So we’ve tried very hard in our family to make it a habit to have family meals around the dinner table at least a few times a week. We used to do it all the time, a few years ago, when it was just the three of us, my wife, daughter and myself. But for many reasons, over the last year, even with a larger family unit, we haven’t shared dinner around the table quite as much as we used to, and should have.
We’ve taken in extra teenagers into our home to help them with their needs, not that they have special needs, but they have, or had, needs that were not able to be met in their home situation, so we took them in to help them out, get them the rest of the way through school, and hopefully give them the wings to fly. And it’s been a blessing to have them in our lives…I can only hope we have been a blessing in theirs.
Unfortunately, sometimes having extra teenagers in the house, extra people, extra stress factors around your kids, and your own selves, when you and/or they might already have stress and/or anxiety issues to deal with, can become problematic. And then at some point, when only two adults are in the house and the rest of the house is taken up by teens, those adults might tend to feel like they have lost their space and want to seek solitude and just make sure they keep an eye on the teens but not want to be around all the “thump-de-thump” from the speakers from whatever hip-hop video is pulled up on YouTube or the sound of machine guns killing zombies on the Playstation. Regardless, our house became chaotic and we ran from it.
Now we are trying to pull back, not only our faith, but our family. And while I’ve been on my journey for a couple weeks now, and my wife on her own, with her own struggles along the way, the hard part is trying to encourage our daughter to even see a path at all. Usually, at the dinner table, I require that the television is off and there is no cell phone usage, but the last couple times, I’ve allowed the computer to be pulled up in the dining room so we can have some music playing in the back ground. The other night, our daughter had her Pandora playlist up, which she was about to turn off, but I told her not to. We said grace and just started to eat, however moments later, a song came up that was fun sounding, one that we all knew and liked, a song from the 90’s, I believe…just a fun sounding song. We bopped our heads and sang along…and all I could think of was my mom saying “sing before dinner…cry before breakfast.” Or maybe it was the other way around…I’m not sure, either way, I never understood the meaning of it anyway. So we sat, ate, sang, enjoyed…but then my ears, and my wife’s, started hearing the song a completely different way…and our daughter started hearing it differently as well, and discussing it with us, and sharing with us about God. So that sparked the idea for the song, which was not even in my playlist, but my daughter’s…and then the rest of the week sparked the ideas for making the video behind it.
Of course the week came with struggles…every single day seems to come with something that just isn’t easy to get through, or make a decision on, or something or someone that makes the day somewhat challenging just because of personality differences. I can only think of one day that I had that was pretty much a perfect day, and that’s because I decided to make it that way…I listened to what was inside of me, screaming at me, telling me to do this to save myself from acts of stupidity, and I did it. I actually brought my lounge outside to enjoy the day with my wife…not an easy task but, it wasn’t the entire lounge either so it wasn’t a large task. Nonetheless…I gave that gift to myself…I showed mercy to myself, for my sake and probably the sake of others.
There’s a bigger picture to all of this, which I touched on a little last week, I believe. It’s struggle. It seems that no matter where we are in our journey, or how great we think things are in our life, or how well we think we are doing, there is always some sort of struggle…either in the little picture we call our life or in the big picture we call the world. But no matter what picture we’re looking at, it effects us all, individually.
The struggles of the world make it harder for each person to cope with the struggles they are going through in their own little world, and the harder it gets for that person to cope with their own personal struggles, the harder it is for them to care, and cope, with the bigger picture and struggles, to the point that the bigger picture gets pushed so far in the corner that it no longer matters as much to the individual. But the problem is, it happens to so many individuals that all those individuals put together make up such a large mass of the population that it brings the world down. Once the world starts failing, the mass of faith starts failing, then where do we go from there? It’s almost like a rockstar situation….if a rockstar was on top once because of all his fans, but then the fans start criticizing too, and lose hope in his capabilities to produce quality albums, then he loses his fan base and next thing you know…he’s a has-been and nobody wants to talk about him and people get laughed at and blasted if they do talk about him. It’s the same thing that’s happening now…so many people seem to have lost their faith in God because of disasters and things that are outside of their control, due to technologies and raping of the natural earth, and government is allowing us less an less freedom to talk about God, that people are turning their backs on their once favorite Rockstar. They’re not paying attention to themselves, what their inner-selves, what their OWN faith, values, morals, love is telling them to do. They’re not looking around at their OWN world and their not really looking at the world around them, just accepting it and going with the flow because they feel like there’s nothing they can do about it. But there is…everyone can do something. It takes just one person to touch another…to touch another…to touch another….
In church today, Rev. Jim touched on Armageddon. The Book of Revelations. The book of doom and gloom and how everyone looks at it like a threat. But he said something pretty cool, and that was, if we took the “h” out if threat, we could turn it into a “treat,” and that’s exactly how the book of Revelations should be read, as a treat, given to us as knowledge and preparation, armor. It’s about how that generation turned into a degeneration of faith, the breakdown of spiritual principles by the Roman Empire by crushing Christian values, much like today where the Government is crushing Christian values by telling us that we can’t say God’s name in schools, even when it’s Pledge of Allegiance, what our country was founded on. We’re even being told that we can’t use God’s name in prayers in funeral service at military services when our men and women fight and die for this country now. We’re being told that it’s okay for men and women of this earth to judge other men and women for what they do to their own bodies and whom they love, and correct me if I’m wrong, but there is a power greater than any one on this earth that IS going to do that for us when the time comes. We have allowed Government, men and woman, and ourselves, to let God get taken over…and that’s not cool.
God knows and sees everything that everyone does, thinks, and feels. He’s knows what we are charged with in our life and what we have to face and what we can and will have to handle, but if we don’t have faith…TRUST…in Him, then why should He be there for us in the end if we haven’t asked him to be? Truly asked Him to be! God has given us everything in our life, and will continue to do so, to compete and battle with all of our own daily struggles and to help fight against the bigger battles with Him as long as we don’t get so caught up in the negative drama of the soap operas of life’s reality shows. The daily drama of our lives and other people’s lives that, ultimately, will bring us down in the end. We have to keep focus on shining up the armor that God has provided for us to continue to learn and grow in our own spirituality so that we may help ourselves and help the world through Him….after all, He’s the one who made it, can’t we trust that He knows best how to help us help fix it?
Like Rev. Jim always says…”there’s a power within me that’s greater than the condition before me.” And I intend to use…through this blog and with this music…to capture anyone’s attention that I can…to spread the word, spread the tune…whatever it does…I’m doing what I can. This is my armor and I’m shining it up and adding pieces to it as often as I can so that I can be prepared to serve Him and the world He created for me.
How can you do it to? So there’s a recovery plan…first you have to humble yourself before God, accept the fact that you have reached the point that you can’t do this yourself and you’re in the dark and He is your light. Trust that He will show you the way and just follow Him. And love….people, please…I beg of you, and trust me on this one, no matter who it is, what color they are, what gender they are, what gender they love, what nationality they are, what they look like, how old, how young, what their beliefs are….just love….because He does.
And everyday, when you encounter that struggle…be it part of the big picture, or the little picture…right then…Roll to God.