anyone–but allowing myself to watch some violence was a “quick fix” to appeasing some of my own personal frustrations, and even, God forbid, some vendettas. So here we go.

So I found myself on a mission not merely to analyze killing as it relates to me, but also as it relates to life as a whole.

So what was causing me to be frustrated? That answer also came back pretty quickly: things I didn’t like, things that were displeasing to me and things that seemed to be out of my control. They were never spoken aloud by me, but instead, buried deep in my heart, causing me to become resentful and frustrated.

My heart was impure. Wow. So because my heart was impure, it produced some frustration that allowed me to tolerate violence and lessened my revulsion to killing.

Gosh, I didn’t like that. So what could I do to get a purer heart?

I came to the conclusions that my heart was so clouded because sometimes I lacked the will and fortitude to say “yes” when I needed to say “yes” and to just flat-out say “no” when I needed to say “no.” I was doing many things because I felt I should, because somebody wanted me to or it was the requirement of my generation. Just simply saying yes to the good things I wanted and no to the things I didn’t enhanced my whole disposition.

So looking at my viewing habits on television just as they relate to me, I would have insisted that they were a choice, relaxation or fluff, if you will. But when I took the time to relate them to the world around me, the problems in our time and the history of human interaction, I saw that I was becoming more accepting of killing because I had made myself open to violence–brought on by my own unresolved frustrations because I didn’t have a pure heart about so many things I was doing–incapable of saying yes to the “yes stuff” and no to the “no stuff.”

It really opened my eyes. More accurately, it opened my heart. If we only see the world as it relates to us, we will always find a way to justify our actions as we simultaneously criticize the same attributes in others. It makes us hypocrites.

But if we relate our lives to the truths, the power, the joys, the contentment and the peace of mind that exists from the foundations of the world, we will learn so much more about who we are–and therefore will be much more compassionate in helping others.

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

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