Other places I blog




web stats

Follow Me on Twitter

Entries in Rants (2)


Do you ever feel afraid?

The first time I ever watched Schindler's List, it left me feeling sick and afraid. I'm a master of allowing my imagination to run wild, and while watching those scenes where Jews are being herded like cattle on to trains which will take them to the concentration camps, a thought ran into my head: "What if that happens to Christians some day?" What if there is a day when Christians will be forced to wear an identifying mark on their clothing? Those fears are the kind that run away with themselves, and can leave us feeling paralyzed. As Christians, we should not fear, because we know where our hope is, and we know that if those days arrive, God will be with us. And even though we know that intellectually, we still feel apprehension.

Right now, even today, the news is filled with content that could cause people to be afraid. Here in Canada, we have a government which wants to make it mandatory for summer students applying for government programs to endorse what the government sees as "reproductive rights." If such values are not supported, the student's application may be rejected. It is an infringement again upon Christian rights. It can leave us feeling afraid. The last few weeks, daily, has featured a host of sexual scandal inside and outside the Church as well as the often not so astute commentary on such issues. I don't even want to contemplate what the US president utters from his social media account. 

It's all rather overhwelming these days, and I feel like that time I watched Schindler's List. The fact that some Christians would rather pick apart those issues over and over (and over, and over) again, day in and day out, adds to the general discouraging climate.

Sometimes, I want to shout out, "Someone please tell me the good news! Someone please write a beautiful piece about how God is going to wipe away every tear and how there is going to be a new heaven and earth! Someone please write about who God is. Remind me of who he is so that when such things cause me uneasiness, I can be reminded!" That cry is not just for bloggers; it's for pulpits too.

Christians don't need a rehashing of what's going on in the world. We can find that out. It's only a click away. But what we do need is exhortation from God's word. We need voices to encourage us from the Word. I understand that we must be informed, but sometimes, I feel like there is a sick pleasure in constantly bearing bad news. I don't like to be someone who avoids the news, but there are days when I do. And there are days when I feel like the most depressing place to read online is Christian blogs.

I am not helpless. I can open up my Bible and study for myself. But what about those who don't? What about people who are not so inclined? Who is feeding them spiritual food? And spiritual food is not a Christian analysis of whatever ugly story is demanding our attention. It starts with the word of God, and who God is.

When I am afraid, I like comfort. It seems not to be found much these days.


The tyranny of the recovered

This is kind of a rant.  You'll have to excuse me.  I seem to have some trouble in the trapezius muscles on both sides of my body, and I basically am walking around looking like either Forrest Gump or a robot; take your pick. You know what I mean.  Instead of turning my head, my entire body needs to turn.  Plus, sleeping made it worse.  Oh, how at this age I long for good sleep!  Really irritating when sleep comes and I wake up feeling like someone crumpled me up like a ball of paper.  I'm also on drugs, so maybe that's why I'm grumbly. I'm just thankful that one of the places in this house that is comfortable to be in is my desk chair.

My mother used to say that there was nothing worse than a "recovered smoker."  Now, my parents smoked when I was kid, and I took up the nasty habit as a teenager.  I am not condoning smoking, nor am I condemning those who do.  I am pretty sure that everyone who does it knows it's bad.  It's bad for the smoker, the people around them, and the health care system's future as people with lung diseases and ailments require health care. That being said, a recovered smoker, in my mother's opinion became intolerable. Not only did they quit, but they make everyone around them feel like a real loser for continuing.  It's hard to quit smoking.  I watched my mother battle for years before she finally did it. 

This kind of thing can be found in other areas. For example, people who are able to start eating healthy and lose weight suddenly become "Chip Nazis" and comment on every bit of junk food you consume.

"Do you know how many calories are in those chips?"

Yes, I know, and I'm not eating them for health benefits; I'm eating them because they taste good.

"You should get a bow flex; you'd exercise more."

Okay, I'll sell a kidney and find the thousands of dollars for that item. 

It becomes less about the joy of their success and more about telling you that you'd better do what they just did.  Not everyone is like this, but some people are. I've had friends who have changed their diet, and honestly, I won't invite them over to see my white bread, or the fact that I don't have the latest thousand page cookbook Ultimate Quinoa.  I don't want to invite someone for coffee who gives me the latest statistics about why drinking green tea is so much better for me, and those coffee beans are just poision.  I'm sorry, green tea lovers, I enjoy a cup of it now and then, but IT ISN'T COFFEE!

I have also seen this happen with people who have given up the internet, social media, or blogging.  Suddenly, they are making cracks about how they were able to break free from the addition, and how they are not involved in that nasty wasty stuff.

If people want to change their lives, I'm all for it.  Seriously.  If you lose weight, I'm happy for you.  If you hate blogging and the internet now, and that suits you, you're allowed to feel that way.  Just don't regard my participation in it as some kind of moral failure because I'm not choosing to leave.

I want to be healthy, and I work at it,  but I will continue to occasionally eat white bread, potato chips, and chocolate.  I will not attempt to make spelt flour pizza dough, but by all means, you can.  I will continue to blog and read tweets, and share on Facebook, but don't come across as if you're so much more evolved because you don't.  Our successes over our weakness and sin is a reason to rejoice, but it isn't an invitation to castigate someone who doesn't struggle with that sin, or who just doesn't see it as an issue. Our enthusiasm can quickly become criticism and a wish to see everyone do what we're doing rather than them making their own Spirit-led decisions.

And for the record, I will never tell anyone that it is okay to smoke cigarettes, but I certainly won't beat them over the head with my views.  And if they come over, I'll give them whatever they want to drink, but I'll ask them to smoke outside.