Eyes wide open… Reflections

Cody Bear

Cody Bear

In the darkest hours of the night, when sleep should prevail, without prejudice, without mercy, questions pour into my head.  I lie awake and I wonder…

Have I lived well enough to make many friends and fewer enemies?

Do I have the courage to cherish my friends and to vanquish my enemies?

Have I spread enough smiles?

Have I shared enough hugs?

Have I planted enough kisses? 

Have I caused enough laughter to earn reciprocity?

Have I studied enough history? 

Have I been engaged enough in current affairs? 

Have I earned a degree in knowledge?

Is knowledge a benefit? 

Is knowledge the revelation of truths, or is knowledge the realizations of falsehoods?

Have I learned from every victory and every folly? 

If so, am I a benefactor; more important, am I a teacher?

Today, in this world that reports the past in real-time; in time to worry for our future; and I only see and images of life, albeit in real-time, can I relate? 

Have I focused long enough on the anguished faces, I cannot truly see?

Have I listened hard enough to the desperate voices, I truly cannot hear? 

Have I seen enough of their pain, I truly cannot feel? 

Have I felt their hunger, I cannot feed? 

Have I shared in their grief, I cannot quell? 

Have I touched enough people?

Has cuddling become a lost art?

If you learn my darkest secret, will you forgive me? 

Will I forgive myself?

Did I stop smoking soon enough to live forever? 

How much double churned ice cream is too much? 

Will I die and when? 

Will it be too soon!  Of course! 

Would I fight for my life to the very end?  

Out of fear?  

Out of courage; for you? 

Will I let go? 

Can I fall away?

Will you miss me if I’m gone? 

Will you miss me when you are alone? 

Will you miss me when you are amongst friends. 

Will you still be laughing and smiling? 

And for how long?  Don’t tell me.

My dog is asleep at my feet. 

He has all the answers. 

He won’t say, but I finally get it.

It’s not about me. 

So now, I can close my eyes…

Getting Religion…

Stating the obvious, we know that wearing religion on your sleeve can be dangerous.  Which brings me to one cogent expression from this one young man’s video below; he professes that “people only know you’re a Christian by your Facebook.”  

I have experienced their religion first-hand.  If you’re running late and you think finding a seat on a Southwest flight is difficult, try getting to a religious service late.  If you have ever been slow to leave after services, you have been run over by the stampede leaving church or cutoff leaving the parking lot.   

I guess it’s still better than being in the Middle East where you could be blown up by a suicide bomber or a roadside bomb.  Thank God no one has been nuked lately. 

Don’t get me wrong.  Many who profess their faith in God are truly genuine.  That is why many of us have become instant fans of the Denver Broncos…well Tim Tebow, anyway.  In fact, there does seem to be the hand of God in some of his touchdown throws.  God help the rest of us!  

To my point, Christians and Muslims have killed millions in the name of God or Allah, but as Jesus was our Savior, He never meant for any of this to happen.  He wasn’t a “Christian” in religious man-made terms.  He was the first Christian,  He was a true gift from God , the Son of God.  His words were meant to heal not to divide.  He sacrificed himself and died on the cross for all humankind. 

I’m not a heretic.  I’m not preaching.  If I was, I’d be preaching to the choir.  This is a lesson.  This is a lesson from the heart.  We need to listen. —> Getting Religion

He says, “Just because you call somebody blind doesn’t mean you have vision.”

We have been warned.  The experts say our next great threat is ourselves, right here in America. It’s now about you and me.  It’s now more important than ever to follow the true meaning of Christ.

We already know we live shoulder to shoulder, possibly arm in arm, with the next domestic terrorist.  Whether he or she is on the side of one religious sect or another, it matters far less than the lives that will be lost.  We just need to stop, listen and learn from Him.

The Greatest Commandment: Love God and Your Neighbor

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Be a Servant to Others

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

So when you’re on the internet, which is a miracle in itself, to think Al Gore invented it; and you come across an amazing YouTube video, it’s no wonder you will find someone you can relate to and another who says, “hmmm.” 

I hope you have labored with me up to this point because if you haven’t seen and heard it, this young man’s poem and video, YouTube Video —->Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word, it has great insight on man-made religion vs. the true love of God.

In his own words, A poem I wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion. In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it’s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair.  Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can’t do your own list of rules and feel “not good enough” for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don’t represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God!”  Jefferson Bethke

Let’s see if this young man can keep his perspective, like Tebow, without becoming carried away with his newfound man-made worship and adoration. 

Regardless, his message is compelling.  I have watched and listened to this video several times, not because I am in danger of being left without a seat on a plane or I fear getting run over in a stampede.  I have watched and listened because it has struck a chord… 

Maybe there’s hope for our young people.  Maybe they will navigate their way out of this dust storm they have inherited from us.  Maybe those of us older and portended to be wiser, set in our ways; maybe, just maybe, we will follow.

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