Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Shall I Live?

Though I really really really (did I mention really) wanted to chill this summer, I decided to take a Sociology of Religion course at Wesley. Since we receive three credits in the course of 2 weeks, you can imagine how much reading and information I am being exposed to right now. Tonight though, I had a little bit of a breakthrough in being reignited to see justice roll forth like springs of righteousness in our world.

It started as I was reading one of the text and a phrase jumped out at me, "How Shall I Live?" the author posed it as a question we answer for life-altering decisions like career choices and places where we decided to locate our lives, but also to answer questions that make decisions about what we choose to wear.

How shall I live?

Then in class we started discussing the industrial complexes that are part of our society. Like the pharmaceutical-medical industrial complex - a industry that brings in millions in profit, while many Americans don't have access to basic healthcare.

How shall I live?

Where is my voice when thousands of American prisioners are laboring at grossly unfair wages to put together products I may use on a regular basis. Is this labor part of the "time" they owe to society?

How shall I live?

What do I do when I know that there are schools in the same school district that educate at a different qualities, and realize its quality is based on the funding capabilites of its neighborhood?

How shall I live?

I am not saying I can save the world from all its problems. And I truly don't believe that we all should be involved in every cause. More than anything though, I encourage you to find a cause you are passionate about and make an effort to make a difference. Educate yourself about our world...Did you know the majority of our world's population lives on $2 a day? I didn't until tonight.

We should begin to ask our deepest self just a bit more, "How shall we live?" Our future self depends on it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don't let him get away...

I have been away from writing for a few weeks, some of it being contemplation, some of it being "yeah - no school!", some of it just not knowing what to write...

I was inspired tonight by something that happened at the metro station. While with a friend who was taking me to the metro, we saw three people running like mad from the station.

"Maybe," my friend quipped, "they are running for a bus."
"They sure are running fast," I responded.
We watched, shrugged our shoulders, and I got out of her car and walked towards the station.

People were still standing there watch the people run. I walked closer to a woman who was talking on her cell phone.

"Girl, it was like something out a movie scene. This man grabbed her purse jumped over the gate and she ran after him screaming "HELP!"...then some guy started running after them too."

My first thought - the woman who got her purse snatched should just let it go, that man could have a knife...a gun -it's so not worth it. Then my next thought - there were a lot of people who saw it happen, continued to watch it unfold, and did nothing.

I kept thinking about this and while I got off the metro, God spoke to me...

How often do you watch someone's spiritual purse get snatched and do nothing?
~God, I don't think I have ever heard of a spiritual purse...

Then this scripture in James 5 came to me...

19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins. (NLT)

I am reading a book that contends that in looking at behaviors of the generation that includes ages 16-early thirties, behavior patterns are virtually indistinguishable between born-again Christians and those in this age group who claim no religious affiliation at all. For example, in looking at the two groups, percentages in viewing pornography are similar and percentages in the number of curse words a person uses in conversation are indistiguishable.

As Christians there are times when we may struggle with certain areas in our life and it is a daily battle to conform our will to Godly living. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to truly live Christ-like. Yet, what are we really doing to help our own self and others to live in this power? It's so easy to wander from the truth. How many people do we know (even ourselves) who the enemy is trying to snatch the very life out of and we watch and say nothing? I am not saying we should judge anyone. It's not our place, and we all have issues and struggles that we deal with by the second. However, we should find it a privilege and responsibility to help someone get their "purse" back.

- How do we help a friend who claim says they really know the love of Christ, yet we know is hitting the bottle every time they want to "relax?"
- How often do we ignore the fact that we ourselves may be really struggling with something, yet refuse to seek help or counsel, because it's really not that bad?
- How do we stop glossing over behavior that is not Christ-like because we don't want to hurt somebody's feelings?

I don't think these answers come easily or quickly. I think it takes a lot of prayer. A lot of love. A lot of hope. And a lot of sheer determination that we won't let the enemy get away with our purse or anybody else's.