Do Better

Well, here I am: writing to get back into the habit of writing. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last blog post; over sixteen months since my last published book, These Threads of Faith; and, almost 2 ½ years since I’ve spent time with the Drifter Series in, The Privilege of Sin.
It’s not like fodder hasn’t been there. There’s been plenty of grist for the mill. But the muse has just been…gone. Setting pen to paper, or in my case fingers to keyboard, only filled me with a sense of frustration and bewilderment. With the past year’s events I’ve often been more irritated than inspired. 2017 couldn’t have been over with soon enough.

So now, here we are: 2018. Everything is new. Everything is filled with a renewed sense of hope and optimism. Everything is waiting to be reopened, reborn, like the first buds of spring.
Yeah, I know, I don’t believe that either.
I will say this: The one thing, above all else, that I am going to do this year is try to have a renewed attitude bent toward gratefulness, grace, & thankfulness.
The past year, filled with its frustration, disagreement, and resistance, has worn me out.
Oh I still resist. I still believe Jesus said what He said, and meant it:
Love your neighbor.
Feed the poor.
Clothe the naked.
Aid the widow and orphan, the “least of these.”
I believe the Apostle John when he says, “God is love.” And, I believe everything I do as a Christian, moreover as a human being, should be filtered through that belief, through that understanding. In other words, if it’s not love, it’s not God. If it’s not building up, if it’s not leveling the playing field, if it’s not providing dignity and hope, it’s not God.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot going on today in the world of Christianity and Evangelicism that looks like love.
Tribalism? Yes.
Patriotism (read, Nation Worship). Yes.
Idolatry. Yes.
But love? Not so much. (Unless of course you already fit into the tribe, the nation, the gender, the color, the lifestyle…) Even if what you claim to be saying you swear is said, “in love”.

Hmm, as I read back over this I think I still might have a little work to do in the “grace” department. It looks as though frustration and resistance still have a pretty firm grasp, and for that I apologize.
Not to the tribes, the patriots, the idolaters, but to the Christians out there—and the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Atheists, the “dones” and anyone else—who are honestly trying, to the best of their ability, the best of their knowledge, the best of their beliefs, to make a positive difference in the world: In their communities, in their families; to love their neighbors as they would have their neighbors love them.  We’re trying. God knows we’re trying. But it’s hard. Sometimes it’s so, so hard.
Then again, all we can do is our best.
Not because God asks it of us, but because it’s the right thing, the only thing, we can do.
And yeah, for those of us who choose to believe in myths and fairy tales and a certain carpenter from Galilee, because God asks it of us.
Maybe we can’t even do our best.
But we can do better.
2018 seems like a fine year to do just that.
2018 might be a good year to do better.

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