We Are All Mirrors!

In my book, A Different Kind of Tree, I am using the tree as a metaphor for who we are, how we grow, what we produce, and how strong we are. It is a function of our roots, the nourishment gained, the soil we chose, and light we live under (or the lack thereof). It is about our growth from sinner to a child of God.

As we live, we present who we are to others…not an earth-scattering idea, but true all the same. Are we kind, selfish, a bully, helpful, hurtful, a liar, honest, dependable, a drunk, an alter boy, or a gang-banger? Our sad culture try’s to tell us that we are born this way or that way. Baloney! We are a function of our early environments, the impacts upon us, and the decisions we make. You may be born into the ghetto, but the ghetto does not always destroy a person; a person making good decisions can escape…and they do. As a female, your father may have beat you or molested you; maybe male bullies terrorized you at school, a male date tried to take advantage of you, so you feel much safer in a girl relationship. Maybe you join a hateful gang because it feels more like family and than your own family with parents that were AWOL; but does this new found family make you a better person? …which is the prime function of family.

We reflect back the image of who we are, like a mirror. Have you covered yourself in tattoos, piercings with boxer underwear showing  and wonder why you can’t get a job? As you leave church, are you a hateful driver, yell at the grocery clerk, or throw trash out the window? I guess you didn’t listen to the church service, nor did read your Bible…a Christian in name only, I suppose. What is the main (though stupid) argument people make about we church-goers? …that we are hypocrites (as if there are no hypocrites outside of church walls). But they do have a point. We Christians say that we are “new creations in Christ”, then why do we act like those who are not? Should there not be a detectable difference in speech and action? If we reflect Christ in our lives, others should be able to tell that our nourishment, our growth, comes from the LORD Jesus Christ who is the light unto the world.

 

 

 

A Child of the Sixties Compares with the Culture Today

In the sixties, we had parents too full of themselves to parent properly – just like today. In the sixties, we had bullies and hazing – just like today. In the sixties, we had classmates that would tease and do pranks on each other – just like today.

So, what is the difference between then and now? The situation is clearly shown in Marybeth Hicks’ article entitled, “A Sad True Story Shows Morality Lacking,” published March 22, 2012. It is a story about two young university freshmen roommates, one spied on his roommate and published a webcam video over the Internet of his roommate’s gay sexual encounter, which drove him to end his life by jumping off a bridge. The insensitive spy got 10 years in prison; a great way to begin a life wouldn’t you say? Every college campus these days should absolutely be considered rocky ground.

In the sixties, we had child suicides, drugs and drug overdoses – just like today. So, what is the difference between then and now? The answer is found in the sense that life has no meaning. Often we see children lacking a sense of life and death and what death actually is; many times believing there is no value in whether they exist or not, so who cares? Many children believe their parents don’t care; and with the breakdown of the nuclear family unit, many children feel on their own. The ease of getting in and out of marriage, the lack of penalty of failure, and the freedom many welcome for “alternative coupling” is destroying much more than is currently being realized. Future generations will be paying the price for a long time. Children coming out of this abyss lack sensitivity and self-esteem, which reveals itself in the extreme level of coarseness, brutality and selfishness we see today! It is indeed very rocky ground.

Now common language for adults and young children as young as a single digit in age (and even used on television commercials) is the use of the word “freaking” or “fricking.” You have to be totally unobservant not to know that the word “freaking” has become a socially acceptable replacement for the F-bomb! We see the wide-spread use of the WTF acronym for “what the f___.” Who are they kidding? Because it isn’t the actual word, it is okay? I don’t care; the word is a most ugly symbol. If you know how the symbolic word is intended, then it too has all the ugly coarseness of the original “hidden word.” Our speech makes a big difference in who we are.

But Haven, those of you old enough to know would say, in the sixties there was a lack of morality while coarseness and selfishness became the norm. Yes, true, but back then we knew there was a right and a wrong; we knew a decision had to be made to be bad or to be good, and the decision had nothing to do with “feelings.” There clearly was a line in the sand; we knew when it was crossed. We knew it was wrong to cuss. Oh, people used profanity, but it was not every day normal speech as we see today. It was consciously used by decision to be explosive and only used for impact. We talked politely to girls; never would we have talked so-called “boy talk” to a girl. Today, the “girl talk” is just as ugly and filthy as any gutter-mouthed boy.

If you wish to be a better person, you must gain our nourishment in more fertile ground…ground found in the Bible. There are indeed absolutes…absolute right and wrong. Decision-making is not relative to your own definitions; there are ramifications to our behavior. Our culture is becoming more rocky, and we know that a tree grows all twisted, dry and ugly in rocking ground.