Saturday, March 25, 2017

Oh Peace, Peace, Wherefore Art Though Peace?

Do you feel God has extended you peace like a river today?  Most likely that is NOT what you were feeling today as it seems real peace is harder to find these days.  I remember a particular time when a sense of peace came over me so profoundly, that I describe the moment as one that felt like buckets of cold water were dumped over my head as on a hot day and ran down my body.  What was I doing at the time such peace came over me?  I was praying over a very difficult decision I had to make.  What peace are we missing out on by not bringing everything to God in prayer?  God's peace is always greater than our circumstances!

Gorilla, Man, Gun

An article I wrote and never published because I thought there was already too much junk being written about the subject. Second, exactly what I thought would happen, did happen. NOTHING! It is all part of the machine that whips people into a frenzy over one issue and then later another like different dishes in a microwave heated until they boil over, then throw in another bowl and do it all over again. All the while people are manipulated to the point of being harassed like sheep. We ultimately need to keep our eyes on the author and perfector of our faith and allow cultural events to help us to see God and ourselves more clearly.

I remember playing Gorilla, Gun, Man instead of rock paper scissors in YoungLife. Here is my Gorilla, man, gun blog considering the recent events. Cultural flash points reveal things about us we may not see clearly all the time. When going through something difficult it is always a good question to ask, What is God revealing to me about Himself and myself in this? The scary reality revealed is that we are growing more and more justified in our hatred of one another whether it is politics, religion, or animal deaths. As a nation, we are being worked up against one another unaware of the slow change that leaves character qualities like compassion, empathy, and love lost in the process like roadkill on a Texas highway.

We all agree that actions speak louder than words, yet there is just so much hot air on this issue with no actions. So here is my air blowing in as well. Because I have done nothing in my life ever to impact the plight of gorillas I really can't get super worked up over one gorilla's death suddenly, as I have done NOTHING to preserve his life or any gorillas life EVER. Everyone upset over his death needs to check if you have ever shown any concern over ANY gorilla in your life. If you haven't given your time or $$ then you didn't really care before, so please remove yourself from the discussion because you didn't really care before it was cool to care about lions or gorillas.  

Another piece is that today, too many people act like experts about things they really are ignorant about. This is clearly the case when people with no kids want to tell parents how bad they are as a parent. People without kids or are not regularly responsible for kids should remove themselves from the discussion condemning the mother. (None of us really did have a clue until we actually had children). Lastly, and most importantly, all the parents that say I never let my children out of my sight and are thus ready to "shoot" the mother for losing her child for a brief moment, need to thank God for His grace and not condemn anyone who makes a mistake they never did. Just because we never made this mistake doesn't justify condemning someone else who does, especially when we didn't have to walk in their shoes with their child. The crazy thing about parenting is your own parents had the biggest influence on you as a parent. Change that little piece of your puzzle and you aren't the same wonderful parent either. Also, do you condemn every mother whose child has been taken from them by a predator or has ever been molested when the parent didn't see it happen? Do you condemn parents when their children fall down or get hurt, or do anything wrong while the parent didn't see it happen? The resounding answer is NO. Condemnation is really out of place here as well, but it is a great opportunity to say that good parenting is critical and should be more encouraged in our communities because it does impact others more than we realize most of the time.

This whole scene reminds me of the passage when an angry mob was ready to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery. She was actually guilty! Jesus didn't say, "whoever hasn't been caught in adultery before", he said, "Whoever is without sin, cast the first stone." Jesus wrote in the sand presumably some of their secret sins and they all dropped their stones and walked away. I don't like the way our country is being manipulated into an angry mob ready to stone anyone who does something they don't like or agree with. Can't it be enough that we have empathy for the family that was traumatized by this event and feel compassion for them without demanding they lose their children to CPS, pay financially, or even with jail. Can't we feel sorry for the individual at the zoo that had to make such a difficult decision about one of their favorite animals without all of the harassment and derision he has received? Can't we feel sorry for the person who had to pull the trigger as I am sure they loved working with animals not shooting them? Can't we all feel sorry for the wicked and hate-filled backlash towards all of these people by an angry mob sending hate and fear to torment those they didn't agree with, never stopping to answer Jesus question? He who is complete without sin cast the first stone. Oh yeah, that was Jesus who was actually without sin and he said, "Where are those that condemn you?....Then neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."

Parents do need to be careful with their children in public places as there are many "gorillas" in our society who are growing colder and colder in their hearts towards others and are capable of doing more evil things to other humans, even children. As adults, we set the tone for our children whether or not human lives are precious and whether or not we are ever justified in not loving one another. I think this issue has revealed there is a diminishing love for others that does not reflect the heart of God with too many wanting to rush in and grab the mother by the arm and drag her around in the water......Wait that is what the gorilla did! Lord help us!

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