Over the past few months I've grown more and more weary of many things I've grown up being surrounded by. After a few certain events transpired today I have decided to take action. I hereby am officially resigning from the following things.
I am officially resigning from hate. Relationships gone awry, people killing people, and people practicing domination through that double edged sword known as the tongue. These are the things that surround us. We live and practice these things and these things are no good. In the beginning, God chose to make man and woman in God's image. That means we ALL bear that image (regardless of whether or not we've coming running into Jesus' arms). By destroying one another, whether it be through verbal or physical means, we are severely tainting that image. In turn it has tarnished our image of God. If we were all to encourage, support, live, laugh, cry, and lay down our lives for one another just think of how much more clear our picture of God would be. What is even more beautiful is that God gives us glimpses of what it would look like if/when we all practice that profound sacrificial love Jesus displayed for us. In God's kingdom war will be studied no more, poverty will be eliminated, the tears and pain of this present life will be wiped away, and we will live together as brothers and sisters--no one dominating another. Instead, we will all submit to one another readily and will be participants in the sharing of the most profound love imaginable...the love of a good God who is overjoyed that his children have finally come home.
I am officially resigning from consumption (which has become synonymous with the american dream). I have begun to see that our collective pursuit of "more" has taken its toll on our world. Greed has taken over. Goods are becoming cheaper, more workers are being exploited, more of the earth is being raped of resources, more is being hoarded, more are going to bed starving, more is being thrown away, and more is being dumped in the poor's backyard. No longer are we content with the natural beauty of the world as our television, we want the latest and greatest gadget which steal us away from the things that have lasting beauty--God's good creation. We are meant to be together for real, not just online. We are meant to be alone from time to time, not always within a cell phone's reach. We are meant be irrevocably linked to the least of these, not leaving empty rooms while others sleep on the streets. We are meant to be present to the moment we find ourselves in, not thinking two appointments ahead. What we really need is to get back to the practice of contentment and simple joy. Play ball with someone, draw on sidewalks, jump rope, hug your parents, climb trees, and swim in lakes. Eat as a family and cherish the moments you get to spend with them, then thank God for the time you were able to spend with them after they have passed on. Be at peace and then exhume it to all you meet.
I am officially resigning from my own pursuits. Too long have i bought into the idea that i need to get ahead in this world. It stands contrary to everything Jesus lived. Growing up in a culture that promotes overtime, busyness, and individualism (do this and rise above your neighbor) has taken its toll on me. The allure of money and fame is strong, but the cost required to achieve those is great. Relationships move from genuine to strategic, good intentions turn into manipulation, and contentment gives way to an unquenchable drive. I always keep coming back to Jesus, who did not consider equality with God something to grasped, and so humbled himself and became a servant. He served and God exalted him. He brought many different people together and left behind an incredible family that is inclusive--crossing socioeconomic, ethnic, and gender lines. I have felt led little by little towards living life of solidarity with the poor because there is a unique opportunity to experience God in that place. God's heart throughout the scripture has been with the poor and oppressed and if our salvation is to be worked out together, then we get the privilege of being liberated together as well--from addiction, oppression, and poverty.
I am officially resigning from intellectualism. The pursuit of knowledge and truth is healthy, but can be easily perverted. Too quickly debates become heated. Too quickly we pounce on one another in an effort to prove we are right. Too quickly we assemble to discuss lofty concepts without any intent of action. History has proven that the privileged class in any given society usually ends up hoarding knowledge over those who are oppressed. People end up getting abused and exploited, usually without any means of defending themselves. Instead of hoarding, why not share ALL we have--possessions, knowledge, and time--with one another. After all, love holds all the commandments together...and how loving is it to speak down to people or pass laws that end up hurting the hungry, the homeless, or the immigrant?
With all of that taken care of now, here is a brief list of what i'd like to define my life.
-to be someone who is present to each person he meets
-to be someone who treats each relationship and moment as a cherished gift from God
-to be someone who speaks life and allows it to be spoken to me
-to be someone who is devoted to the kind of family God talks about in Gal. 3:28
-to be someone who is devoted to tending to God's creation
-to be someone who is deeply connected with the poor and oppressed
-to be someone who LIVES (fully) and does this or that (emphasis on LIVES)
The unfortunate thing is that I am a forgetful person. I get angry with people. I get caught up in the busyness of life. I question this calling God has put on me. I have insecurities. So in order to continue down this long road that leads to life I desperately need encouragement. We all do. It truly is a difficult thing to put our collective humanity before the individual. It is much easier to veg out on the sofa and watch what we want to watch, eat what we want to eat, and do what we want to do. The harder and more rewarding thing is to get outside and learn to "love those our instincts say reject."