Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Warm Bed

You're in a warm bed.

If you're like the majority of privileged Americans, you begin each day in a warm bed. Sometimes you are alone in the bed, sometimes not, but you're safe, you're secure and you are warm.

No matter what your bosses or teachers or parents tell you, you have a choice when the alarm clock rings. It's decision time. Most of us make this decision in an instant, either to hit the snooze button and delay the inevitable rousing by a few minutes, or to turn the alarm off, and get out of bed. Most of us make this decision daily, and, depending upon the time we went to bed the night before, we toggle between the two.

What about the third choice? What about not waking up, not leaving your bed at all. Again, no matter what your teachers say, no matter what your bosses say, no matter what your parents say, you can stay in bed. Unplug that alarm, turn your phone off and stay in bed. It's warm after all, and the pressures of the morning are often uncomfortable. Showering, eating, talking to people, just stay in bed.

What happens though, when you stay in bed? What happens when you choose comfort over responsibility?

You start to lose things.

I doubt highly that your teachers will come to your house to physically remove you from bed. There's got to be some kind of employment law prohibiting the physical removal of bed from person. And your parents, well they may try to get you up, but just play heavy and they'll eventually leave you alone.

So now what? Back to losing things. What keeps you getting out of bed everyday? It's probably the thought of what you'd lose for not getting up. School will suffer, your grades may drop. Your job will certainly suffer; I don't know of one boss who promotes random acts of absenteeism. You may even lose your job.

Things will start to fall apart. You have a responsibility, everyday, to get out of bed and fight the day.

I'm learning that life is the same way. The comfort of our lives prompts us to stay comfortable, to never risk the idea of leaving this comfort, certainly not in exchange for uncertainty. But I would argue that our lives suffer the same way we do if we stay in bed. We start to lose things.

Things start to fall apart.

Without getting out of bed each day we wouldn't be living. People can go for weeks, months, years at a time in a kind of vegetative state, laying in a bed, comfortable. But, would anyone call this living? Would anyone accuse them of being alive?

Life is spent most often in the bed. Not the physical bed (though this might be argued) but the intangible bed of comfort, this bed of security. We tell ourselves that it's cold outside, we tell ourselves that standing up isn't nearly as fun or safe as laying down, warm and comfortable. We tell ourselves that it's scary outside.

What we don't tell ourselves is that when coma patients wake up, they often have to rehabilitate, they lose muscle, they lose life. Every second spent in bed weakens us, we lose muscle, we breathe, but we aren't alive. The same consequences apply to our Life. The longer we spend in the comfort of certainty, the less we are alive.

Life isn't about sleeping, and living isn't about comfort. Living is about experience, and growth and fighting and losing, and winning and loving and feeling.

Living is about getting out of bed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Lighthouse

Wanting will never, ever be doing. I can hope for hopes and want forever, but if thoughts never become action, if words never become speech, it has all been lost. Truly, the hopes and the ambitions of men are stifled daily. We feel deep within our psychology that we're wired for something more. That we have some kind of answer. It feels a little like words without speech.
And these dreams stay as silent as unconfessed sins. The self-loathing increases, parallels our apathy. Pushing us further from shore, drifting to sea, towards the big waves.

But, when we think about God, our Lighthouse, built into the sturdy frame of the mainland, we can see the beaming light, dancing in the horizon with the stars. A pale yellow flicker against the backdrop. Beckoning the ships home with each revolution, there always, shining through the fog.

I'm still a long ways off. I know I am, but I can't help but feeling the pull of God's current throughout my days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Parallel truths.

It's so easy to forget that Christians have a parallel reality running along side us at all times, It's like God is running next to us throughout the business of our day offering a different solution to our inevitable encounters with life.

It's like those chase scenes in movies where the good guy has to jump from the bus into the truck window next to him as they run parallel at 70 mph. Sometimes it feels easier to take the road we're on, the road stretched out in certainty ahead of us.

The road we've been traveling on for years.

The problem with taking the road we're on though, is that theres always a reason the good guy is trying to jump ship. Sometimes its to save the beautiful co-star, sometimes its to save the lives of other people. Sometimes though, its because there's a bomb on the bus somewhere, and the hero has absolutely no other choice but to jump from the explosive present reality, into the safety of the moving vehicle next to him.

I feel God's reality in this way. I find myself falling into the "safety" of the world's advice, while forgetting that truth is running parallel to me offering a clear picture of my future, and the steps required to attain it. It's easy to stare straight ahead at the sometimes clear road before me listening to the world's advice, advice that tells me to buy more clothes so I feel better about myself, that tells me to buy a faster car or a better watch.

Advice that tells me that looking = feeling.

Seeming = being.

The problem is that the bus is going to explode. The bus is going to explode and I don't want to be on it. I have to take the jump.

Green-tinted glasses

Sometimes I wonder why my father didn't work harder. Why his father, a wartorn veteran, collected pension checks instead of starting a company with our namesake splashed on freeway advertisements. It should have been that easy, to collect the money made by my father and his father before him.

My thick and calloused heart, green with working-class desperation. A place usually reserved for paupers and coulda-beens, near misses.

But me, I'm lazy, you see. I'll probably never make a million dollars, not because I can't but because I wont. The greatest gift given to an American is the gift of opportunity. Orphans and Immigrants make millions daily. Thieves and the immoral make millions daily.

I'm left with mediocre clay and the tools to design a mediocre life. My hands are ill-equipped to paint something beautiful. I have a million wordless thoughts swirling through me in want of homes, needing rest upon a blank page or fertile ears.

I want to change lives, but have yet to change my own. A hypocrite living a liars life.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Your heroes are out to make a dollar. An extra few dollars if possible. Every company exists to pad the palms of a select few individuals. Car companies design safer cars because they want you to feel safe, and feel safe giving them your money. Healthy foods exist to take the dollar from the health-conscious.

Self-help books are written to make money.

If the "help" part happens it's accidental, but know that it's the secondary (if that) purpose for writing the book. We're all out to make an extra dollar at the expense of everyone else.

And I'm sick of it.