eudaemonic- (adj.) producing happiness and well-being

Friday, June 15, 2007

I had a rough day... the worst of it came at the end of this story I'm getting ready to tell you:

There has been another dead body in my week. The remains of a human found over Labor Day weekend 2006 were identified as an Athens woman missing for about a year. There are whispers filling the air that, perhaps, a former J'ville policeman -- well known in these parts for the rape of several women and retaliation when they outed him -- is involved.

Those rumors can't be addressed in my story without attribution, which isn't forthcoming right now because there are federal cases still pending. Yet, tv news is spouting off this information without a name tied to it.

But that's not the worst part. While I'm trying to find this woman's mother (and consequently, guardian of her two children) I call a wrong number from a police report.

When I asked to speak with the woman I'm searching for, an elderly man said, "There isn't any X here. I wish there were. I'm all alone. I'm lonely."

The day pretty much got more discouraging from there, but there's no need to drag you down with me.

Oooooooh, people hurt in this world. People hurrrrrrrrrt, bad. I, as a Christian, am to make it better with the eternal balm of Christ. But, people hurrrrrrrrrrrt and I don't even know them. How do I help? How do I love people I don't know? How do I feed the hungry, give hydrate the thirsty, welcome strangers, clothe the naked, take care of the sick and visit those in prison?

Oh, there's so much.

I pray today that I'll not just hurt for them, but actually help.


Come with me.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Running gives me a chance to think about things. It takes me outside, away from the television, away from the computer, and leaves me far too winded to talk on the phone (sweaty earpiece--- gross). It takes me to myself.

And myself wonders....

Why am I so complacent with my "cheap grace" life?

Buoyed by a book I'm reading and a sermon I recently listened to on my IPod, I'm certainly familiar with the term of "cheap grace," though I never would have named it that myself.

"Cheap grace" is telling Heaven to wait... I'm busy living the way I want to. It's not diving down deep into the eternity in my heart-- becoming a holy sanctuary of adoration, living a spirit-empowered life. It's going to the store for fruit instead of allowing God to cultivate fruits in me. It's changing how I act, instead of who I am being changed. It's seeing prayer as words, instead of as change.

I once heard a book described as "smelling of lust and prison."

Isn't that a great description?

It's also how a bunch of Bible men and women would be described...

They didn't just want more God, more time with God, more connection to God, more ways to say "I love you," -- they lusted (def: crave, intense desire or need) for it.

Death, jail time, fasting, crying, losing, loneliness, more and more and more followed them. They invited those things in... to get more God.

And it didn't matter what happened.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior.--- Habakkuk 3:17 (relativity of this verse was stolen from the Ipod sermon)

So, back to the question: Why am I content with living without that? Why am I not bothered that I don't hit the floor in desperation? Why am I not so shocked into action that I live that way all the time? Why are beliefs compartmentalized into "moral" and "unmoral"?


Why may not be the best question, so I'll stop asking it.

Here's a better one: How?

How do I live that way?

It's not through trying to act this way... because I've been trying. It's hard to constantly change the way I act and talk when my insides are the same.

The Bible says it's by throwing away what is mortal and allow myself to be swallowed by this life that I crave.

So, I get rid of me.

That's the definition of freedom if I've ever heard it.

Will I ever figure all this out?