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Monthly Archives: March 2012

in the disorder

chaos works its logical way

a crack at the hub and foundations shudder

 

distortion shrieks

vibrations mock

a ripple ensues

and balance explodes

 

a patterned twist

as substance argues with itself… and others

 

horns lock and teeth snarl

scattering fragments rip

the crack of feathers is heard

and mountains melt in cool silence

 

insanity reigns

or so it appears

as finite men grasp at infinity

 

there is sense in the senseless

chaos is not without order

yet order cannot be seen… for now

for time is thrown in

that sinister ingredient

 

time waits for none

but all must submit

a line has been drawn

but soon it will end

 

and for now,

all we can do… is bend

 

awoke to the rain

pitter-patter on pain

the dust of disdain

circles down drain

 

awash with fresh hope

a slate that seems clean

new beginnings begin

with future unseen

 

we believe

we believe what?

what do we believe in ?

 

why do we believe?

is this a strength or a weakness?

do we believe in questions…

…or only in answers?

can we believe in why?

 

to believe is to …

accept as true or real

… to credit with veracity

… to expect or suppose

to think

…to have firm faith

religious faith

… to have faith, confidence,  trust

… to trust in the truth or value of something

…to have an opinion

or just to think

 

there appears to be not too much solid evidence in belief

other than what we hold as opinion…

 

yet we believe

we all do… not just the religious or the mystical

we all believe

… even the scientist

the atheist

the agnostic

 

for anyone to call themselves a believer and others not

dwells in the height of misinformed arrogance

…and any who claim not to believe

are their resident neighbours

 

… and for those who do…?

 

do we believe in God?

do we believe in a personified God?

 

do we believe in devils?

do we believe in a personified Devil

 

apparently devils believe in God … and God believes in a devil

even the sacred texts reveal that God spoke of the Devil as though the Devil was real

 

and we …

what do we believe?

 

do we have to believe?

do we want to believe?

perhaps we need to believe?

 

do we want to choose?

do we feel we have to choose?

 

do we?

 

… and must we choose…

between good and evil

between God and the Devil…?

can we believe in both at the same time?

does believing in the one exclude belief in the other?

or are they the same … just opposite ends of the same continuum?

 

some, maybe even most, would say that they believe in a god, even a personal God

… who is kind, good and is active in initiating healing and extending grace and forgiveness, love and acceptance

a good God who is the giver of all good gifts and the creator of all that is good

 

many of those same people most probably would also say that they believe in the devil

… a personified Devil… the evil Devil who is against the good God…

…an evil Devil who is active in perpetrating pain, death and destruction, extending hate and trouble, suffering and rejection

…the evil Devil who is the source of all that is bad

 

many, if not most who believe, believe that the good, kind God created all things

…that nothing that is present in any way was made outside of God…

they also believe that the good, kind God is supreme, sovereign, omnipotent, preeminent, before, after and beyond all things

 

yet the same believe in a Devil

 

so who created the Devil?

and how did the Devil come to be?

 

did we create the Devil?

did we create him as a personalised Devil?

 

… and if the good, kind God never created the Devil, who did?

 

maybe we did?

 

 

and who created the good, kind, personalised God?

 

maybe we did…

 

did we?

 

 

giving is a one way motion

as is taking

 

a selfless action or intent

according to any expectation of return or reward

was never selfless in the first place

 

there will be an effect

there always is

and that effect could well be rewarding

but that reward would be selfless

never budgeted for

and this reward will come from another unexpected place

 

if we see it coming

if it was expected or anticipated

it was self-centered from the beginning

 

to give with the expectation of  reward or return

reveals the presence of a transactional process

whether conscious or not

 

it has always impressed me that in the ancient sacred texts

the blessings for obedience

as as well as the curses for disobedience

always overtake us

 

that which overtakes

comes from behind

it outpaces us

it overpowers us

overcomes us

even sweeps us away

to other places

other unexpected places

unintended unplanned for destinations

that will leave us wondering

 

in our market driven world

our self made markets

we go out and grab

we promote

ourselves

we promote others

that we might be promoted in return

 

we snatch and take

and we celebrate those who succeed in this

 

and the words of truth echo…

faintly it seems

and more faint every day

 

“the first shall be last…

and the last shall be first… ”  they say…

In this age of democracy and self-determination, independence and freedom of choice it is difficult, even un-PC to suggest that we have a staggering amount of freedom already – more than we could ever handle.

We live in a world that can make us as intelligent as we can possibly imagine.  Available to us is rampantly advancing technology that is so rapid in it’s advance that it is frightening.  At the same time it’s all well within our reach if we wanted to reach out for it.  There is almost nothing that we cannot have access to.

We have more books and more movies than we could ever view let alone study.  More information than we could possibly ever use in a hundred lifetimes.  We have access to incredible knowledge instantly at our fingertips.

We can also add freely to this staggering data base that is available.  Almost anyone can be an author, a journalist or even a film maker with instant access to publish new or even old ideas to the rest of the world at virtually no cost at all.

We have access to thousands of universities, tens of thousands of  TV channels and literally millions of websites with almost infinite bytes of information of every conceivable type.

We also have direct access to billions of humans across the earth from every country, tribe and tongue.

This is almost as much freedom as can be imagined and with all this access to all these things we have more potential now than ever before.

Yet in practical terms we cannot even use one millionth of what is already available to us right now, at this very second, even though it is virtually free and instantly easily accessible.

Yet amazingly we want more.  And we want more freedom to choose.  In fact, it’s as if we demand freedom.

Yet strangely, with all that is already available to us there seems always something we believe that is being denied us.

There seems always to be something else that we want, something else that we believe we need.

Not content with access to almost everything imaginable, we want more.

So here’s a question that plagues me:  If we got this freedom, all this freedom we so desperately desire, … what would we do with it?

For some reason ants seem to get into the kettle.  Perhaps they are in search of moisture?  It has been unusually hot here over the last while so perhaps it makes sense.

As with many households in the western world every morning our kettle is switched on for morning tea and of late I have begun to notice that there are more often than not a few small, dead ants that get poured into the pot or tea cup along with the boiled water from the kettle.  Our electric kettle is mostly black and in reality it is difficult to see them inside and mostly I usually don’t even think that they will have crawled in overnight in search of water… why would I think that?

This morning I removed four little ants from my cup who had suffered a terrible fate.  I suddenly thought what must it have been like to unexpectedly feel the temperature rise rapidly around them and then, before anything could be done to avoid disaster a searing heat overcomes everything?  It was probably totally confusing for the poor ant and clearly any attempt to get out of the trouble had at least 50% chance of getting the ant into more hot water.

The ants were neither good nor bad.  They meant no harm.  They were just being ants and were, I can only presume, doing what they needed to do.  Doing what ants do.

The only wrong they committed was that they never seemed to know of or understand the context they were in.  They clearly had no knowledge that the place they were seeking moisture and relief from was an electrical appliance that was used to boil water and an impending threat of death to them… and yet at the same time a comforting convenience for humans upon waking each morning.

My mind suddenly meandered to the historical account of the devastation of Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted and less than a decade ago to the boxing day Tsunami in Indonesia which caused so much loss of life.  I also thought of the trouble as a result of the recent earthquakes in Japan.

The earth wasn’t being evil.  It was just being itself.  It was doing what it had been doing since the very beginning.

And then I also thought about all of those people who happened to be born to Iraqi or Afghan parents and suddenly seeing American bombs raining down on them from the sky.  I thought of the two World Wars and all the ethnic violence that has filled our senses through the media over recent decades.  I also thought of those in many nations simply who happen to have been born to parents who were well below the breadline with little chance of ever changing their status because of the circumstances they were in economically, politically, culturally, geographically.

All these people, neither good nor bad.  The only wrong they committed was that they never seemed to know of or understand the context they were in.  They too were just being human, doing what humans do.

I suddenly felt strangely like God in my kitchen and the power both destructive and constructive I could unleash by simply flicking a switch.

I became alarmed at that which I was potentially a part of even without my knowledge or intent this way or that.   I was not being evil was I?  I was just making some tea.

And then I thought about my thoughts regarding all of this and the feelings that cascaded through my mind when I saw these four ants floating lifelessly in my boiling water.

I then began to wonder what God feels like in his kitchen?

 

 

love,

like a glove

can be worn tight or loose

the embrace of a dear heart

or the tug of a noose

 

love is dreaming and wishing

running and fishing

chasing and being caught

maybe even being bought

 

there’s mystery and wonder

promises made

there’s hope being invested

deposits being paid

 

grabbing and loosing

and chasing what’s nice

bending on knees

paying the price

 

there’s ego and tingling

and sacrificial giving

chemicals cascading

goose bumps parading

 

there’s romance and passion

sensational feelings

surrender and fear

and logic that’s reeling

 

but, on the other hand

to balance all the saying

maybe love is dancing together

even when there’s no music playing

 

 

The old “King James” translation of the bible had a phrase that popped up fairly often.

 

“…and it came to pass that…”

 

Whatever it is,  it will come, and in time it will pass.

 

Whether it is bad and hurtful, even unimaginably destructive and terrifying …

it will come … and it will eventually pass.

 

It may be good and indescribably beneficial, even truly wonderful….

… but it too will come, … and it too will eventually pass.

 

The word eventually is also an interesting turn of phrase.

It speaks to me of events.

Whatever it is, it is merely an event …a singular happening in a long line of other happenings.

And as we know events happen.

They come and they go.

They too will come … and they too will pass.

 

And our God, we choose to believe, … is eternal, … infinite.

 

The same faith we extend to our universe … we choose to believe that it too is eternal, … infinite.

 

As scary as this might or might not be, this to me speaks of movement.

Whichever way I look at it, it speaks to me of always moving on, of not staying in the same place…

 

It also speaks to me of ever expanding horizons.

As we move on new horizons will come and go…  and each new horizon will come, … and it will pass … into and on to the next new horizon.

… unless we stop.

 

It suggests to me that if we pitch our tent anywhere … literally, figuratively, theologically, doctrinally, politically, scientifically, culturally, socially, relationally, emotionally, or in any other way… we forfeit the wonder that could be ours.

We will forfeit the privileges of pilgrimage.

 

Perhaps all we can do is hold on lightly to the present … very, very lightly.

… and with all the joy we can muster, enjoy the ride…

 

And us?

We know this, that the physical life we live is not at all eternal.

We came, … we have a fairly good idea how, but we have no real idea why…

And we fill this gap with many beliefs… religious, scientific, meaningful, meaningless…

But this one thing we do know for sure… that we will all pass.

 

In the greater scheme of things we too are an it.

The account recorded was of a wealthy man approaching Jesus with a personal yet public question.

“What must I do to be righteous” he said.

“What does it say and how do you understand it?” was Jesus’ response.

The wealthy man had amassed a good understanding of the requirements of the religious life and had even excelled in his adherence and application of it all.

Jesus never criticized him but continued the discussion by suggesting that as commendable as this was there was one main thing that he lacked … that he take all his worldly possessions and wealth, sell it all, and give the money away to the poor and then after having done this to return to follow the practical ways of the Christ.

The man was very wealthy and turned away at this suggestion and never followed Jesus – however, I’m fairly sure that he continued in his religious fervour as clearly it had acquired him great wealth and social favour.

We live in a modern world that is profoundly dominated by a western culture of superficial sensationalism and even rampant materialistic consumerism.

I wonder what my response to Jesus would be if he suggested the one main thing I personally lacked in my spiritual walk? I wonder how much of what I presently allow and conveniently justify in my life would severely challenge the very nature of the relationship we have and the way forward from that point onwards?

i can’t help but wonder just how much of Jesus is still left in the jesus culture we have created?

pop! goes the gospel!

 

for he’s a jolly good fellow!

 

… and so say all of us!

hip,

hip!

…hooray!