It’s My Party … July 29, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1958)

party hatI went to a party last night.

Some of you might not consider it to be that type of gathering–perhaps not festive enough for your taste. For instance, there was no alcohol. Nobody was smoking. As far as I know, the only pills popped were four Tylenol–by me, for my achy knees.

Laughing was available but not because somebody made a funny bodily noise and because the joint was inebriated everybody burst into guffaws. People at this party laughed just because things were funny.

There was no big stereo system in the corner, piping out the latest hits at ear-piercing decibels. Just music. Maybe to some people, simple music.

No huge buffet of food spread so that everybody could overeat as they complained about their waistlines, vowing to do better on the morrow.

No one was getting high–except for the fact that spiritually, they were being filled … as promised by their heavenly Father.

Yet it was quite a party. The kind where designated drivers were not demanded. Part of the joy was reveling behind your wheel about the fun you had.

It wasn’t even a party of friends who had known each other for years, so comfortable with one another that they can resort to personal insults and call it “poking fun.” No, most of the people at my party were strangers to each other except for embracing ideas like brotherhood, love, peace and joy.

  • The world has its own way of doing things.
  • The world lets you think that you’re an individual and your opinions are welcome–until you dare to disagree with the mentality of the mob.
  • The world is more than happy to have you in its conclave as long as you don’t excel too much, step out of the box or dare to suggest some sort of more righteous approach.
  • The world is selfish but hides behind the notion of “freedom for all.”
  • The world is uncaring but tries to take the sting of that revelation away by offering you a “swig.”
  • The world preaches individuality yet extols and advertises conformity.

It’s not that my party was better than the party down the street, where they drink, smoke, carouse and curse. It’s just that after a party is over, what remains becomes our lives. We can either have memories of tender thoughts filtering through our minds, enlightening us, or a series of regrets that we try to assuage by going to the next party.

“In the world you have tribulation.” That’s what Jesus said.

So once the world realizes that everything will be in a constant state of upheaval, it tries to intoxicate itself and warm in a blanket of self-love.

Jesus said this was not a good idea. He said the only way to handle the uncertainty of this world is to “be of good cheer.”

Start a party in your emotions.

Invite your spirit.

Welcome your mind.

And encourage your strength.

I went to a party. I wake up this morning rejuvenated, not hung over. I wake up this morning with everything the world promises me from its party–individuality, freedom and acceptance.

Those waking up from the party held by the world are lamenting it’s over and hoping that another one will come soon, to take away some of the confusion and pain.

Thanks to Faith Lutheran.

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Overreaction … January 18, 2013

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BushmasterSlight traces of mercury are found in apple juice in containers from Upper State New York. As a precaution, a nationwide recall is made of all apple juice, not only from that particular company, but also from all distributors for a season, to ensure the public safety.

An overreaction.

A report is made that a razor blade is found in apples given out at Halloween to children near Cleveland, Ohio. A warning is broadcast across the nation via the media, informing parents of this danger. So many of these loving individuals take their children’s candy to the local hospital, where free inspections and X-rays of the treats are made available. Other parents (including yours truly) make sure they comb through every piece of sweet so that their children will not be damaged. It ends up being an isolated incident, in one case in one community.

So all the concern was certainly an overreaction.

Arsenic is discovered in several capsules of Tylenol near Chicago, Illinois. Within hours, all Tylenol products are pulled off the shelves, quarantined and put to the test, to make sure the public is protected from this poisonous outbreak. Once again, it was limited to that single store.

One might consider this an overreaction.

In the Pacific Northwest, ecoli turns up in some fresh spinach, making several people ill and causing the death of one. Within twenty-four hours, all fresh spinach is removed from the produce aisles, to shield us all from what turns out to be a very narrow spectrum of danger.

Likewise, toys that came from China had tiny particles of lead in the paint, forcing concerned parties to cease accepting shipments and to physically take all such products off the shelves.

An overreaction?

And now, twelve years later, we are still removing our shoes, having all of our possessions radiated and even being frisked at airports because of what happened on September 11th, 2001. Simultaneously, due to that tragedy, a Patriot Act was quickly voted into place, which limited freedoms and allowed for personal intrusions into our lives when it was deemed necessary to guard the common good.

An overreaction?

The truth of the matter is, if tomorrow’s news cycle generated a story in which a young man in Atlanta, Georgia, threw a coconut cream pie at one of his fellow-students in the cafeteria at Oglethorpe High School, in a matter of just a few hours, coconut cream pies would be removed from all cafeterias in our schools, deemed a recent danger. An investigation would be set into motion to determine when and how the treat could be returned to the menu.

Certainly an overreaction.

Yet when the Newtown Twenty-six were lying in their own blood in an elementary school, the American public, rather than producing a righteous overreaction by ceasing further commerce in the matter of weapons, ammunition and insisting on a full investigation of the kind of mental illness that produces such a macabre fiasco–yes, instead of this NORMAL overreaction that Americans would grant to a bunch of suspected spinach, the public instead went out and bought more guns than they ever have before–especially interested in the assault rifle used by the assailant who murdered our children.

No overreaction. Really no debate.

We are settling for a contentious conversation about how we can continue to be mediocrely prepared for such mayhem, while continuing to put an amendment in first place, which should be secondary to human lives.

Do I have this right? Spinach and Tylenol can be blamed in entirety for delivering ecoli and arsenic, which is not in the original makeup. But guns get a free pass simply because normally they sit on a shelf, waiting to be used. If spinach and Tylenol are blamed for producing a few deaths when they are completely innocent, guns must take their turn.

The only way for us to prove that we are serious about stopping violence in this country is to generate an overreaction, demanding a thirty-day moratorium on the sale of any weapons. It would speed up the process of our debate–because certainly the gun sellers would want to expedite a conclusion–and it would show that we have as much concern for our children’s safety from bullets as we do from ecoli.

The absence of this is the presence of a nationwide insanity, riddled with hypocrisy, which renders us at the mercy of an instrument that has a trigger on it, which can be pulled by anyone at anytime.

I am not against guns. I am against guns until we find out how we can keep them in the possession of the common citizen without putting the general citizenry in jeopardy.

And please do not quote the Second Amendment to me unless you’ve taken a moment to read it. The Second Amendment allows for a militia, which, if you move ahead to current time, would be the police force. I have no problem with policemen having automatic weapons. And by the way, the Second Amendment has already been infringed upon–because it allows citizens to BEAR arms. Most states have laws against walking around toting a pistol. You have to have a carrying permit, which after all, is the government infringing on your rights.

This is not a states’ rights issue. This is not about personal freedom. It is about the necessity we have as intelligent people to overreact when we realize … that a bit of hell is threatening our heaven.

It is time for an overreaction to violence. It is our responsibility to give the Newtown Twenty-six a decent burial and memory by taking more than five minutes to commemorate the loss, but instead, honoring these casualties by making sure that they … are the last ones.

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