G-6: Life or Strife?… January 10, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog


Gas, food and lodging.

These are the three items that I place at the top of my budget each and every week. I guess I’m not alone. Without these, we find it difficult to be secure, comforted and intricately involved in the process of human development.

Matter of fact, there are three elements necessary for life to exist at all–chemical energy, water and light. Without this trio of forces, life–well, at least life as we know it–cannot exist.

  • So chemical energy is like gas, fueling the possibility for growth and procreation.
  • Water is like food, feeding the endeavor
  • And light is like lodging, wherein we find our relaxation and sense of well-being.

Here’s what happens: when you mess with these three, human beings have a tendency to immediately leap from a cheerful pursuit of life into strife. When we don’t have what is necessary to breed a sense of growth, we shrink to darker corners, first becoming apathetic, then sullen and finally, vindictive.

Yet at the same time, we have a tendency in our present culture to deny the basics of life to the human family and then wonder why we end up with so much controversy, debate, anger and bigotry.

What is missing from the elixir of life in our present day?

1. We don’t mix our chemicals correctly.arguing

For instance, men and women were never created to be at odds with each other. They are interlocking portions of a human creation which requires understanding, interaction and meaningful dialogue. When you tamper with that natural order of communication and insist that it should be adversarial, you create strife. Once we have strife between men and women, it is an easy slide to establishing prejudices regarding other differences.

2. We’re taking the water out of life.

In some sort of bizarre adventure to promote the unseemly and dark areas of people-thinking, we have eliminated what keeps us wet and excited. Much as we may insist that we are absorbed in the macabre and the sinister, human emotions are actually starved for tenderness, mercy, understanding and acceptance. Where we need to have “rivers of life,” we’re purposefully drying things out, leaving  deserts.

3. And finally, we’re turning off the light.

If there is a possibility of finding a bleak representation of current facts, we will be given those little anecdotes instead of examples of goodness and purity winning the day. Here’s a case in point:

Adolph bunkerIn 1940 it appeared as if Adolph Hitler was unstoppable. A dark cloud of evil prejudice and domination encompassed the earth. People were scampering in horror. Our great nation was hiding in a corner, trying to avoid any conflict with this monster from middle Europe.

Yet it lasted for only five more years–and declining at that. Perhaps the greatest war-machine villain, hater of God and man, who scared little children and made great leaders of nations shiver in their boots, was found dead, under the ground in a bunker, frightened to death himself.

So I’m confused. Why do we promote evil so strongly, trying to douse the light of hope, when historically, truth seems to eventually have its day?

If you don’t have the elements of life, which are water, light and chemical energy, just like if you don’t have your gas, food and lodging, insecurity will enter your soul, and you will find yourself abrasively pursuing strife instead of life.

I guess it depends on whether you want to plant the seed of possibilityor merely investigate that which is seedy.

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

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

Running out of Gas(tonia) … December 3, 2012


Mewhat I think I can do.

Mywhat I actually can do.

Minewhere I end up doing it.

Always remember: frustration is the residue from unrealistic expectation. There are certainly human maladies that cannot be healed by a change of attitude, but frustration and despair certainly are self-induced–because we have overestimated our self-worth.

I experienced that this weekend. Even though I find myself in a wheelchair, the rest of the world is not so bound nor inclined to be terribly sympathetic. Stairs are everywhere, walking is a must and weakness is viewed with pity instead of admiration.

So when I looked at my schedule and realized that I had three shows to do from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon, which would include three separate set-ups, tear-downs and travel from place to place through the countryside of North Carolina, it seemed feasible in my mind because my brain temporarily became confused and thought I was twenty-two again.

I am not. I am healthy and still strong but require supplements of relaxation and naps to fuel the engine. I had none of those this week-end.

So it came down to whether I would be able to fulfill my mission and do justice to the lovely people who had gathered to hear what I have to offer. Fortunately, I learned a lesson many years ago–really, a very simple formula for success. Let me lay it out for you in three steps:

  1. Trim your self-worth.
  2. Multiply your talents.
  3. Go the second mile.

One of our biggest problem as human beings is that we over-exaggerate our abilities and don’t adequately compare them to the greater talents of others. It’s a mistake. In the pursuit of having confidence, which our culture touts as an essential for possessing fruitfulness, we end up with an inventory of our particular attributes and abilities that is far beyond reality. Trim your self-worth.

It doesn’t hurt to play down what you can do, because exceeding your promised package is only pleasing to other people. For instance, I was so happy on Saturday night when our sponsor told me that she was “really anticipating a great show–but this evening exceeded my expectations.”  Aha. There you go.

Now, here’s the double punch. Once you trim your self-worth, then start working on multiplying your talents to bring some surprises to those around you, who felt that maybe you had reached your limit. When I rolled up to the church Sunday morning, there were six steps to get into the sanctuary, with no ramp for my wheelchair whatsoever. The dear-hearted pastor of the church was wondering if they were going to need to carry me up the stairs. Since I have no Caesar complex, I rose from my wheelchair and ascended the tiny mountain on my own, with the aid of the sturdy handrail. They didn’t know I could do that–but it was a talent I needed for that moment and have worked to maintain for just such an occasion.

You have to multiply your talents or you become so predictable that humanity just might find you boring and then you could be silly and become offended.

Finally, there is a place we think we should be, but it is never where we end up. Even though I worked really hard this weekend, I found myself in front of about 150 to 200 people. A case could be made that I could have encountered more folks simply by setting up my equipment at the Kannapolis bus station. But since that was neither available nor even a pleasant thought, I ended up where I ended up. I don’t resent it. I don’t wish I was somewhere else. I don’t feel slighted. I feel blessed to have anybody give an ear to my thoughts.

Because of that, I can come in and give those people a show I would be proud to put on Broadway or network television. It is my second mile. I never perform for the size of the room. I always perform for the size of my faith.

You will find yourself running out of gas even in Gastonia, North Carolina if you get your “me, my and mine” out of whack. But if you take the time to trim your self-worth as you multiply your talents, accept where life has sent you and go the second mile, you not only will be valuable to the world around you, but you will be endowed with a giddy feeling of satisfaction–such as fills my soul on this morning.

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

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