XXXI: Decades Lost


Blinking and understanding that life that once was is no longer, and will shall not be remembered, must be forgotten, and memory is an intolerable sin of humanity’s fall.

Did any of that make sense?

It’s 2016. The modern world is alive and well, my generation has taken over the voting booths, polling places, and work force. We are everywhere, it is an infestation on levels that I would have never been able to imagine even in the darkest recesses of my mind.

Why do I not fit in?

It is to the point of frustration. I don’t understand the connotation of potentially lying one’s way through life in order to appease the public and the masses, and for that action to accepted as a cultural norm. Why? The people I was taught to be like, Paul, John, Jesus…none of them conformed, none of them fit in, so why is it wrong when I still struggle to do the same?

Sometimes you come off as arrogant and pretentious.

Your body language gives people the sensation that you know more compared to them.

The tone of your voice indicates that you are defensive.

Have you looked at your body posture? Stop crossing your arms at church, you look like you don’t want to be there.

You don’t have to say that you’re miserable. The way you act says that without the words.

How did life become so complicated and difficult to translate? Why do we spend so much time and energy trying to find second meanings, real meanings behind people’s words? Why does a pastor’s words cause me think that I need to see a behavioral specialist because I struggle working with other people? Am I that sinful? Am I that flawed? Am I truly designed incorrectly by God?

Did He make a mistake?

Something that I don’t think people take into consideration with their words (irony) is that eventually those burdens are overbearing to the individual receiving them. Eventually they get to a point where they believe they are so rotten that they truly should be discarded by the enjoyment of societal gains. We use words, assuming they mean little, and focus so hard on the actions that we don’t ingest the meaning, the passion, the potential truth of the words. We treat conversations like whispers and pretend they never happened until we feel offended, we feel threatened, we feel that someone doesn’t like us.

We scrub our soul, trying to understand what toxicity exists within the pores of our mind’s crevices. We are frequently, passive aggressively, informed that we are wrong and flawed. However, even when desired, remedies are never provided. When humanity cannot provide the needed resources, it only makes sense that many consult historical, religious texts for guidance. When happens when the text conflict with the behavior of the present majority. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who budges and who accepts the problems that fall within their own realm of responsibility?

I stay out of election news, I avoid politics, and I rarely discuss the military. I try to avoid all conflict when possible, and I don’t go into conversations looking for a fight. I’ve spent, what feels to be decades now, trying to resolve the ongoing social issue that states that I can’t avoid chaos. That I have to go against the grain. That I have to be different.

When does society, if they ever do, begin the accept the idea that I do not dream at night of the tumultuous points of action that I can partake in? When does a culture begin to actual practice what they preach and accept a person because of their unique identity?

Our greatest lie at this point is announcing that we’re adoptive of all people, yet still ensuring that those who don’t measure up, are made very well aware of their failures to be measured by our stick.

-D-

XXXI: Broken Judgemental Hearts


Tonight, with the internet finally running, I was planning on giving some details into the moving process that Darco and I just went through over the past week. However, something took place this evening that gripped my heart to the point that even the joys of moving cannot trump such an event.

I am an awkward individual. How I walk, talk, and even write, so please bare with me if something just seems…well…awkward.

This is new territory for me.

Darco and I were visiting with a family member of whom we love dearly. It’d be months since we had seen them, and Darco took some time to ensure that they saw our new living arrangement. When I got home from work (and later running), we chatted, ate, and just had a fun time sharing stories of the oddities that we conclude are indeed our lives.

Towards the end of the evening, they began to prepare to leave. It was about that time that Darco looked at them, and simply asked, “Well, aren’t you going to tell him?” I, stuffing myself with food, was curious as to what the conversation was about. I noted that they were holding a artistic illustration of a name that I assumed was associated with them.

They started to giggle.
They started to avoid.
They stated, “He’ll make fun of me”.
They said, “He won’t like it”.

It was about that time, thank you education world, that I started putting the pieces together. Our loved one is holding onto a drawing of someone’s specific name. They’re laughing, making comments such as, “But, we’re not yet, so I can’t say it…”

That’s when something came out along the lines of, “She’s not my girlfriend…officially…yet.”

In one unique way, or another…a child (younger than me) who I love dearly, frankly (to put into awkward, politically correct terminology) came out of the closet tonight.

My heart shattered.

Not because of the desire of the wanted love, relationship, etc…
Not because I was so disappointed in their “LIFE CHOICES”…

Because they were afraid of my reaction.
Because, somewhere, they were afraid of judgement.
Because I go to church. Because I’m the Christian. Because somewhere, somehow there’s this disillusion that I’m inherently going to condemn anyone who is gay, anyone who is a Democrat, anyone who votes wrong, anyone…well…period.

I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m spiteful.

That reaction, that reaction is exactly why I struggled in college. I didn’t want to be grouped, I didn’t want to be identified as “judgemental”. I look at Christ and the only judgement I see from Him tends to be towards religious hypocrites. If I’m to be Christ-like then how on earth could I justify that kind of condemnation towards a soul that I love dearly?

It makes no sense.

It’s an everyday reality.

This is what makes my blood boil. When Christian’s cause more damage for God’s kingdom compared to the glory that we’re to bring God. It makes me angry, a righteous zeal towards the religious elite. These are those moments when I’m happy that I’m divorced, that I’m a failure, that I’ve caused so much pain for my God. Because I’m able to look at the rest of the world and realize there isn’t a inch of my body that could justifiably be placed higher than any other human.

My life is forced humility. How could I dare bring myself to judge? What has that young child witnessed that’d cause them to ‘joke’ about being looked at differently because of a choice they’ve made? Where does it say Jesus would do that?!?! Where would it say my loving, caring Father would treat His own in that nature!?!?

Show me in the red text.
Show me the verse.
Show me where my God gave up.
Show me when my Savior told me to condemn those who are looking for hope.

Until I see that…
Until I hear His voice saying that…

I will love those closest to me. I will care for those who fear the rejection. I will house the lost.

I. Was. No. Different.

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


It’s the moments you lose touch with your humanity.
Merely animal instincts drive the movement. The natural transition of flow, dating through the history of man.

Reach. Grab. Pull. Push.
Reach. Grab. Pull. Push.

I confess, after an unplanned, surprisingly stressful day, the last thing I wanted to do was run. Really, I wanted to eat pizza and sleep.

However, with 40 minutes of sunlight left, temperatures dropping from 60℉ to 50℉ in no time flat, I decided to start moving.

At first it was just a walk. Feeling the cool air, trying to breathe, trying to push away the past of the day.

That turned into a light jog. Slowly downhill, pondering if “pushing it” would be ideal…

I started to lift my legs, stretching them out as if they were wings of Mercury.

Anger; it started seething through me. I could feel blood boiling, air pushing out through my teeth, jaw clenched. Only word uttered:

Faster.

Arms locked into their rhythmic, piston drive. I had already forgotten that two hills were cleared.

I could see my legs, lifting, stretching…higher and farther. Fear of my own history racing through my soul, pushing me to new heights.

Faster.

Sling-shot symmetry courses through my feet. They’re in unison curving around the two 90° corners; leading the final sprint of asphalt.

Faster.

There’s no fear left. There’s no thought process. Breathing locomotion takes over the mind, as the body runs itself.

Faster.

The end is near.

Faster.

The road ends.

Faster.

Finish alone.

Faster.

Run.

Faster.

Stop.

Staring at the sapphire sky, I allow a final breath. Acknowledging the journey’s end. A lifetime of thought, comprised into four minutes and 57 seconds, lasting a duration of one American mile.

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It’s been four long years. Four years since I saw my mile time drop below five minutes.

I almost cried telling MC tonight.

-D-

…now just one more minute to go…

XXXI: Scarlet


i’d make the rough assumption that many protestant churches, at least once a year, cover the topic of adultery; as illustrated throughout the Bible. Namely, most notable in the Old Testament with the Ten Commandments, and along with the ammunition that is frequently utilized (and used for overkill) when tackling divorce, homosexuality, and everything else that a church member isn’t “guilty” of out the New Testament.

Am I close?

Pardon the rough tongue-in-cheek exasperation of thought, but last Sunday our church also did our yearly uncomfortable deed of covering the same topic. I knew it was coming, and I had hoped that something would come up that Sunday that would prevent me from arriving at church during the sermon. I’m only being honest with thought. Continue reading

XXXI: Lost It


I threw the water bottle down on the ground…
I kicked my bag into the closet…
I tapped my inner-middle school student and had an untimely meltdown tonight. Stress that I’d kept in just erupted into a tantrum that’d make a five year old blush.
I was tired, angry, and felt that no one was listening.
Praise God, Darco exists. She walked up to me, grabbed my hands, looked me in the eyes and slowly, calmly said…

You are tired. You are angry. Calm down and come to bed.

I obeyed. Shaking, breathing heavy, but the gentleness of that soul was enough to bring me down off the tirade.
The explosion stems from the mass amount of stress at work that I can’t show to the students. They don’t deserve that. It comes from knee pain from running. It comes from going three days in a row from 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM. It comes from only seeing Darco while we’re both awake this week for a grand total of six hours.

With a deep breath, I’ll try to calm my soul to rest…

-D-

XXXI: Every Step I Take


Every step I take,
I take in you,
You make move Jesus
Every breath I breathe,
I breathe in you,

The simple lines reverberate back memories of mission trips, summer camps, and when life was overall easier. Less facial hair, less stress, and an overall appreciation for simplicity…without even knowing it at the time. Even last night at my parents house I found a 31 page paper that I had typed out of spite towards one of my professors. Reading over the text I was humored at how naive I was at the time (and also how my grammar could be relatable to my sixth grade students). Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: 93% Cacao


Ehhh…
I’m currently listening to a pastor compare the Kansas City Royals to the royalty of Christ.
*sigh*
Sorry, just feels like a gimmick. Non-intentional I’m sure, but my evil college theology roots are brewing this morning. I’m obviously not that creative, hence why I’m rather bitter about the strange comparison.
That and the fact that I truly despise how our culture revolves around athletics and not other identity of a culture.
I’m obviously lacking patience due to my lack of coffee. I can see the comparison, I understand the points, but I must be becoming old and weathered because it just seems cliche (having half the church body demonstrating their allegiance by wearing “vintage” Royals also is…well…meh).
Perhaps I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed because I’m overwhelmingly lacking the enjoyment, the sweetness of life. I’m merely dealing with internal bitters that seem to have filtered into the blood stream (why does no one ever refer to a ‘soul stream’).

Life is hard, marriage takes work, and patience is always lacking. Runs don’t move as smoothly, and the fridge tends to be empty (or worse, requiring actual cooking).

image

Le...meh

People wear me out, and cyberspace is inviting. I could get lost in zero’s and one’s and be at peace. However, as tempting as that utopia seems, I still know it isn’t where my life should exist, and no, I don’t always enjoy acknowledging that truth.

Today, I’m merely like dark chocolate. The 93% dark chocolate, there is nothing sweet, it’s just bitter, but in some ways dealing with that bitterness can equal added health benefits.

I acknowledge my lack of patience, bitterness, and overall anger today (no breakfast aids to that). I’m not in a good mood, and it is hard to handle. It requires so much humility, so much embarrassment in order to flush the system. In the end it’ll take a nice long run tonight to cool off and wear down.

-D-