Now I want to leave you all a note before you read this. At first glance it might seem incredibly offensive, and while it’s not meant to be, you could still struggle with what I’m getting at. I would suggest you pay attention to the meanings of the vocabulary I make use of, and I hope that you can appreciate a different perspective on this very serious and very sensitive subject.
A languish luxury
of the First World kind.
Afforded to those
that have the time,
to sit and think
to laugh and rhyme,
with every convenience
that makes life sublime.
They reside in the west,
men and women, depressed.
Leaving their coddled shell
feels like a difficult climb
even when there are stairs
but they would complain,
“They are covered in slime!”
and it feels like grime.
a languish luxury
of the First World kind.
Just finished my first journal, and I wanted to share the final entry with you all. So here it is.
Currently I find myself seated on a rock that is on top of the world. It’s past noon, the sun is beginning to sink in the sky. It’s November and I’m on a mountain. This is a special mountain. I’ve slept on it. In fact, a little over three years ago, I shared communion with a few of my friends: Tyler, Ryan, Cody, Drew and Jake. It was an adventure I’ll likely never forget, and as we sat where I sit now, we broke bread, passed a bottle of grape juice around, gave thanks and enjoyed the landscape in good company. Today I’m seated with Tyler. We’re reminiscing, but also eager and afraid of the future. We have the choices we’ve made, those we are currently making and a whole lot more to make in the years ahead. Choices that don’t matter, choices that do matter. A whole bunch of them. As I continue to write, I find myself drifting back and forth between the future I find myself to be so concerned with and this moment. The weather here is perfect. Every so often, a gust of wind passes over the rock and chills my fingers to the bone, but between those moments I feel the gentle caress of the sun’s warmth. It’s amazing how I can hear the wind swirling about in the trees so far off before it finally reaches me and knocks the pages around over and over again. It is tranquil here – between the quiet conversations of the other hikers, and the laughs Tyler and I share every few minutes, I can say for a moment, I am satisfied. I wouldn’t want to finish this journal in any other state of mind. Right here and now, I feel right.
I was considering writing about politics, but I don’t feel its necessary to fill your heads with more hatred and anger (but Gary Johnson for president!). I felt it more appropriate to discuss the power of relationships.
This week I got into an argument with one of my best friends. I’ve known this guy since I began Elementary school. He and I didn’t really become friends until high school, but currently he’s one of my closest buds. The argument was pretty childish and was started by me – I gave a selfish response to him after he had shared something quite serious with me. I didn’t even stop to consider his feelings, so I shared my own. While my comment was true and I still believe it needed to be said, the timing was all wrong. I didn’t give him any good graces, I just said what I wanted him to hear, and it was all about me.
I think many times in our lives, we find ourselves being a lesser man (or woman) because we want to get our word in. We disregard what the other person says. We care only for our input. What we ought to do, is respect our fellow man, listen to what he has to say and do our best to sympathize with them. If we cannot properly empathize, the least we can do is try to put ourselves in their shoes and love them.
Many times, I have attributed the human condition to our selfishness, and I’ll likely stand by that till the day I die. If you make life about your struggle, your expectations and your achievements, you’re going to lose out every single time.
Our calling is much higher than ourselves, we’ve been called with a mandate to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I’d argue this is absolutely the hardest thing anyone can stand to do because if you take a look at who your neighbor is, you might be disgusted. When Jesus presents the lawyer with the Parable of the Good Samaritan, he is literally calling him to love those he has complete hatred for. The Samaritans were completely resented by the Jewish community – they were the enemy. Jesus told a lawyer to go and love someone he ought to hate.
What does that mean for today? Who is our enemy? Who hates Americans as much as we hate them? Fill in the blanks yourself. Either way, we are called to love them.
Now, my friend is obviously not my enemy, but I need practice loving my enemies as well as I love my friends don’t I? If I can’t love my neighbor that is closest to me, how can I expect to love my enemies well? This kind of love is meant to be given without condition. Love is a choice we make, and it is far more than a feeling of affection. Love is work. It sounds impractical and even insane, but it is Heaven’s Mandate, it is Humankind’s Great Commission.