Day 9 – The Babe Who Throws Down Fire

“Jesus wants to cast a consuming fire on the earth to burn away all that is opposed to G-d’s desire for us.” Fr. Robert Barron

Luke 12:49 can be a bit off putting, after all, WE live here on earth. Everyone knows that fire is used to cleanse/sterilize. It took my own journey to really understand that is what the bible means by “Hearts on Fire” ohhh, my heart is dirty (sinful), ok I get it. Wait, wasn’t I born with a dirty heart, soo why not cleanse it before I get here? Huh, it’s too easy. If you do it then I won’t learn anything, but what is there for me to learn? I need to learn how to make choices but I thought you were in control, doesn’t that mean you make all the choices for me? — See how this can go on. I resigned myself that this is how free will came about. Life is the ultimate buffet; an endless amount of choices. Yeah, free will is overrated, IMHO. Life for me was much simpler when my grandparents were here telling me what to do. Of course I did my own thing at times, but the majority of the time I relied on them. Funny how I have such a hard time relying on the one they relied on. Yeah, yeah, it’s that whole faith, seeing, touching thing. Take a listen to Chaka Khan sing Through the Fire, those who are on a journey will understand and appreciate the lyrics (great writer BTW) and may want to ask themselves; when the fire rains down, will I walk through, becoming purified or will I be like Usher (let it burn, let it burn, let it burn)?

I wanna be, I wanna be like…

Can we talk? (Joan River’s voice). Let’s be honest, or at least, let me be honest. Nothing irritates you more than to see someone moving along doing something that you’ve been doing for years. True, jealousy and envy have no place in the Spirit but we build mansions for it in the flesh and sometimes, it’s a good thing – in moderation of course. I’m not competitive, I’ve always believed that whatever you want, the Spirit provides more than enough for everyone to have a go at it. No, what I think is wrong or off balance with me is that I’m spatially challenged. I know how to get to places but I pay no attention to street names, number of turns, none of that, I just go because I know. WHY OH WHY can’t life be that way. I absolutely know where I want to go, getting there seems so completely foreign to me, like those instructions from IKEA (love love love that store!!!)

I’m open, haven’t always been, not because I didn’t want to but because our culture, at times can be so oppressive, so dismissive that you question whether or not you really want to go where you want to go. I do this because the Spirit asks for it and I’m not even sure what that really means. My dad and godmother are prone to messages from the Spirit and yes, I covet that gift. Oh, the Spirit and I, his name is Rheman, have conversations all the time but He’s so quiet, frustratingly quiet. He gets a kick out of me and I’m happy to oblige. I’m like a 3 y/o with him; I ask lots of questions and if I were 3, you’d call me precocious. As an adult, you’ll probably call me annoying, crazy, whatever – not that I care. I’m a kid and kids have questions and I expect answers. Problem arises in that the adult, that is me, wants them now, microwave 30 sec button now. The majority of the time Rheman just nods his head and keeps it moving.

What do I wanna be? Better. Better than I was yesterday when I whined the entire time while getting my run in (you do know I dislike running right?). Better than I was last week when severe disappointment tried to squat in my head and heart. Better than I was last month when I allowed procrastination to move in and push off all the work that needed to be done. Better. Not better than you (although I may be cooler – you know the song 🙂 just better and better requires work. That work often requires assistance from others. I read a commencement speech from a Texas Alum who is a retired Navy Seal and he talked about rowing a boat and finding people who can help you row. The problem in that is that even if you provide the boat, snacks, life-jacket, everything; it’s been my experience that it is still difficult to find those like-minded people to help you row. That’s been my experience of late, so I’ve decided to dock my boat elsewhere. If you see me sailing by and don’t mind rowing, feel free to wave me ashore. I can’t promise you smooth sailing, but what I can promise you is that I will never stop rowing. If you decide to stop rowing, I will row for you for a little while but then I may throw you overboard for being lazy.

Remember the commercial: I wanna be, I wanna be like Mike (Jordan that is). I never wanted to b like Mike, well maybe the rich part, but I’ve always just wanted to be me. Now, I still want to be me, just better. Don’t you want me to be better? I certainly want you to be better, because a better you is good for me. 🙂 What ails you?

Plop,plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is!

Don’t know if you remember but in the movie Lean on Me, Morgan Freeman portrayed Joe Clark, a hard nosed, no nonsense principal trying to turn around a high school. In an early scene, Sams, a student who was kicked out goes back to tell Mr. Clark he made a mistake and the kid he (Clark) is referring to isn’t him (Sams). Clark takes him to the roof. Sams smokes crack and Clark is telling him that he’s killing himself by smoking crack, he’s just doing it slowly. In Clark’s opinion “if you want to kill yourself, don’t f*** around with it, do it expeditiously. Jump!” Hee hee, oh the emphatic truth that rests within that harsh, unfeeling, unnerving yet necessary statement.

With reference to the statement, I’m not referring to suicide, I’m referring to…whatever. I’ll give you 2 scenarios.
#1. It’s hard being a cheerleader, especially for someone who seems to have lost all hope, desire and will to live. You all know someone who, at one time or another, has gone through or is going through something and they see no joy around them. Everyday is a Pep Rally for you, in that you are charged with the task of keeping their spirits up, helping them see the bright side of things, willing them to keep pushing, being the life that they seem to have lost inside. After a while, it gets old. You’re like, damn, can you breathe for yourself or must I do that for you too? The harsh reality of it is, and I know because God and I have had these types of conversations, you do want to say… look, if you want to give, go ahead and give up but be quick about it because I’m going to need all the time I can get to get over this and move on with my life, so if your going, get the f’ on. My aunt is a prime example. I don’t talk to her as much because quite frankly and sadly, she is without joy. She has nothing and I mean nothing positive to say about anything. I pray for her everyday. I pray that she will see the grace that has been bestowed upon her by having a daughter who loves and cares for her 25/8. She got upset with me one day because I wouldn’t leave my house to bring her some lettuce and tomatoes (mind you, she lives with my cousin/her daughter) and made a crazy statement, something like, she was just going to starve to death because nobody gave a damn about her. I said ok, I’ll be sure to bring them (the lettuce and tomatoes) to your funeral and hung up. I used to feed into her, but not anymore. I play crazy right along with her and life, at least for me, is no longer a Groundhog Day Pep Rally. Yes; I appreciate you, I love you and all that goes along with it but hell if I’m going to 2,4,6,8 all day everyday, you can miss me with that.

#2. Someone I know, notice I didn’t say friend, is constantly and no, I’m not exaggerating, talking about what they are going to do. Getting ready to… quit, make a move, get organized, start a business, run, jump, yada, yada, yada. It gets particularly lengthy when they are going through something and they are professing to the world that they are going to “give it to God”. We know that last part never happens because a day or 2 later, they are STILL talking about whatever it was they were going to give God. I want to say soo bad, would you PUH-LEEEZE STFU about getting ready. If you were waiting on a ride or something, you’re a** would be left because you always getting ready. What are you going to do on Judgment Day when it’s time for you stand and give an exact account of your time here on Earth, tell St. Michael hold on, you getting ready?

Point is, whatever it is, do it with purpose. Living, dying, working, quitting, whatever INGing it is, DO IT and DO IT with purpose. That clip of Lean on Me is both humorous and frighteningly sad.
___
Moliere said “we die only once and for such a long time”
I pondered this as I sat in my meantime of death

The sum of pills meant to induce death over a few hours
Civilized, slow, clean, quiet and peaceful

The sum of bullets meant for loading into the gun, inducing death instantly
Messy, quick, powerful, loud

The sum of the noose, meant to induce death by choking, breaking the neck
Clean, slow, painful, quiet

If I had the use of my body, I would throw it out the window
for it has not performed to my level of satisfaction.
Operator error and there is no warranty.
I came with no instructions, I did the best I could
The bible confused me, people rejected me
Why must the process take so long?

Who knew doing something once, would be the sum of my life. (10/4/10)
______
Now I must go do penance for my language. Despite those who say people who use foul language have a limited vocabulary, sometimes it takes an expletive to drive a point home.

GetMended Ya’ll. 🙂

Platinum and diamond studded fork… in the road

“And I know that He had something better to do
Than to sit and listen to a brokenhearted fool
Could’ve been saving the world from a tragedy
But instead He was listening to me”
(MJB – Empty Prayers)

This is NOT a soapbox moment, just a hmm, never thought about it that way moment.

I try to find the God/good/joy in everything. I Try. I don’t always succeed because most of the time I’m in my own way, in my own world, wanting to see things the way I want them to be; but even if you don’t believe, we all know that rarely do things look and act the way we want them too. City of Angels, The Adjustment Bureau, — somebody give me another one Saving Grace– movies/TV shows where angelic, celestial, heavenly body creatures masquerading as and interacting with humans all stated the same thing – we humans have FREE WILL, something they cannot interfere with. It’s sorta messed up when you really examine it. There’s a plan for me today. Plan calls for me to eat oatmeal. I get up and eat cereal instead. I felt that I was supposed to eat oatmeal but I was running late. Now when I was eating that cereal, somebody/something was there, watching me eat that cereal, shaking its head because I exercised my free will to eat cereal instead of oatmeal. The shaking of the head is justified because the plan called for oatmeal because it was written that I would have a long day and would not be able to eat around the time I normally did, thus, the oatmeal would sustain me and prevent me from developing a hunger headache – y’all know the kind I’m talking about. As simple as my example is, I think it drives home my point.

We all have Free Will and how and when we chose to exercise it is completely up to us. When the exercise and implementation of Free Will is about to commence, those heavenly/celestial creatures jump back like Cliff Huxtable – hands off, I don’t have nothing to do with what’s about to go down – but I’ll be here to help you through the mess. I rarely read or listen to the news because it is so tragic but that is the state of our society, tragic. I have never lost someone to violence, so I do not and will not for one minute try to say what I would do or how I would feel. I am but an outsider looking in, like the rest of the world, who often asks ourselves, as we stand on the sidewalks and behind cars and around TV screens watching the results of another’s Free Will, where was God?

Maybe like MJB said, He was listening…
to a brokenhearted fool,
a sinner confessing,
a priest, rabbi or pastor bestowing a blessing.

Maybe He was sitting bedside at some hospital, nursing home or hospice. Maybe He was in the middle of the desert watching others exercise the appointed Free Will of another, or maybe, just maybe, He was there and there. Right there, watching. Watching that tragedy unfurl, because He dare not interfere with Free Will. He had nothing better to do because to Him, there is nothing better than listening, comforting and protecting His greatest creation; even if it’s not in the way we think it should be. We humans today are a bit haughty. We have a sense of entitlement and some have it more than others. I know. I’ve asked God where He was and why He let my loved one die, when I needed them. I kept asking but He would never answer me. Then one day, I answered my own question.

Who am I, that I should ask Him to spare that which I love most, when no one did it for Him. What happened to Jesus back then would be considered bullying today. We all need to stop bullying; each other and God.

I stopped asking Him where He was when tragic things happen here on earth because I’m fearful of the day when He will ask the same question of me. Fearful He will question my use of Free Will and point out, matter-of-factly that the exercising of my Free Will is not only my responsibility but yours as well and vice versa (we are our brother’s keeper!) and so to that I will say, if you believe, and I hope you do, or even if you don’t believe, be responsible with your Free Will because I AM NOT going down for you!

“Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me”
(The Fray)

Is that all? #confusedface

I’m really not the type to say I told you so, but after the word I heard Sunday 2/3/13 –
(Dr. S.D. Nelson @Abyssinia Baptist Church gave the business!) –
this TOLD YA! (little kid voice) feels all right.

“This ain’t a feel good everything’s fine sing-along. You got the wrong song” (Nashville)

I, am greedy. Yep, I said it. Greeeeedddddyyy. Yes, I know it’s a sin, but let me explain before you condemn me to spend eternity picking up cigarette butts from the side of the road with a pair of mini tweezers, wearing a bear suit costume in the middle of summer in Phoenix. Ahem (in clergy voice), turn with me to Luke 17: 7-10, you nonbelievers too!

The text talks about being a servant. Now, we all know this country was built on the backs of servants, so we all know the meaning of servant and serve. We are all servants. Everyday we serve (whatever you do for a living, you’re serving) and the majority of the time, by the time we get home, we are all served out. You get off work, you want to go home and relax, go to happy hour and relax, whatever it is you want to do when you get off you want to be the Master because you’ve been serving all day long and you are tired. Ahhh, but your service is just getting started. The service of the servant must be sustained – meaning, don’t nobody care how hard you worked all day, all I know is, when you get home, I want my time, your service to me and vice versa. You parents know what I’m talking about. Work all day, kids don’t care nothing about the work you brought home, they want to play. You owe them your service. When you don’t sustain your service you are neglecting those you are supposed to serve and that just ain’t right SMH. If you’re at a restaurant and the server neglects you, you would likely complain to the manager. In order to maintain a steady flow of good tips, the server must sustain by maintaining a steady flow of service.

Same applies in relationships, whatever kind of ship they may be. A servant (us) whose service (working, spending time, kissing, hugging, laundry, cooking, cleaning, reading books, giving baths, wiping noses, doing hair, etc) is not sustained (reciprocated where applicable – paycheck and all the above) may soon seek other employment. We get haughty because we want recognition for our service. Huh? You want me to acknowledge and give you credit for something you’re SUPPOSED TO DO? Human service is owned by 7-11; open 24/7.

The service you give someone else is of no benefit to me, I need my own and vice versa. The service you gave your employer is irrelevant when it comes to service to your spouse, kids, family, church, community, etc. and vice versa. Don’t care what kind or how much service (time, energy, etc.) you gave (fill in the blank). Whuhdatgottodowitme? (2Chainz voice) I was so busy at work, I didn’t get to eat lunch – and? I had to go check out something then go do something for my mom/kids/church – and? We went out the other day – and? “You gotta get yours but fool I gotta get mine” (Snoop)

I know it may sound and seem a bit harsh but it’s the truth and the truth is sometimes harsh. Every one and every thing requires its own service.

What I/you/they ate and drank yesterday will not, can not sustain me/you/them for today and the same goes for the service. I’ve been saying that for years! I KNEW I was right (fist pump/swing in the air, Ray Lewis dance!)

Some of us are probably going to, if you haven’t already, be called to the office to talk about our service, or lack thereof. This is not the economy one wants to be unemployed in, soooo, if you’ve had some complaints about your service (given or received) you better get your act together, don’t you ever get to thinking your irreplaceable!

You’re Fired. Garsonu! (finger snap)