Sit Down Comedy … October 11th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4194)

Sit Down Comedy

I sat and listened quietly, almost mouse-like, as two fellows in their early thirties launched into a great debate, right before my ears, about whether the Joker, as presented in the latest film, would actually be as murderous as predicted.

The discussion became vehement, nearly volatile. Each one of the fine fellows was certain that he had a pinpoint understanding on the true character, if not mental profile, of the villain.

Internally I was smiling.

The truth is, they both could be right since the Joker is a fictitious character.

Yes—you can conjure almost any scenario about him you want in the pursuit of advertising your theory or feathering your nest with ticket sales.

Likewise, of late I have sat in the presence of my Republican and Democrat brothers and sisters as they have mused over whether Jesus would agree with some portion of their political piety. But you see, here’s the problem–in this second discussion between the politicians, they fail to remember that unlike the Joker, Jesus was not a mythical figure.

There is some actual historical confirmation of his life, quite a few renditions of his thinking, and even a record of his untimely demise, recorded for all time by the fastidious Roman Empire.

It is much more difficult to turn Jesus of Nazareth into a mascot rooting for your team.

The Republicans may want to make him conservative as the Democrats profile him as liberal, but the fact of the matter is:

Jesus was Jesonian.

He had a way of thinking, doing, being, believing, loving, caring and moving.

If you choose to study these motions and imitate them, then you might be able to call yourself a Christian. But if you’re going to ignore the biographical information available and the obvious choices he made as a human being, you may pretend he is a mythical being, but it will be very easy to prove his timeline.

Let’s be clear:

Jesus never claimed that he was “Almighty” or “a stable genius.”

He also did not profile himself to be the preacher for the poor—out to get the top one percent of rich folks.

He didn’t rail against abortion and demand that people sacrifice their free will.

But of course, he did favor children, and said they were “like the kingdom of heaven.”

Yet rather than going through a litany of issues that have been placed upon his shoulders as burdens to carry, let’s look at two things we do know about him, based upon his own words and actions:

1. On a fine afternoon, when approached by a rich, young ruler, who addressed him as “Good Master,” Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? There’s none good but God.”

Now, Jesus had done enough kindly deeds, and dare we say, even merciful acts of miraculous proportions, to have absorbed up the word “good” without seeming to be puffed up.

But you see, he didn’t.

He portrayed that one of the great frailties of human thinking is to believe, promote and toot your horn as you trumpet your goodness to the populace.

Once again, he refused to call himself good.

2. Talking to his disciples one morning, he said, “When you’ve done that which is expected of you, call yourself an unprofitable servant.”

This was certainly an unpopular position with folks around the world who wanted to feel persecuted, let down, set aside or ignored.

Jesus made it clear that if you’re not excelling, you’re bitching.

So when it comes to those Republicans who love to talk about how great our nation is or what mighty deeds are being achieved, how they’re “the deciders,” or even how exceptional we are as a country…

Don’t get ready for Jesus to show up at the rally.

He kept his perspective.

Human beings don’t gain any power by insisting they have it.

There’s none good but God.

And for all my Democrat buddies out there, who think the bad rich people who have made money are the reason that the poor folks are unmotivated, broken, selfish and begging, they should take another gander at what Jesus really promotes before they dress him up in his blue robe and roll him out at the Convention. For Jesus said, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself. If you do what you’re supposed to do, that doesn’t even get you in the door.”

Set your GPS for the second mile.

Now, if you like this statement of Jesus, I would invite you to join me and a chosen few in living it out joyfully. If you don’t, then hang around.

There’ll be an elephant or a donkey along real soon to carry you to the voting booth.

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Just Say Great… May 1, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2219)

American Idol contestantThe contestants line up to offer their small-town, country-fair talent contest versions of popular songs in front of judges who have illustrious careers but still are looking for ways to create a bit more “sheen.”

And then it’s time for the critique.

We call it American Idol. But actually, it’s merely a few notches above the Rotary Club’s talent search at a local high school. And the critiques rarely offer any legitimate criticism.

Why? Because they can’t.

Between a booing audience, which thinks any offering of correction is mean-spirited, and the singers, themselves, who deflate like cheap balloons whenever anything is suggested that doesn’t end up with the affirmation, “you’re great,” the individuals who have been selected to move the show forward and find talented, excellent artists, are tied up and thrown into a corner and told to shut up.

We, as Americans, have become obsessed with our former greatness, which we insist is still intact. Every comment, suggestion, notion or even fresh idea has to be cushioned with the preface: “Of course, this isn’t any big deal. You’re already great. But maybe you might like to try something new.”

We seem to be almost comatose in the face of the reality that as of later this fall, for the first time in over 150 years, the economy of China will become the number one commerce in the world. Not since 1871 has the United States been eclipsed.

Yet if you offer this observation or even put forth the assertion that there is room for improvement, the masses will stare at you in disbelief and say, “You’re not saying we aren’t great, right?”

What I am saying is that greatness does not require praise, but rather, opportunity.

There are three cardinal principles located in the gospel I follow which launch a human being in the direction of success, enhanced by individuality:

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit.

It is the admission that I am not naturally good. Because I’m not. I want to cut corners. I would cheat if I could get away with it. I want to blame other people for my mistakes and I don’t want to hear criticism.

2. I am an unprofitable servant.

The message here is that even when I have done well, I need to realize that I am not naturally better. Better is something that comes my way when I admit my need, make adequate adjustments and receive the benefit of my repentance.

3. Go the second mile.

I am not naturally excellent, either. I have a tendency to spend my time asking an abundance of questions about what is necessary to fulfill the commitment instead of blowing past the competition and guaranteeing myself placement.

You know what the power is of going the second mile? You are a mile ahead. That means if you want to rest, slow down or push forward–getting further distance between you and the competition–you have that choice. No one is nipping at your heels and the only thing you have to compare to is the quality of your own work.

Shows like American Idol are frustrating, but also enlightening because they portray how far we’ve fallen from the pinnacle of passion.

Even though it seems to be popular to insist on being called “great” when you’ve barely shown up for the race and slid on your sneakers–please, don’t do that for me.

I will set a standard and if I find that standard is not up to the par of what is required, I will push myself joyously to escape the criticism that I know my spirit will not handle well.

Sooner or later America must understand that if we allow other nations to supersede us economically, they will gain a voice in our world which will control the spirituality and emotions of our planet–when they may not be worthy of such a calling.

We are still a nation that believes that all men are created equal.

But the purpose of that creation is to strive towards excellence, taking pride in the sweat of our brow instead of sitting around, waiting for the next affirming statement to our self-esteem.

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