Sit Down Comedy … December 28th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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This is not a present.

This is a box which has been carefully wrapped in gorgeous paper, surrounded with an immaculate bow. Christmas present

We have no idea what’s inside.

We are led to believe that because it was wrapped so fastidiously that the contents are valuable.

But we don’t know. We can’t even guess. It could be a box of dog poop. It could hold nothing at all–or worse, it could be a juicer.

We have grown accustomed to calling things that are wrapped tightly and made to look attractive…

Well, we call them presents. Or gifts.

They are not. They are actually worthless until we tear them apart and find out what’s inside.

This, pictured below, is a real present:


As you can see, the paper is not impressive. The wrapping job is passable. But inside is value. Obvious value.

It might not even have been the first present you opened on Christmas morning, figuring because it was so bland or ugly, that it came from a long-lost aunt who picked it up at a convenience store on Christmas Eve to cover her butt.

So while you’re opening all the pretty presents bound up with bows, this one sits in the corner–containing the greatest quality.

Our society wraps us up, having no idea of the value of the people we meet.

We judge on appearance.

We evaluate on how concisely people have put their lives together.

We look at the things that surround them to determine their value.

We are often wrong. I will go so far as to say that more often than not we are wrong.

Then…

Every once in a while, we find that plainly wrapped gift, bound with twine. When we break our prejudice and decide to open it, we are astounded at the content.

So, I am no longer participating in the fashion show of human boxes we are required to climb into in order to be acceptable for a society that doesn’t know what the hell it’s doing.

I will do you a favor. I will not hide my soul. I will not disguise my talents. And also, I will not flaunt my humility.

But I will come… unwrapped.

 

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Drawing Attention … December 19th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Christmas Addition

(tap the picture to see the video)

art by smarrttie panntts

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Published in: on December 19, 2018 at 3:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Good News and Better News… December 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-christmas-morning

 

My Christmas morning:

  • Four tiny little ones
  • One twelve-year-old
  • A teenager
  • Eighteen adults
  • And six dogs marauding about, sniffing at presents.

It was all held in a lovely, but somewhat square-footage-impaired house in East Nashville.

Although most people consider Christmas to be a holiday season which they either enjoy or complain about trying to get through, I contend that Christmas is a microcosm of life as it should be. It’s a collision of giving and receiving, organizing and finding yourself surprised by a slip-up, and having a crunch of humanity around you which requires you to be open-minded and willing to adapt.

For instance, in the course of our morning, well over a hundred presents were opened.

Also, one of the young men decided to use it as an occasion to propose marriage to his girlfriend–an amazing precedent.

And there were moments of silliness followed by junctures of tenderness, concluding with decisions to stay energetic enough to survive the gauntlet.

The adults made themselves flexible to appreciate toys opened by Santa believers and the subtleties of certain gifts which needed to be explained because they only had significance to the recipient.

Then, in the midst of the festivities and the brunch following, we discovered that one of the guests just lost his grandma. She had passed away in her sleep.

Quiet–and amazing it was how quickly it settled on the room, even among the children. A time to feel and consider the magnitude of such a departure.

Tears.

Gentleness.

Allowing ourselves to transition from one emotion to another without trauma or drama, to return to eating and enjoying one another as life insisted on pushing forward. I heard one person declare the day a “miracle,” but actually, it’s the way our lives are meant to be lived: in abundance.

Abundant opportunities

Abundant problems

Abundant relationships

Abundant attempts

Abundant failures

Abundant successes

And abundant gratitude

The good news is that Christmas is a time for abundance.

The better news is that the baby in the manger came to give us life, and it more abundantly.

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G-Poppers… December 26, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

 

After the presents were opened, the children quickly disappeared to gather all their treasures for deep consideration of play-status preference.

An hour passes. The little ones begin to dribble back into the room. One of them asks G-Pop, “Are you sad Christmas is over?”

G-Pop: It’s not over until we say so. It doesn’t stop unless we cease to give. The songs are not silenced, waiting for another year. Bits and pieces of them are contained in every tune we sing. “Peace on earth” awaits champions. “Good will toward men” is the needed mission of every soul who chooses sanity.

The baby born stirs the child within us. The shepherds remind us that God is alive in our work. The angels recruit giddy believers, summoning the willing. The wise men keep us all chasing our dreams.

Christmas is ours and ours alone, if we will take rightful ownership and refuse to relinquish our deed.

It is a lifestyle, not a holiday.

It is yours and mine to possess … and release. 

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Decency and Order… December 26, 2012

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jass in recording studio

It was the first thing Jan asked me this morning. What did I think about yesterday’s Christmas celebration? That was easy to answer. Total, marvelous chaos.

Unfortunately, as people get older, they seem to deny the value of such an occurrence. They become like the Apostle Paul in the Book of Corinthians, who said, “Let everything be done in decency and order.”

What a priss. You gotta be kidding me. To achieve decency and order, you’d have to remove every human being from the room and every electronic piece of equipment that plugs into the wall. What you would have left is a bunch of microscopic organisms which you could not see, as they were being indecent and disorderly.

Our Christmas consisted of fifteen people in a room suited for eight, ranging in ages from five months to sixty-one years (and by the way, I was thinking about being cute by translating the sixty-one years into months, but it was too exhausting).

At no time was anything in control. Mingling torn paper with broken boxes, stocking candy everywhere and everyone’s personal preoccupation with their own gifts, decorum was abandoned in favor of basic survival. I wanted to be grumpy–partially because it’s my responsibility, as an aging American, to fill that position–and somewhat because my business sense told me that efficiency was being lost in moments of glee.

But since  Christmas morning has nothing to do with business nor is there any particular necessity to stifle glee, I laughed at myself, sat back and observed the process, occasionally participating in the fiasco with my own contribution of wild abandon.

Last night we had another situation during the evening meal, when one of the little tykes became very dissatisfied with the seating arrangements since he was not going to be able to sit next to his friend. He threw a fit in front of the whole gathering. Naturally, because we are all grown people who wanted to silence the racket as quickly as possible, the instinct was to give him his way, allowing him to sit anywhere he wanted so that the noise would cease and we could resume munching many calories.

But you see, that’s not the way it works. So instead, we made him sit where he didn’t want to sit but needed to sit, which caused him to launch into a rage and fury similar to a man heading for the gallows who knows deep in his heart that he’s innocent. It was very loud–so clamorous, matter of fact, that after a few moments it became funny. But because we decided to continue our lives over the top of the volcano of voice, he eventually calmed down and donned a sweeter disposition–mainly because he felt really stupid.

It was disruptive. It was loud. It was ill-contained, and it certainly would have pissed off the Apostle Paul, who would have insisted it was indecent and disorderly. Let’s be honest–nothing of quality is ever corralled. That’s just good horse sense.

Take our country, for instance. America is ugly. We do everything ugly. We brought slaves into the country ugly. We treated them ugly. We got rid of slavery ugly. We handled the issue of racial equality ugly. Can there be anything uglier than a Presidential election in America? The only “prosper-ers” are the television stations which make billions of dollars from the negative ads.

Evolution is a violent, often non-sensical process which offers no explanation, nor does it apologize for its scream.

I always get tickled when pastors of churches tell me that their congregation is run by committee. If we were going to invent something that would personify disorder, disruption and often meaningless behavior, it would have to be the committee.

No, we must be honest. Even though we get older and want to turn down the volume, it’s going to go up. The process of spirituality, growth, expansion, inclusion, equality, and freedom … is deafening.

And sitting with a room with people opening up Christmas presents who loved each other enough to get to the same locale but now have entered an “every man for himself” mode, is always going to be bizarre. I am determined to refuse to become the old man in the room who asks the children to calm down so his pacemaker won’t malfunction.

Life is chaos. If you agree with Brother Paul, that it should be in decency and order, be prepared to be on the wrong side of history. For after all, when God created the earth, the first review on His work was that the place He created was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

What a mess.

But you see, God’s not like us. He likes messes. Otherwise, how would you get a chance to clean things up?

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