I believe in world peace.
I believe that all men are created equal.
I believe in the Force, America, freedom, the Tooth Fairy, a bearded man in the sky, Jesus Christ.
Beliefs are cool but in the words of Tyrion Lannister,
“words are wind.”
They say faith without works is dead, and I’ve often felt that to believe something you need to be living it. Otherwise you just like the idea.
But what happens if that “living it” takes over. What if that action becomes the only sign of faith, does it just become empty ritual… and how can you tell?
How can you tell when you’re so caught up in the doing that you’ve stopped being.
When you’re more Martha than Mary.
How can you tell when the things you do sneakily become the relationship you have, instead of overflowing from it. And does the fact that I even have to ask a sign things aren’t right?
What seems like an eternity ago I embarked on some travels, part discovery, part losing things along the way, part chasing dreams & passions. A journey which saw me hanging out with the houseless in Hawaii, and sharing tears in Palestine.
A journey which saw me stop writing. A little bit awkward if you keep a blog.
And in amongst the travel weariness, shameless self promoting selfies, new experience buzz, innocence lost insight, humanity rediscovered, crisis uncovered, laughter, tears, solitude and connection, was an invitation to enter the void.
I would summerise my faith journey this year as an invitation to enter the void. The laying down of things near and dear to me, let the chips fall where they may.
I started writing this post early 2014. I’ll finish it in 2015. Apart from a couple of YouTube videos, quotes & previously unpublished poems, I only wrote one post last year. And while very little of what I write sees the light of day I pretty much wrote nothing of anything.
I didn’t read much either, I made no videos, I didn’t volunteer, I didn’t go to church.
In fact I lost all desire to do any of these things, which was a little bit strange.
Concerning even, if I thought to hard enough about it.
Yet I felt strangely at peace with this invitation to emptiness, as if it were ok to be on this journey. Some how comfortable with the uncomfortable, or at least at peace with the process… whatever that might be.
Like rehabbing an injury, things aren’t right but one day will be.
Last year I attended a friends exhibition and was really moved buy the powerful stories and imagery, so much so that I bailed early, it made me think about my own travels, the people I’d encountered and their messed up situations. Maybe 2014 was the year I chose to shut down a bit instead of being overwhelmed by the worlds problems and my inability change things.
As 2015 begins I find a rekindled energy for some of my passions, a desire to read, to write, to create. I’m looking forward to finding and committing to a faith community, but that may depend on where I end up living. Somethings I don’t think I’ll ever resume, their time has past and I’m happy to let them go.
Love & Breathe. Here’s to doing coming from being.
Supermarket-church snap-frozen-reheated greetings, cookie-cutter-christians rehearsed prayers and scripted meetings
Yahweh’s speechless we’ve hijacked his voice and branded it like sneakers,spread the brand globally sweatshop-manufactured-ministry, unethical in our political standing on others to maintain our status quo
checkered shirts, buzz words, clap for yourself ignore the helpless, it’s you who commands and god who follows, enslaved by his own words pages of grace turned into spiritual laws and promises
a world void of colour and complexity, 40-days of formulaic-faith-paint-by-numbers-christianity
we’ve robbed the God of creation his creativity, denied his mystery, trapped him in a black and white box of simplicity
is it any wonder he doesn’t flow through me…
when kingdom looks so different from this brand of culturanity
i fell for you hard, dove straight off the balcony, chalk outline on the ground of where my heart used to be…
i need to write, don’t know where i’m going with this, normally i have an idea or i’ve put some thought into it, don’t know if i’ll even edit or publish it…
i’m just going to write.
they say it’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, my mind sees the truth in that… my heart would tell you to go **** yourself – yeah, it’s a little raw right now.
falling for someone leaves you feeling like you’ve woken from a daze, feeling alive for the first time instead of drifting through lifes haze. if love is living i haven’t been living lately, even though I’d claim love motivates me.
when i opened up my heart & gave someone unrestricted access it made me realise how cautious & guarded i am, keeping people at arm’s length or allowing them to only see certain parts of me…what i choose, what i think you can handle, maintaining the status quo because it works for me…
and when you’re with someone where you feel completely free to be who you are it makes you realise how trapped you are with others, unconsciously buried under the weight of expectation, culture, diplomacy, heritage, family, friends, the burden of leadership or influence…who you think i should be.
amongst the many things i’ve taken from lifes recent ups & downs, one is that despite the risk of pain i need to let more people in, that unless you’re free any sense of freedom is just illusion…
that love isn’t arms length but an embrace… that i cant really love without letting people in.
so seeing as my heart is semi-splattered on the pavement we might as well leave it there… welcome to my heart laid bare.
there’s two things i’m passionate about…
christians being christian,
and the least (the poor, marginalized, oppressed, brokenhearted).
following Jesus should be simple, Love God, Love people…
i aspire to love furiously, be recklessly generous, to challenge the bullshit (let’s call it what it is)…
disillusioned, disheartened, sometimes it gets the best of me, i fail time & time again, sometimes i fuck up monumentally. that confident calm collected me you see, it’s smoke & mirrors, nothing to do with me. sure i know who i am, i know who i am in God… but i’m still flawed, still battle-scarred… still battling.
I struggle to find my place, i can’t buy into to the materialistic American dream or the kiwi one of chasing & trading experience. i view life as being bigger than me, that what i have is to bless others, so the God thing fits… except i don’t really fit in a church, in which if i’m honest its dreams and aspirations don’t differ much from everyone else’s… except eternity…
and while we’re on that lets deal with it. Heaven & Hell, that’s a choice?!…
about as much freedom of choice as me pointing a gun at your head, “love me or i’ll pull the trigger”. is it really love if its coerced or it’s because of what i can do for you. when church songs are sung “we love you(God) for who you are”, the words make liars out of most of us because it’s about what we can get or avoid…
but that’s the repackaged gospel we’ve been sold, robbed of the depth of our faith the pulpit often used as a rallying cry against current events, but if we’re honest its less about smacking & gay marriage and more about maintaining the status quo… state & religion. the cry of protest you hear is more a death rattle, the last gasps as church & state are separated, winding back the clock to pre-Constantine… which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just taken 2000yrs to get there, this kingdom thing was never meant to be established through politics & power plays…
but how we live.
as much as we claim the rights to Love, if i hear another fear driven altar call – “if you walk out of here & get hit by a bus where will you go?” – i think i’ll throw myself under it.
maybe we should spend less time arguing biblical inerrancy & more on solving poverty, less time defending an entire literal reading & more on taking this literally, “love thy neighbor”.
Love God, Love people.
i’m not perfect, never claimed to be, I don’t live up to the ideals i aspire to, nor am i the solution… christianity doesn’t have all the answers cause i’ve still got questions, it wont solve your problems because i have a bunch of them. christianity isn’t the rock stage-bright lights-popstar preacher, tugging at your heartstrings with one hand while the others in your pocket. and christianity isn’t that heterosexual male decrying the abomination of same-sex marriage to shore up his own fears & insecurities… because it’s no longer “pc” to rally against blacks & women.
God isn’t a genie in a bottle, there are no 3 wishes… even if we pray like its so. Jesus isn’t Tony Robbins – come to self-help-christ & live a life of wealth & success, and christianity ain’t a crutch for me… well at least 97% of the time.
This faith thing isn’t blind or dumb, if anything in its simplicity it complicates things… or at least i complicate things as it challenges me.
following Jesus isn’t easy, it’s not just a sunday thing no matter how much i want it to be, constantly wanting to fit it into my compartmentalised life yet it demands all of me.
And this “Love” thing isn’t what we’ve sold it out to be, dumbed & numbed down to “nice”. nice-jesus asks of us to be nice, friendly hellos & plastic smiles, teaching moral obligations instead of following, enslaving instead of setting free. Jesus’ love was revolutionary, look deeper into the culture & settings of all too familiar stories & see how scandalous his interactions with others were. look at our culture, settings & how we do “love” – we’re scandalous for the wrong reasons.
i guess it’s just as well nothings beyond redemption, the church, the world…
we could all do with a little more it.
so here’s to pain & growth, living & learning, the mountain highs & valley lows, the journey, to living free, letting people in, to following & stumbling on the way, to challenging the status quo, to dreaming, to hope…
and to trying to be a little bit less of a hypocrite each day.
Love God. Love people.