Hello. It’s been a while, right? That seems to happen where writing these is concerned. I suppose that’s why so few read them. Or, blogging is dead; some would say that it has been for some time. Interesting thought. I think it has more to do with consumer overload. We have so much that we can process, and for a while, I think we liked it. However, too much of a good thing tends to breed some level of contempt and even backlash, and I’m somewhat certain that we just look at things these days. I look at lots of blogs while basically ignoring my own. It’s also rather obvious that everyone thinks we want to hear their opinions or think we need to hear them on every possible platform which I find nauseating most days. So, I respect the fact that people just don’t care to hear what I have to “say” whether it’s through this, social media, or any other forum. Anyway, the bottom line is this: I just need to a place to talk things out besides in my own head sometimes, and this really helps me clear the decks of my mind. I also like to put good reads in front of people out here from time to time, so please don’t hold it against me, and I say thank you if you take the time to read any of those. Good books bring me great joy, and I love to pass that along to others. I had to add that….hope that’s o.k.
I’ll do my best to not be so meandering during the rest of this post. O.k., dude….FOCUS! I’ve been thinking a lot about grace lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about how much grace has been given to me versus how much grace I dispense to others. I’m not sure what it is about my make-up, but I can be incredibly hard on people. I don’t mean to be, honestly. It’s innate to my nature, and I have only recently come to fully realize that I must fight against that behavior. I was granted the most extravagant grace of all time when Jesus gave up so much to reconcile me to Himself. How can I not return that long-suffering type of grace to others? But, in that is a conflict that I struggle to resolve…where does that grace need to be balanced with a responsibility to hold people accountable for poor choices that lead to things that cause relational breakdown between them and me? Jesus didn’t pull accountability off of the table in the way He went about His business. There was a balance of both. I guess I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to put it together, but I’m trying. I really am trying. I believe that counts for something in His economy, and I hope it does in yours if I’ve failed you in this. Jesus, help me to get it right.
Racism. I hate it. I hate everything about it. Everybody is struggling with it. You don’t have to admit it, but EVERYONE is. I wonder if we could actually have civil conversations about its existence if we could simply admit that. I’m white. I don’t apologize for being white. God made me white. He decided that would be the color of my skin before He created a thing in nothingness. What I don’t understand is why I am afforded so many perks and privileges in life because of the color of my skin? How did that get to be such a big deal? Who decided white was better? How is any color of skin considered better? More perplexing to me is why anyone would suffer the withholding of perks and privileges to a human being because they AREN’T white? I believe systemic racism is absolutely real, and I despise it. I despise all that happened long before I was born that caused it to exist. It may not look like it did in the past, but it certainly hasn’t disappeared. I believe current events make that abundantly clear. I am blessed to know more people of color now than I have at any point of my life. I can tell you that I longed for that as a kid. I’ve reached a place where it is my great desire to understand….to understand how they feel and how they’ve been impacted by this societal epidemic. I can’t identify. I wouldn’t even try. But, I want to be a part of the solution. I want the Church to be a part of the solution! I want to start a journey that culminates in the end of this thing even if it’s long after I’m gone. I just want it to not be! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I mourn the loss of David Bowie. Glenn Frey, too. I didn’t personally know either of them, but I knew them in another way. I knew them through “Let’s Dance,” “China Girl,” “Fame,” “Take It Easy,” “Smuggler’s Blues,” and so many more. They were a part of my life’s soundtrack and always will be. Their absence leaves a void in the creative universe that I’m sure will never be replaced. Why do I say that? It’s not because they aren’t artists out there who could pick up the reins and continue to innovate and create in amazing ways; it’s because most if not the majority of those artists will never be heard on a meaningful scale commensurate with their talent. They are out there, but they are forced to operate in anonymity, because the music industry doesn’t want to do the work of creating new legacy artists that will shape the landscape in unforetold ways. They just want the next cookie-cutter hit single and the money that comes with it. What will we do when we lose other irreplaceable names that I dare not mention here in light of the swiftness with which we’re losing them right now? I implore you, if you read this, to dig deep and find the treasure and substance that exists in music today that you don’t hear at all the “popular” outlets. Secular and spiritual, new and old….there is so much AMAZING stuff out there if you’re willing to seek it out. If you don’t find them, they’ll disappear and that would be an absolute travesty. Fight for great music! It’s worth it.
Well, that feels better. Like my friend, Doug Messer, always says, “…just something to think about.”