We are not defined by …

Yesterday I left my phone in our car – in full view – in a car park – all day. I only realised when I was sitting on the train to London. Quick calculation: get off train, get train back to my station, get phone, get the next train to London … ? No – that would take too long.
“Lord, I have a “
“Got it covered, you’re okay.”
“But I left “
“It’s okay, your car will be okay, your phone is good – I have it.”
I believed Him. I got on with the day. I had a good day. And so it was. When I got back to my car, so it was.
“Lord, thank you.“
“Thank you, Paul!”

But why would I need you to believe me? Why would I need you to believe in my God? Why would my day be any better if you told me you believed in my God? And why would it be any worse if you told me you did not? Just why would I need you to agree with me?

There is a lot of hate just now. There is a lot of killing just now. There is a lot of fear(more fear than when 200 were blown up and killed in Afghanistan). And whilst death is death – we will always pick and choose those for whom we mourn – those whom we will avenge – and those for whom we will hate – those whom we make “them”.

“’A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! ‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven’.” Matthew 10:24-33

Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

Just who is “I” – and just who is “me”?

The world is no more in turmoil now than 2000 years ago when God Soft Hands Jesus was born. We who are now global. We who are as divisive globally as we were locally.  Who are as loving now as we were then. We are us. Always us.

We are “I” – we are “me”.

And right now (as always) – “we” have nothing to fight about unless “we” fear. We have free-will.  We have choices.  To build our own islands. To protect what is ours. To build walls to keep us in and them out.

But from where does this “entitlement” come? From where do these riches and freedoms we so fiercely “protect” – locally and globally – actually come?

Our “country” is simply a line drawn on a piece of paper. Just like other countries and cultures.  Lines on a piece of paper.  Lines which are redrawn.  We drew those.  Just as we protect now what we took then.  Hello ….

We are not defined by lines on a piece of paper.

Politicians we lambast? They are us. They are you and me. We choose them. We allow them. We watched from a distance as the “system” grew fat and bloated. Became the master rather than the servant. But to change things? To offer an alternative?  That takes too much time. Too much energy. Too much of “us” giving rather than taking.

And this society we mourn? We allowed that to happen. We watch it happening in fear – from our little islands – with our flat screen TV’s that we insured – in case someone takes them.

??? ~~~ ??? ~~~ ??? ~~~

So we can build our islands, our castles, and our drawbridges. We can hurl our rhetoric of fear, of entitlement of “keep out this is ours not yours”. We can isolate us from us – we do that so well. And we can fear – because we seem to so love “fear”!

And we can use the Bible to vindicate our arrows of hate (that we wrap in “love”?).  We can use the Bible to justify our differences (that we wrap in “forgiveness”?).  We can hold up our Bible against their Koran.  We do do that!  We have already created our own “Gods” in our own likeness(es) to fight our lines that we draw on our pieces of our paper!  We can do that. We do do that.

We LOVE doing that.

I know a song about that.  A line given to me by another yesterday (as I enjoyed a day without my phone).  Another who does not need to believe in my God (nor me to need him to believe in my God) …

“Still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Paul Simon, The Boxer: 

Because we can choose to build bridges – and we CAN choose to love ourselves – to love “us”.

(I know a song about that as well)

The Judds – Love can build a bridge

2 thoughts on “We are not defined by …

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