Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The blessing of God

Hello there blog! Long time no see. I've been thinking about you lately and decided to stop by. I hope to see more of you from now on.

And now on to my actual post...

The human race has always had an obsession with children, and rightly so. For the majority of human history one’s children where the best way of carrying on yourself, in the form of knowledge, beliefs, memory, and DNA. Children were seen as a kind of wealth, in that one had more hands to work, and also a longer permanence than a single lifespan. It was honorable to have many children, and many cultures then (and some still today) saw it as a blessing from God. Each culture had some system (some complex) for raising children and certain things were expected of them and their families. I think this is natural given a human life demands some short of structure and can easily become complex.

However, in today’s modern life, this ancient obsession with children has twisted. Many of the innate and foundational desires to have children have completely disappeared. For instance, who views children as a way to, in a sense, live longer? Or as a status symbol, or as a public sign of God’s blessing?

What do we view children as now? Something my wife wanted. A burden. Unwanted. Cute but too expensive. A “handful”. Even those with children, who love their children, and enjoy being around them have a limit on how many is too many. When did having three children become the absolute most anyone could imagine having? THREE! That’s not even enough to ensure each child has both a brother AND a sister. I understand not all parents can have many babies, for some two is stretching things, either financially or mentally or both. However, shouldn’t having a large family be the ideal and desire of all?

If I can continue on my soapbox, I’d like to propose that our society would be dramatically healthier if more families were larger families. For one, it would provide more close relationships. Time and time again, it’s been shown and proven this is the biggest indictor of happiness and has the greatest impact on our health. It would lead to a stronger and larger network, so we wouldn’t feel alone. I think so many problems stem from us feeling alone. Having larger families would also, if I may assert, lead to better jobs. Jobs that take into account family life and don’t expect one to be a workaholic to keep their job. Jobs that also pay better, as one would need a stable and providing source for their family. It would most likely make people more social and build stronger communities amongst families. Also, as the parents age, they would be much less likely to be in the unfortunate situation of no money AND no one to care for them. I too believe it would lead to raising better people: people who have less pressure put on them to become something in particular and more likely to pursue something they are passionate about. They would also have a bigger net to fall on should they fail (which isn’t such a bad thing). In addition to these, I think it would make people less selfish, more able to get along with others, able to be more contented, and able to manage their priorities better.

I’m not saying this is some kind of magic cure for all our problems. Just look to the past to see that it is not. We are still human. But humans are able to improve things. That is what we do best. But first we have to know where we want to go. And I’m afraid so many of us have bought into the idea that we want to go where the money is, instead of happiness. We want to be able to control everything, including our children and their lives. We have been duped to think that if we do X, Y, and Z we will get what we want. It simply isn’t true. God holds our future, and he has our best interest in mind. Trying to control our families will never get us to happiness. Only love will. Let us work on breaking our obsession to control things, and instead let God grace us with His many gifts. Those gifts will be better than anything we could have constructed or planned ourselves.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A come to Jesus moment

I wish I had the strength to be Christ to the world. I understand on nights like this why Jesus had to suffer so much. To save us will cost everything. As I become less na├»ve to the world, I realize how hard this life will be. How hard my own heart is, and how seemly impossible it is to penetrate anyone else’. And yet, God can. He is the only one who can break through. The only one with enough love to have the stamina to achieve it. We are completely unworthy. So disgusting and ignorant and evil. But there He is, with love in His eyes. I’ll never understand how perfection can tolerate it, even want it. And still, THAT is truth.

One of my favorite parts in all of scripture is John 15:18-19- “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

To me, the world is a sad reality, and we are called to bring hope to its miserable depths. I can’t think of anything harder, except for maybe saving my soul. I have witnessed this hate. It is so sudden and strong I’m taken aback every time. But yet, they hate Jesus even more. They hate the one who created them from nothing but love, who keeps them in existence right now because of love, and who gives them good days. How will they ever come to love me if they can’t even love Jesus?

It’s hard not to desire worldly love. In a way, we are all at least a little wrapped up in it. And yet, I am frequently reminded that I will never get it. I guess it’s a starting point to genuinely not wanting it. And yet, I continue to see how fickle and easily swayed it is. How gullible people can be about the most dangerous of things, and so skeptical about the most important. It seems like an easy mission when first starting out- surely this is common sense I tell myself. Then the real battle begins, and I realize I’ll be thankful to just have myself come out intact.

I don’t mean to have such a depressing view. Really the only hope I have is in Jesus. He is somehow strong enough. He still, somehow, loves us. If He is willing to go through all this, maybe somehow, I can go with Him. God help me.