Jesonian: Order of Importance… June 1, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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jesus in a fieldThere is the smell of “stale God” in the air.

It stinks.

The odious cloud has risen from a thousand misunderstood scriptures, ten thousand meaningless sermons and a million converts sitting around thinking that saying a prayer or munching on Holy Eucharist does anything of lasting quality.

Maybe it’s just this American attitude that everything is important, which makes us end up giving undue attention to the least effective path to progress.

I will tell you this–I’ve read the Gospels many times, and it doesn’t take much perusing to discover that Jesus had an order of importance when it came to human living. It may astound some of the faithful to discover that he doesn’t give prominence to prayer, fasting, church attendance or Bible reading. He assumed that we should just do those things on our own time, without any pomp and circumstance, to help us energize the things that are important.

From my discovery, these are the five that keep us alive:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

I remember when I was ten years old, I sat down and picked out my favorite army men. After that I never played with the others. I lost out on some great toys. The same thing happens when we pick our favorite people.

2. Don’t judge people.

Drawing conclusions makes ugly pictures and jumping to conclusions always lands you in a mud puddle.

3. “Give and it shall be given unto you.”

If you happen to be going through some lean times, you might want to fatten up your generosity. Human beings are led by example.

4. Don’t be a hypocrite.

Nobody expects anybody else to be perfect. But we do require honesty about faults.

5. Go the second mile.

Life is not meant to be easy; otherwise, lazy people would soon be in charge. It’s in the second mile of effort that we discover the treasures of our own perseverance and the mysteries of human life.

I can guarantee you that whatever afterlife awaits us will have little to do with piety or sanctimonious practices. But if you pursue these important things, you will find that whatever is awaiting us is merely a continuation of the joy we have found in our magical five.

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As It Relates… March 16, 2013

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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.

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