Monday, July 27, 2015

Game Over - Looking Back on a Life Lived

After some harrowing experience, it seems natural that one’s position needs to be re-evaluated regarding perspectives. Having been close to the edge these last few weeks, I can say that what I have come to the conclusion about is to be more of the following:

1>     Kind – how I view people whose viewpoints are dissimilar to me on several fronts: dogma, scriptural interpretation and just viewing them as brethren and not adversaries. The point is none of us see so clearly that we can say that we have all the answers. I certainly do not. So, if I am going to err, I am going to err on the side of giving the other guy the benefit of the doubt fully appreciating what I have NOT experienced.
2>     Gentle- if anything be willing to be mis-understood and remaining unflappable. Cruelty in its definition is being one sided and having the innate right to be severe because others do not act or behave like you do. Having been this intolerant and having such intolerance in my life now directed towards me, all I can do is have some higher capacity for understanding that. In a word, meekness.
3>     Unconditional Love – oh it is easy to say but to have it means I do not love or favor others based on how they comply with my own standards. This does not dissuade dialog to understand other points of view but to treat others as anathema simply because their faith-view is different from mine smacks of all the things that are religious and not Christ-based.
4>     Lower expectations – I do not believe one caught in anger and intolerance all in the name of Christ can see clear enough to really judge the body rightly. In fact, given some have the proclivity to live with this mindset – leads to illness and early death. The key is to lower expectations for people. The apostle Paul talks about being patient and giving to the weaker vessels. We should not let our liberty impede others in the faith.  What this is really is patience in another form.
5>     Have faith in people – eventually if God is indeed sovereign, we can expect people to do the right thing. Our problem is that we usually have a time table when God’s perspective is glacial on this matter. We need to believe in people that if they serve the God we all do (please don’t think that if I don’t serve like you do, we serve different Gods because we don’t—don’t be na├»ve and myopic – singleness of vision is not truncated only focused, know the difference), they will come to a meeting of the minds and hearts with those also naming the Christ as their savior.
6>     Allow people to live their own lives – this is especially true for me. It is not that I have given up because I never will. I love those who spurn me too much. But they have their life to live and have their own mistakes to make. WE sometimes must let those run their course as the prodigal did. The difference is communication, cutting off someone is an abusive form of this and tends to be emotional blackmail for non compliance. So I have re-lit the light in the window, opened my Bible for dialog and kept my heart free of my own expectation.
7>     Truthfulness – to strive for the truth but reflecting all the above is a real challenge but saying the truth in love is disarming. The truth is, my wife and I are being unfairly treated by our family. Even though in their minds, they are only acting obediently, they discount the scriptures and rely on roulette like epiphanies to justify their lack of compliance to the words of Jesus. They have taken their time and tithed it to the ‘Temple’ and say it is Corban – when it could have helped their parents and families. This is the worst of behavior. I say this in love because it is the truth. There are no scriptures in context that can move this statement of Jesus. We are believers just like them but perhaps a little more experienced and maybe a little wiser – unless we are viewed as reprobates but that has its own definition to wit we do not qualify.

In the end life is short, tragedy is a part of it but so is joy. In the end, when we all see clearly – because no one does—we will be different and be able to sit down together. We must remember there is only ONE wedding table at the feast. To restrict one or to think one will not be seated is not relevant. To exclude based on my perspective is religion.
I have time that is limited. In fact I do not know how much I have left. Days,weeks or hopefully years. I forgive my enemies and my family for their behavior and cruelty. IF they read this, what they may do is certainly up to them but it is a heavy burden to bear. Jesus has come to lift our burden. It is my prayer they let Him do so.