|Preach to me, or just watch me breathe
||[Nov. 11th, 2009|08:16 pm]
Good evening, hope all is well with you as you are reading this. It's kind of weird that I'm writing this sentence about wishing well to you before you even reads this. It's kind of like what I'm writing now, at this very moment, wont even take affect until someone reads it. It wont mean anything unless there is someone to wish well. Weird thought, I know, but still crossed my mind. I'm weird like that, ha!|
This weekend (Friday to be particular, which technically is not a weekend) I had to go to a training in Salem for work. Nothing new there. Since I've gotten this job (which I am so grateful for and am truly enjoying) I have had to take many trips to Salem in order to attend required trainings. They're usually pleasant enough. However, this last one I attended proved to be quite different from the rest.
It was called something like "cultural competency and diversity." I cannot recall the exact title. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. While I sat there and listened to our class dialogue about the topic a million thoughts crossed my mind. It was only an 8, or so, hour class, but it managed to leave an impression on me that lasted far beyond that. As a matter of fact I'm still thinking about it. It's inspired me.
The class, as one could guess, had to do with learning how broad diversity is and how we have to be accepting of others regardless of our own convictions. This topic always dances a fine line with me in terms of acceptance vs. tolerance. I'm only 24, but I've come to conclusions on many things in life. There are some things I will not compromise and there are other things where I'm up for negotiating. I still welcome new ideas and explanations, but for some things...I will not buckle down.
Anyway, I liked this class because it stretched my mind. I'm at a place in life where I'm learning to look at the "bigger picture." There are things I'll write, say, do, (intentionally and unintentionally) that will make some people mad, or offend them. I used to let the thought of hurting someone bug me so much so that I would compromise my beliefs and let down my guard. Well, it's not like I'm perfect and have lost the ability to make mistakes, but I can say that I've learned a few things about letting "wanting to be accepted" get to me. Life is short, too short to hold back. Look at the news, people are always dieing.
That's not really surprising, I mean it's going to happen to us all. I guess the timing and the way some people have died are what's shocking to me. This isn't a letter about death though. The point to me is just that life is short no matter how you look at it. There's always "should've" "could've" "would've" or "wish I didn't" Even so...the show must go on so to speak. We are still here for the time being.
Every single day is an attempt to turn this world upside down for me. I am not here to simply make money, drink mochas and die. Although I enjoy these activities it is not the "legacy" I'd like to leave behind. My hope of there being a Starbucks in heaven is absolutely nothing when compared to the real meaning of having two lungs to breathe. Have you ever thought about that? Not what people think about you, but how you lived life? I think about it often. Obviously. I think it's what I address most in my writings.
Don't get me wrong, what people think truly matters because it is often times a representation of something deeper. There's a reason people say the things they do about others. Sometimes it's to be mean, sometimes it's to be loving, sometimes it's out of peer pressure, whatever. It still happens, it's life. At the same time you've got to have something to measure other people's words by...or else we would all just go crazy. We're all such individuals. That's what this class was mostly addressing. Our diversity within ourselves, not just what we look like on the outside.
I'm always thinking of ways to be a Christian that shows love ya know? I really do love people. Showing love like Jesus did. There are a lot of times I can get caught up in that trap of thinking that I'm seriously any different then the next person. Ok, we are all different from each other, but I mean that comment in a different way. For instance, I have an ability to make mistakes like anyone else; I have the ability to feel just like anyone else; I have the ability to think just like anyone else; I make choices like everyone else...and so on.
Thinking this way is what made me realize that God is what made the difference. The salvation is what's different. It's not like I never say a curse word, and it's not as if I haven't gotten overly angered with someone. I don't know where the world got the idea that people who love God are transformed in to someone who cannot make a wrong move. The entire world has not adopted this way of thinking, but there are clearly some who do, and I just don't understand that. You say you love Jesus and are often watched by ones who will call you out if you fail in any way, shape, or form. Then you might get called a "liar" or told you are not really representing God in a good way. Really, if people depended on me to see who God is then I'll just turn in my time card right now. I am not the one, people. I was died for not lived for, and it wasn't something I achieved through anything I did. It was out of love.
Well then why bother doing anything different as a Christian I asked myself? I'll be forgiven if I ask for it and truly want it so seriously what's the point here? I mean if we are all so different who am I to say what is wrong and what is right.? Then I ask myself what is the point of having a God if I'm just going to choose what is "good," what is "bad?" blah blah blah and do my own thing? It was kind of like an "oh, that's way" moment. Thinking that I had all the answers left no room to let God be God.
In terms of diversity I was wondering "well what if someone does something that is wrong, but maybe they don't see it that way?" They're just diverse; they're just different from me? Who really enjoys being told what to do all the time anyway? We refer to that as preaching right? Isn't that slightly annoying at times? Well sure it is we're only human.
On the other hand silence will kill. What we choose to hold back has no choice, but to be invisible, and be forced to find some other way to get out. Like a pot boiling over. It will continue to boil until whatever liquid is in it is evaporated in to air, but it has to do something. It doesn't just boil forever.
Moving right along, here's the jist. I want to be loving and accepting of people like God is no matter how diverse they are. I want to do it in the right way. I've written it before, there is a difference between truth and opinion. Clearly some things are wrong. I don't like it any more than the next person. There are days where I wish I was able to do certain things and not feel about it, but that's not the case. I didn't make the rules, I'm only trying my best to live them out.
There are friends I have who do things I know aren't right and I don't always say that. why? Hello, I'll feel bad. I don't want to hurt them or lose their love. So I'm torn at this point and I ask God "why do I have to risk hurting someone?" and "how can I let them know I love them, but what they're doing is not ok?" Here and there I feel like people are going to say "It's not wrong just because I think so"
So far I've realized that things, anything, can be said in a loving way. Also, doesn't matter how, or what you do/say you might just be destined to hurt someone if you call them out on something. And...that's the risk we make isn't it? It doesn't mean you don't love someone. I've had that happen. People say things, I get hurt, pull away from them type-of-thing. However, you know what's interesting...? I have always wanted to come back to those people and let them know that I'm glad they said something, or I'm at least able to understand. Interesting.
I look at the bigger picture once again and have to accept that this road isn't perfectly set up. It's one day at a time while keeping the goal in mind. "Treat people individually" while realizing we're all human. We're all different/diverse/unique and should be loved. There will always be questions of "who, what where when why how how long?" There is right and wrong. Nobody ever said it would be any different. It is the reality of life. It's important to listen to what is really being said, and not what we think we heard.
I''ll continue to rip apart life until I get to the end. I will live the truth of God as best as I can. I am going to fall back, make mistakes, and be kicked down, but I'm not going to lay down and wait to die.
Rock on, homies ;) :P :)