Jealous? I know you are, but what am I?

Jealousy. Envy. Feelings of inadequacy. Sounds exhausting. It must be hard for you. Fortunately, there is very little lack in my life. God has blessed us greatly.

We have a place to live. Cars to drive. Jobs to perform that provide income. Benefit packages that cover our family health needs. Friends all around us. Extended family at least 500 miles away allows us room to breathe. Life is good.

Why focus on the negative side? What would be the point? Why take inventory of your life by building a list of all the good and bad things. How about starting with the list of the good and then stop there? I recommend it.

There will always be inequality. Someone will have more or less money. More or less education. More or less attractiveness. Better or worse health. Some inequality remains by choice. Eat fast food six days a week? Don’t complain about your pear-shaped lower half or blame the drive-thru. Study hard and sacrifice your lifestyle to earn multiple degrees and eventually earn a rewarding career? Don’t let the protesters try to take it away to give it to others not willing to work for it. Don’t get me started…

We all get jealous from time to time — what wakes the green-eyed monster for you?

Forgive them. They Weren’t Paying Attention

It was my turn next. I turned 10 last week.  I was old enough to drive the tractor in the field as we gathered hay. It was going to be great.

I would guide the huge machine and wagon expertly while my little brother went ahead and made the “road” for me. My big brothers would flex their muscles to throw hay bales into the wagon. I was simply waiting for my parents to make the assignment.

For now, I kicked another bale out of the way as my Dad drove into the field. Any moment now he would call me up to the tractor seat to take over. Meanwhile,  I plodded ahead to clear the path through the first turn.

I completed the way and looked back. What was this?! My LITTLE brother was driving? He was too young!  I was next! What is going on?  Not fair! My older brothers started at age 10. I was now 10. The little twerp should have to wait 2 more years!

I was angry. I crossed my arms and sat on a bale in silent protest.  My little brother shouted at me to keep moving bales out of his way. I pouted and glared back. He waved his tiny arms and screamed urgently. I sat.

The tractor approached a bale threateningly. If he ran over it and smushed the bale, he would prove he wasn’t ready for the job. Little brother stood on the clutch and brake pedals while pulling hard against the steering wheel for vertical leverage. He managed to stop with the front wheel touching the bale.

My Dad came out from behind the wagon to see why they had stopped. I still sat on a bale with an angry pout. Little brother shifted to neutral and told him I wasn’t doing my job. Silently, I agreed. I should be driving. HE should be working for me. It wasn’t fair.

My Dad came to me to investigate. Through angry sobs I made my case. Dad didn’t seem too concerned with the affront to me. He simply needed someone to guide the tractor through the field at a crawling pace. It wasn’t truly difficult. That’s why he had put the 8 year old into the seat.

He did tell the twerp to switch places with me and I drove the rest of the day. The victory was hollow. I would always be the one who drove AFTER my little brother. It wasn’t fair.

Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave them.

Perfect Community?

If we look to the Bible for an ideal community we have a couple of passages that provide a glimpse of it.

Isaiah 65:17-25

Revelation 21

Each of these provide a brief description of an awesome new city made with gold and precious gems. The city will be lit by the glory of God. There will be no day and night. Extra security is provided by massive gates guarded forever by angels at each one.

But wait, all the bad guys will have been rounded up and tossed into the eternal lake of fire by then. Why do we need to live in a gated community?

What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?

My Life Story as told by…

I used to think, “It’s my life. Who can tell it better than me?” After all, I’m articulate. I can write fairly well. I am able to express myself through the written word. Why would I want someone else to summarize the events of my existence? The answer – objectivity.

Every precious thought that travels through my head is filtered. Each memory, experience, and synapse firing is influenced and warped by every preceding one. My perception of my life can never be fully expressed or adequately translated for others to receive the total immersion into my awesomeness. That makes me sad.

The best I can hope for is for someone almost equally gifted with words to get to know me as best they can and convert their outside observations into the meager approximation of my life. Who should it be? Good question. Let’s explore some candidates from Hollywood.

  • Director Michael Bay. Perhaps not. Beyond some teenage and young adult incidents with fireworks, there have not been sufficient gratuitous explosions occurring in my life to support his story presentation style.
  • Director Joss Whedon. I am a fan of Firefly and Serenity, but I’m no space cowboy.
  • Quentin Tarantino? No. I’m not headed for the nuthouse like he is.
  • M. Night Shyamalan? Again. I’m not a supernatural thriller.

Maybe I should give this some more thought. Should I find a politician’s biographer instead? Someone with experience at blending fact and fiction to portray their subject in the best possible way? Tempting.

From a famous writer or celebrity, to a blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?