Monday, October 27, 2008

finding it

A friend wrote this to me, and I keep reading it over and over again, wondering for sure if she is talking about me: "Darn, girl…the Holy Spirit is working through your life right now. I heard the wind last night and realized I couldn’t believe how the Holy Fire is burning through your life and changing you. The changes are profound…are you aware of how fast and radically you are changing? I barely get a moment to read your blog (I barely get a moment to take a poop!) but when I can skim it I can see all that’s shifting. Tectonic plates. Amazing Grace! God is Great."

This is a friend I have the utmost respect for. I watched her in a years-long battle with suffering that only served to draw her closer to God. And to hear that from her?

Well, wow.

The only way I can explain the change is that I have been praying whenever I think of it that God would have His way in my life. I don't have a lot to offer, but what I do have I will give Him. There is, of course, that warring faction within me that tells me, "Stop now! Dno't go a step further! What might be required of you?"

And yes, that's always been my fear - that something great would be required of me. BUt if I stuck with what I know, the fears and insecurities and sadnesses I want to hold onto, how is that claiming a free and complete life in Christ? How is holding to Satan's lies going to make me free? Because that is what they are - lies!

You know I always get riled up about this political stuff. I stopped my facebook subscription because I couldn't take it any more and I just found myself arguing with people. Really. What's the point? No one is going to convince anyone of anything. And is that really hat I want to be doing with my time? Arguing over politics?

Someone stated that they didn't want to insert their religious views into politics. I find that statement to be so utterly asanine I don't even know where to begin. I'd love to blog about it, but I don't have the energy.

I will, say, though, that I'm praying that God will make clear to me those things that really ARE important to Him. That He can help me let go of those things that are not important to Him - those things that are only important to me.

This guy is so cool. His name is Gordon Pennington, and he's the director of a media group that focuses on creating art with purpose. He created the Tommy Hilfiger and British Airways brands. What he says really resonates with me, especially as it relates to all forms of media and our culture in general. He writes:

"We live in an era of psychotic distraction. The level of psychosis that affects people's behavior is difficult to measure because people are so reactive. They are simply responding to an array of stimuli that is simply overwhelming today. And to filter that out and to protect oneself requires a kind of understanding consciousness, awareness, discipline and resistance that's very rare. Teaching people resistance will result in people acquiring a new level of individuality as human beings.

Most people practically live with not only the sense of privilege entitlement, but the demand that they be entertained, because it is simply too great of burden to bear to deal with the day to day to day reality of our circumstances. But if we could break through the barrier that suggest to us that there's nothing interesting there to discover, I think we'd be filled with wonder. We'd see in the very things we've ignored, the beauty, the complexity and the joys that fantasy never really bring us.

Our biggest challenge will be to actually recreate culture. I think we could see a renaissance. That sounds like a pretentious way of pronouncing it. I think we could be on the cusp of one of the most exciting periods in history, particularly for people of faith and conscious. I think the opportunity to enter a time of rebirth and renewal and renaissance is right in front of us. We're now waking up to something that has eluded us because we've been asleep, and we've been benign in our attitudes, and we've allowed this to go on far too long. It's time to create a renewal of ideas and ideals that have meaning, that have generosity, that have compassion, that are rooted in truth."

And, my favorite. My favorite, favorite, favorite (I wanted to kiss him while he was talking):

"Truth is the search for the things that are most reliable, sustainable, absolute. Truth is the desire to have something that we really can put our trust in. Truth deserves to be tested. Truth is being tested - in this age as in no other. The pursuit of truth ultimately necessitates a kind of struggle with ourselves, with the environment we live in; with those who maintain that they have a position that is superior to ours. The risks of pursuing truths are tremendous. And what could be a greater adventure than to risk everything in pursuit of the one thing that endures? If truth isn't worth all that, then it probably isn't truth at all."

4 comments:

Jess said...

The search for truth is really a significant part of my life right now. I was making no headway doing things the other way, which was looking to have my current view affirmed by a religion. I do think that there has to be absolute truth - the idea has been watered down because it doesn't fit in with our current culture of "do what makes you feel good".

As for the bit you quoted:

"We live in an era of psychotic distraction. The level of psychosis that affects people's behavior is difficult to measure because people are so reactive. They are simply responding to an array of stimuli that is simply overwhelming today. And to filter that out and to protect oneself requires a kind of understanding consciousness, awareness, discipline and resistance that's very rare. Teaching people resistance will result in people acquiring a new level of individuality as human beings."

The above quote pretty much sums up why I am attracted to Waldorf philosophy for Ella. Which I have a hard time sticking with because TV and McD's, et al. are so convenient and give instant gratification to Ella. But, children are SO overstimulated today from infancy, everything lights up, makes noise, kids are inundated with toys and things and experiences (even you and I are always taking the kids to the zoo, the park, playgroups, gymnastics, etc.) and some of that is good in moderation but all combined it creates a frantic lifestyle for children who aren't equipped to process it. I deeply believe that kids need structure, continuity, routine and a peaceful and secure pace of life. I fail at offering this DAILY.

This is the hardest part of parenting for me. Finding a healthy balance. Realizing that the most important thing I can offer my kids is some quiet and freedom to play, move and create at their own pace in their own way without outside stimulation directing and manipulating them.

And I just have to add that I am not surprised that children and adults are currently experiencing many altered brain states, like ADHD and depression - we live to be entertained and to feel good. We program this in from infancy and when we don't have that we feel sad, empty. I am NOT stating that all cases of ADHD or depression are environmental, I know that isn't the case. But the rates have soared over the last few decades and that mirrors in with dramatic lifestyle changes we have made as a society. We fill our bodies with crappy food, over-schedule and live to find ways to entertain us. All combined I think that it can become toxic and we are seeing the results. This is clearly just my opinion, though. :-)

Great post, Rach.

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

Great writing here, Rach - and a great comment by Jess! Awesome stuff.

Anonymous said...

Great comment by Jess, too. It is very hard to find that balance. When I was a kid in the 1970's, there were only 3 channels on TV and mostly stuff that I didn't care about watching at that age, so we paid TV very little attention. The toys were made out of metal -- bulldozers, trucks, cars, wagons -- and had no batteries or lights on them. You had to use imagination that they had headlights and honked etc.

Also, there were no gymnastics classes for kids (and no gyms for adults) in our town, andjust very few things to go run around and do. It was less hectic. We just had to play in our yard with our friends. There was nowhere we had to be.

James

Rach said...

You know, there were times when I felt so guilty because I didn't have Hannah in this class or that gym, that she spent so much of her time running around outside and not in something more structured.

And, yet, look at what she managed to do in five years, how she managed to live. I truly don't believe she lacked for anything and I'm glad I gave her the opportunity to have a hectic-free childhood. She learned more from observing the world around her than she would have from any class, and definitely more than from a computer or tv.

I look at the students in my class and how over-loaded their schedules are and I want to weep for them. These kids are SO busy they often eat fast food meals in the car on their way to their next class/event/game. :sigh:

I think there was something wonderful, right and good about our (Jessie's and my) childhood, growing up in the boonies and exploring our world.

(I'm not trying to ignore what you wrote, I think this is just a continuation of it and what Jessie and James were saying.)