Monday, January 25, 2010

Why is it?

Why is it that many atheists I've come across are deeply offended by the fact that I am happy with an active faith in God, even without trying to convince them of anything?

Why is it common for American teenage girls to think that a guy who is kind and honorable is a wimp?

Why is it that most people hate their job?

Why is it that women who have had multiple sexual relationships get upset that their children don't respect them?

Why is it when you share something positive about yourself, you can always count  on someone out there accusing you of being proud?

Why is it that God is so willing to smooth out a stupid mistake the moment you are sorry, repent and turn to Him for help?  No one else I know will do that.

Why is it that when we are unhappy with our weight, we comfort ourselves with food?

Why is it that couples in love, who claim they will do anything, even give up their lives for each other, can't do the simplest thing of honoring their wedding vows?

Why is it that we say we hate commercials and then just sit there staring at them like zombies when they come on?

Why do parents ignore years of opportunities to nurture respect and good character when their children think of them as heros, and then wonder what went wrong when they turn into teenagers?

Why are there so many people who hate to read books?

Why is it that some of the most poverty-stricken countries are the ones where birth control is considered a sin, but child prostitution is rampant?

Why are there Christians who are so quick to say they can't, and think they're being humble?

Why does God put up with this frustratingly thick-headed world and still want to take the few He can find who believe in Him to heaven one day?

Come Lord Jesus, come quick!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Zulus, Lawyers, Buddhists and John Travolta

In one of our early morning talks as we get ready for the day, Dave brought up an article he had read about some of the most highly successful men in the US, in business and the arts.  One of the things they had in common was that they enjoyed being in the company and learning from people who were completely different from themselves.  They liked picking the brains of truck drivers, cartoonists,  right-wing conservative preachers, left-wing hippies, school teachers, accountants, soldiers, comedians - anyone who could give them a different perspective on life.  They didn't necessarily become best buddies or share their most intimate thoughts with them, but they were willing to listen. learn and see the world through their eyes, which helped them become much more innovative in their field.

Don't ask me where this article is, I'm just telling you what my husband told me as he was shaving one morning. He's a pretty reliable source of news information, so I trust his word.  But it got me thinking, how many times has my life been enriched by talking with someone who was completely different from me?

Those times in college that conservative Jewish students complained about the way Christians proselytize (evangelize for those who only speak Christian), I may not have had the best answer on the tip of my tongue, but the experience helped me better understand the huge gap between our two beliefs that I thought were so similar.  When at 20 years old, I lived with the atheist feminist lawyer's family with her college professor husband whose children were only allowed to watch PBS - I was exposed to a very different world I knew nothing about. Their dinner parties with the intellectual crowd were fascinating although I know for a fact that I embarrassed them a few times with my insensitive comments about faith and Christianity.  The Jamaican roommate who invited me to her home for Thanksgiving, the young Korean Buddhist monks who had never met an American and asked if I knew John Travolta, the 65-year-old prostitute from Tennessee who wore her white hair in a mohawk, the Zulu witchdoctor who threw away her witchcraft to accept Jesus, the suburban moms, the theology students and the demon-possessed.  Every one of them has helped me see the world in a new and deeper way and to see that behind every quirky story, there lies a soul and spirit that needs God whether they know it or not.

My closest friends may come from very different backgrounds, but they all build up my faith and keep me focused on God and His promises.  But reaching out to others who are different is what keeps my faith tested and challenged, and even more, teaches me to see the potential that everyone has to be healed of their problems no matter where they came from.  As funny and strange and different as we are, we're really a lot more alike than we realize.