A Prayer of a Broken Heart

“And Lord, I pray to you through the storm. Not because I am strong, but because I never was.
 
As paths around me crumble and there seems to be no way forward, I walk towards you, on the path I cannot see.
 
Though the world around me my disappear, and everything of value to me may be taken away, I cling to you who is of greatest value, who no one and nothing can take away.
 
Though pain and hardships have become my daily bread, and I feel too weak to walk forward again, still I follow you. Not for what I get, but because you are, and have always been the only way.
 
Lord, though you pull me beyond the extents of my endurance, the bounds of my wisdom, the distance of my foresight, still I will trust in you. For the limits I can go are but a drip in the ocean from the journey you can take me on.
 
So Lord, do not forget your servant, though he is battered and bruised, still he clings to you. Though the days come where I feel too weak to stand back up again, I shall crawl towards you and cry to you until these days shall end.
 
I know all you have taken away can be returned 10 fold at a mere word from you. But even if my life were to end at this time, I know my life has not been for waste in your plan. No matter the results, no life spent chasing after you first-most can be considered a failure. And so I shall pick myself up yet again, shakily on tired fight, and continue to cry out to you, until the day when it all makes sense.
 
You cannot expect a simple life if you wish to let God do amazing things through you.
 
Amen”
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Prayer is NOT a Cop Out

When it comes to responses to stressful and overwhelming times, few remarks lead to quite the negative feedback and concern as “I’m praying about it.”
 
“Prayer” has become synonymous with “Copping out” or “I don’t really want to change anything so I’ll just say this again.” To say “I’m praying about it.” often leads to responses such as “Well that’s good and all, but what are you DOING?!”
 
Now if this was only with regards to non-christians, I would fully understand this. If you do not believe in the existence of an all powerful God, who allows all things to happen like an intricately woven tapestry, so detailed that even those who attempt to destroy it by doing evil, only end up showing it’s beauty all the more… then it would make sense that praying to this would be on par with speaking to an imaginary friend to go earn some extra spending money for you. However, more often than not, it is the Christians I know who hold the greatest apprehension towards praying about problems, which makes me believe we don’t fully understand quite what prayer is.
 
Prayer is not a passive activity. It is not a chant you speak while attempting to pass the time hoping that things will change. Communication is not a one-way deal, so why would prayer ever be?
 
Prayer is opening yourself up.
Prayer is accepting you are lost and need help.
Prayer is listening for direction with a willingness to take it.
Prayer is accepting that you need to change.
Prayer is abandoning your right to feel bitter and betrayed.
Prayer is a willingness to move forward.
Prayer is a willingness to forgive.
Prayer is a willingness to grow.
Prayer is a humility to submit.
Prayer is an acceptance to repent.
Prayer is laying your heart bare on the altar and showing your trust in the creator of all things to treat it with respect.
 
One of the greatest descriptions I’ve heard of the proper mindset for prayer was an explanation I heard in grade school for why knights bowed before the king. It was more than just a ritual. The knight was lowering his guard, as the king placed a sword near his neck. It was showing with his actions that he was willing to be placed in such a vulnerable position before the king, because he trusted his life in the king’s hands.
 
We are a results-based culture. We see the results of someone’s life, and then instantly draw conclusions as to what led to it.
 
Someone has failed? They must be weak.
Someone has succeeded? They must be strong.
Someone looks a certain way? They must be ___.
Someone does a certain thing? They must be ___.
 
Because of this, we often treat our faith the same way. We believe the value of our faith is the results we bring forth through it. If we can’t lead people to Christ, if we can’t be self sufficient, if we can’t avoid falling into temptation, if we can’t make some huge impact on the world… then we will be of no use to God.
 
THIS IS BACKWARDS THINKING!
 
YOU do not do things that are of use to God. GOD does things that are of use through you!
 
Even the non-christians of the world. The skeptics, the tyrants, the cynics, the haters…. Everything they have is because God gave them. Everything God gave them is for His love for them and for His plan.
 
Does not the rain fall on the crops of sinners as well as saints? Did not God raise up Nebuchadnezzar for His purposes as well as David? There is no blessing in this world that does not come from God. Nor does He withhold His wrath from those who abuse His blessings.
 
Your duty is to follow where God leads and give Him your best. The results are up to God.
 
Much like Job, David, Joshua, and even Jesus Himself… you can do everything right in life and still fail hard. Still be persecuted. Still be a social outcast deemed a failure by human standards.
 
It is not what you DO that will determine the outcome. It is God alone.
 
Despite what many Christians seem to think, is not a cop out answer to encourage laziness. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that true laziness comes from those who try to keep control in their own hands, as in practice, they have a much easier time of it.
 
Focus your energy on trusting God. On submitting yourself to Him. To trusting Him through the fires, and acting as He wishes even when it’s unfair. To turning the other cheek when you’re hurt. To striving to improve yourself and know Him better even when it seems to get you nowhere. To steadfastly follow Him even when you are ridiculed for it.
 
Do you think praying and trusting God is easy? To think that is to suggest you’ve never truly tried it yourself!
 
Get up off your butt! Stop wasting your anxiety and stress over things that were never in your control in the first place! Your battle is to trust and follow God! That is more than you can handle in the first place! Stop killing yourselves to ensure the results YOU think God wants from you. That was never your place to begin with.
 
Live chasing after God. Leave the results to Him. Trust in Him.
 
Amen.

The Wolf of Class 1D — Dimensional Theory

It has been about 1/4 a year since I published my second novel The Wolf of Class 1D and I have reached the nerve-wracking, yet exciting time of hearing feedback from those who have read it. The most common feedback I hear is questions about my use of the fourth dimension. Where did I come up with the idea? How does it work? How extensive is it?

Seeing as I was fairly limited in how detailed my explanation could be within the book (because even with me cutting out most of it, my base explanation still ended up being the longest chapter!) I decided to write a post to better explain the full extent of my dimensional theory for those fellow lore lovers out there who want to get a thorough explanation of how the world of The Wolf of Class 1D works!

Some Base Disclaimers:

  1. I am a Christian. Anyone who knows me or follows this blog should be very aware of that. Because of this, Dimensional Theory is very much inspired by my faith and beliefs. Asking me to come up with a scientific/logical theory without God would be like asking me to write a fictional novel without my imagination. I just can’t do it!
  2. Dimensional Theory; while interesting and arguably very applicable, is still just a theory. It was a concept I came up with trying to explain the things I saw in this world which I couldn’t explain, and then I expanded upon and made more fantastical to become the plot point of The Wolf of Class 1D. While I believe the theory holds a lot of merit, and can help people understand this world better; it is ONLY a theory. There is no research or scientific evidence to back it up. I would argue that due to the very nature of the theory it may be impossible to prove or disprove, but it was just a potential conclusion formed from several decades worth of observations and should be taken as such.

With those two disclaimers out of the way; Let’s begin!

What Are Dimensions?

Dimensional Theory can be a daunting theory at first because it talks about things “Beyond our existence”. If it were a concept easy to wrap your head around, quantum physics would most likely be considered a primary course as opposed to PHD worthy.

That being said; I strongly believe that theories like these are more like a magic trick than a laborious task. While first attempting to wrap your head around the concept seems impossible, once you learn the trick behind the concept, it becomes fairly simple. Even moreso the more you use it!

A Basic Breakdown:

In The Wolf of Class 1D I described the concept of dimensions something like this:

Let’s say you had two worlds. One world is two-dimensional, the other is three-dimensional. If you were to take a cube (or any object) from the three-dimensional world, and place it on top of the two-dimensional world, the two dimensional world would clearly see and interact with the cube, however they could not see ALL of the cube. They would just see a square. A shadow of what the whole item may be.

In the same way with all dimensions; each dimension is connected to and influenced by the dimension above it, yet cannot fully see all there is to that dimension as it is beyond it. There are times it may see more or less of that dimension, or even a warped version of it based on how the two interact (imagine a cube on it’s edge or corner vs a cube on it’s face) but at the same time, the two are interconnected and not separate.

Now if you’re still following with me; That’s great! The rest of this shouldn’t be too much of a jump! If you’re a bit confused… Keep hanging on; it might make sense as you see it in play.

The First Dimension — Information:

In math; the first dimension would be a dot or a line (depending on who your math teacher was… personally I agree more with the line) There is only one way it goes. Often described as left or right, there is no up and down.

In the same way, in Dimensional Theory, the first dimension is information. Just pure data. While this may be counter cultural to our fact-based culture; if you study statistics it makes a lot more sense.

Data on its own is pretty useless. It can be misinterpreted. It overlooks a lot of inexplicable things. In writing and drama you learn that text makes up about 10% of communication. Context (what led up to this) makes up about 27% and the rest… is subtext (What isn’t said but is felt). It is the same reason why one can so easily find loopholes for laws, but morals are a touch more durable.

For these reasons, information achieves the position as the lowest of all dimensions. But that doesn’t make it useless! No! Information is all around us. It’s a part of everything. Information is essential! But on it’s own it is not enough.

The Second Dimension — Imagination:

If the first dimension is information, the second dimension would have to be imagination. And no… I am not saying this as the bias of a speculative fiction writer, though indeed, imagination is a huge part of my life. I say this because imagination is not limited to what information is found. In fact, often times, imagination can lead to the discovery of new information. Just as a lot of information can inspire a new bent on imagination. *cough cough* says the guy who wrote a book inspired by counselling and quantum physics

That being said, imagination is limited to the second dimension as… in all honesty, reality has stuff that imagination can’t come close to. While your imagination can often seem more extreme than reality or even with less conflicts and issues… this imperfect reality still seems to blow you away in ways you never though possible!

You can imagine all you want about standing at the edge of a giant cliff; hundreds of thousands of feet in the air…. but it won’t come close to the awe of standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or the precipice of Mount Everest. You can imagine the perfect match for you and fantasize the wildest things that aren’t even humanly possible with them… but it won’t impact your heart to the extent of that imperfect real world love of yours trying to impress you.

In fact; the most impactful works of fiction are often the ones that draw from things we have really experienced. To remind us of them instead of forcing us to imagine something we cannot comprehend.

The Third Dimension — Physical Space:

Next we come to the third dimension; the physical world. These are the things we can see, touch, hear, taste, smell. The things our five senses pick up on. Our physical bodies are tied to this world. Matter is tied to this world. This world is impacted by energy. Physics exist as we know it. Majority of science is made from observations which have been turned into information from this third dimension. Majority of theories and fiction are inspired by the information gathered from this world.

If my third dimension body were to punch your third dimension body would you not feel pain? If my third dimension body were to massage or heal your third dimension body, would you not feel comfort? Our third dimensional bodies secrete chemicals which affect how we feel. How distracted we will be. All the information gathered from our five senses take place here. All our physical limitations also take place here. This is the third dimension. The place all should be most familiar with. There is really not much more to say than that.

The Difficulty Spike:

Finally we reach the point where it starts to get complicated. When I was younger I came up with a theory I called “Laws of Reality” inspired by the “Deeper Magic” talked about in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. This theory were simply a list of rules that had nothing to do with what SHOULD be or what COULD be…. they were simply laws that HAD to be for anything to make sense. These rules included things such as;

  • You cannot have light without darkness, for darkness is simply the absence of light.
  • You cannot have good without evil as evil is simply the absence or warping of good
  • A choice without consequences is meaningless
  • Sentience without free will is a torturous existence
  • There must be absolute truth because even saying “There is NO absolute truth” would be an absolute truth

And of course, most relevant to this theory:

  • Something cannot fully understand or create something equal to or greater than itself.

This is why we struggle to understand the human brain. This is why who we are is such a philosophical question. This is why purpose and theology seem so abstract. This is why AI, though faster, is still so incredibly far from human reasoning. And most importantly, this is why you shouldn’t feel bad if the dimensions to come don’t make perfect sense… they aren’t supposed to. They are supposed to be beyond us.

The Fourth Dimension — Us:

In The Wolf of Class 1D, the fourth dimension was described as the place where our personalities and emotions truly were. Separate from, yet tied to our physical bodies. This was why you can have such an impact on someone’s thoughts and emotions without even physically making contact with them, such as in a text, a memory, or even this blog post.

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but Words Will Never Hurt Me!”

We all know this isn’t true… the fourth dimension is why. Call it your spirit, your soul, your identity, whatever you want… but there is something in humans that goes beyond body and mind…. as most people seem to (even if begrudgingly) agree to.

While maybe not as fantastical as The Wolf of Class 1D where the fourth dimensional selves of people gave them animal ears, amazing powers, or even turned them into giant monsters… there was a point I wanted to get across with the exaggerations in the story.

First: Though who we are at our core remains; our fourth dimensional selves do change!

As we grow in confidence. As we understand who we are and what we can do. As the events which take place in our lives impact us deeply. As we choose to hold onto or let go of events which happen to us… our fourth dimensional self changes. We either grow or shrink. We either become empowering or destructive. But we WILL change.

Second: How you react to events in your life IS important!

Life is tough… Life is cruel… Life can often teach us the furthest extents of despair… but even still, we need to keep moving. I say this not just so you will be less of a burden, but also for your own sake!

When events negatively impact us… we are given three choices.

First we can hold onto it. Let it fester and boil within us. Refuse to let go. We’ll never forgive and we’ll never forget! This then turns that event into a trigger… a stumbling block. It grows within us, filling us with fear, pride, rage, or more…. We begin to lose sight of the things around us, and it slowly begins to warp us as we do things we never intended to do. We become someone we never intended to be.

Second option is to bury it. Ignore it. Attempt to pretend it never happened. Again… this is a dangerous choice. Because it did happen. You can’t change the past by ignoring it. It did happen, and no matter how much you ignore it that pain will still be there. And as more pains come and you bury them, it will get tighter and tighter in there. You’ll become ashamed of your life… of who you are… you’ll expend so much energy attempting to keep all the hurts in your life hidden and you’ll learn nothing from them… until one day… finally… something small will come… something you never even thought to guard against…. it will come in under your radar, and it will hit you hard. It will hit you so that all the hurts you kept buried will come flying out at whoever hurt you… and then you will be the one who caused pain. And believe me, you don’t want that.

Third option finally is to accept it. Accept that the pain hurt. Accept that it was wrong. Cry your eyes out. Admit you can barely handle it. There is no shame in feeling weak. Anyone who tells you that is most likely trying too hard to hide their own weakness. Accept, mourn, and then move forward. Don’t try to pretend that what happened never happened… it did. Use it. Learn from it. Let it turn you into someone more sympathetic. Someone who can better help those around you. Someone who can create a place of comfort and healing in this world.

You will never save this world by destroying the things in it. You will only save it by building in it!

Third: There are no monsters and saints. We are all human.

I watch the news after a tragedy, and I hear words people use. “They were a monster.” “They weren’t even human.” “Such a demon.”

We post the most hideous photos we can find about them and treat them as something other than human…. but all we are really doing is covering up what we don’t want to accept.

Anyone could do that…

As mentioned in The Wolf of Class 1D, If you don’t deal with the issues in your life. If you hold onto hurts, lusts, negative things in general… even if you do so for the best of reasons such as justice… you will find yourself beginning to change.

Chances are you won’t notice the change as it is slow and as was stated in the book, “There is no one harder to clearly see than yourself.” But you will change… and slowly turn into what you never wanted to be.

The first victim of a monster is always the monster…. I truly believe this. People don’t go out into this world in an attempt to be evil. That level of ludicrousy is limited to the black mustached villains of children’s shows. Everyone lives their lives doing what is justifiable in their own eyes. Doing something horrendous to someone is as easy as telling yourself “They aren’t like me… They aren’t even human! They gave up/never had that right!”

Which leads us back to how we view those who do wrong… or those we disagree with in general… and why our hatred of them can often turn us into what we hate the most.

We are ALL just human. ANYONE can become a monster.

While this thought is terrifying in itself… realize the reverse is also true.

We are ALL just human. NO ONE is beyond redemption.

The consequences of your actions will remain. As mentioned earlier. You will have to live with those consequences for the rest of your life. But YOU are still redeemable. As I said at the first point. Though our fourth dimensional selves change, the core of who we are still remains the same. It may get buried. It may get tortured. It may get bound, beaten, or bruised. But the core of who you are… your identity… it’s still there. It’s why you can see someone years later to have discovered they became someone completely different from who you ever thought they would be…. but they are still them… you still recognize them.

Shed off the parts of yourself you shouldn’t be. Build up the parts that you should!

 

I went long on the fourth dimension; partially because it is what The Wolf of Class 1D is based on, but also because I believe it is an important concept to consider.

“Who Are We?” This question may sound silly and childish to ask up front… but how many of our world issues spring from this?

  • What is my identity?
  • Are our personalities decided by our chemical breakdown? Our choices? Something else?
  • When is a human a human?
  • Does race matter?
  • Does beliefs raise or lower your value?
  • What about the mentally disabled?
  • What makes someone “human”?

We ask these questions daily… our news stations are saturated with them. Thousands of causes are started about them. The question people want to know is…. “What am I?”

The Fifth Dimension — Angels and Demons:

The fifth and sixth dimensions are two I often speculate on the order of. That being said, I place them in the fifth dimension due to a few things I noticed in the bible.

A lot of people describe “a god” as simply a being of immense power… This is a definition I choose to disagree with. If a god was simply a being of more power than humans could have or comprehend; there would be many gods… in fact, some humans would probably be considered gods in their own right.

That being said, while I disagree that beings of more power are all it takes to be gods…. I do believe there are beings of more power than humans out there. The bible speaks a lot about them.

  • That God created angels
  • That some angels rebelled and became demons
  • That angels were often used as messengers of God
  • That there is a spiritual war of angels and demons happening at all times around us even though we (usually) cannot see it
  • That when humans met angels, they fell down in awe and worship because they were greater than they could comprehend (though the angels in turn desperately begged them not to worship them when they were so low and unworthy of prayer)
  • That demons would offer power, miraculous signs and wonders, things that no human could do, but in turn the human would begin to lose themselves to the demons
  • That there is a deep attraction in humans to both angels and demons which make them dangerous to think too much about or pay too much attention to lest we end up worshiping them and not the God who made them.

I believe the best way I heard to describe it was that “God wants a relationship with you because God loves you. The Devil wants a relationship with you… because God loves you…” in other words. The Devil and demons don’t care one way or the other about you… He just wants to destroy what is precious to God.

So that is why I place Angels and Demons above humans… but why do I place them below the next dimension? *Spoilers* the next dimension is time!

The Sixth Dimension — Time:

Current quantum physics places the physical realm and time within the same plane. (AKA the fabric of spacetime) I stretch them apart in order to fit our personalities and Angels and Demons between the two for two reasons.

  1. Neither who we are, nor angels and demons seem to be tied nor fully perceivable by our third dimension senses. While there are senses which do seem capable of noticing these dimensions. Empathy and intuition for the 4th dimension. Faith and spiritual awareness for the 5th) There is still so much which seems completely undetectable in the third dimension save for the impact they have on it.
  2. While both who we are and angels and demons seem to be in a realm above the third dimension; they both seem to be (temporarily) bound to the realm of time. The Bible does talk about after the end of the physical world, the demons will be cast into the pit for all eternity, and the souls of those who ask to be saved will spend eternity in glory… While this suggests that both are capable of being outside of time… it also suggests that we WILL get there (hinting we are currently bound to time)….

This being said…. Time is two dimensions above us! It is hard to fully understand!

A lot of people spend most of their lives arguing about predestination, fate, free will, and more… but the best way I can describe how I view time is like this:

The Bible states that God is “OUTSIDE” of time, and quantum physics as well suggest that time has form, which would mean there would need to be an outside to it. But what would “Outside” of time look like?

Imagine if you were looking at a comic strip, or an old fashioned film reel. You are OUTSIDE the realm of time for that comic. You can see what is coming. In the case of reality (or the artist) you can add things to the story to make things easier when the time comes that the event will happen. You see the ending, but the characters are still the ones who decide what will be done.

This is abstract… very abstract I know, yet it’s a kind of joke most of us have grown up on. Such as the Looney Toons episodes where the artist would interact with the characters. Take some time to think about it. I’m not saying this IS the way, for how could I possibly even fully understand it??? But it’s a method I’ve yet to prove wrong… and I think it would explain a lot. When you’re ready it’s time to move onto the next dimension.

The Seventh Dimension — Good and Evil:

“Angels are good and Demons are bad!” ….Okay… but why?

“Charity is good, and murder is bad!” …..Ya… but again why?

“I feel like this is good, and I feel like this is bad!” ….Still… why?

Why are some things good and some things bad? Because we feel like they’re good or bad? But what intuitively is in there to tell us that this is good and this is bad? Because society tells us this is good and this is bad? Society has corrupted itself, fallen down, then returned to old values countless times in the last 7000 years. Why does the cycle repeat? Why do we keep returning to the same values? Why do we keep falling for the same pitfalls?

It’s not about what we feel, because let’s admit it. Being bad can feel really good! It’s not about society, because society changes based on the values we strive for (for better or for worse). It’s not about religion, because someone still had to write that religion, and if everyone disagreed with it it wouldn’t have stood the test of time. It’s not about what’s efficient, because let’s admit it. There are many inhumane things which are VERY efficient!

Good and evil just… are. They’re concepts we seem to constantly return to. They’re concepts we don’t even need to fully be taught about. A child will instinctively know to hide what they did, before even being told it was wrong. They may not understand why, but they know they can’t tell anyone about it.

Now of course there are things that we have put into place. Things in the first dimension of information. Rules, laws, taboos… I’m not talking about those however. I’m talking about the things that remain. The things that still keep coming back. Because as you read history you realize, we really haven’t done anything new. The values we held were held long before. The radical causes we fight for have been fought for before. Technology may change, languages may change, cultures may change… yet the core argument of good and evil remains the same. Why?

The ???Eighth??? Dimension — God:

I put “Eighth” surrounded in question marks as the number here does not matter. If I were to add more dimensions later on, this number would change it. What it really is, is the top dimension.

I mentioned earlier that I did not believe a god was simply a being of great power. To me a god is simply this.

God is what determines what is right and what is wrong.

Now you may notice from this example that I underlined “is”. I am not talking about “God is what you use to determine what YOU believe to be right or what is wrong.” Though that WOULD be what YOU consider to be your God.

There are many things we place as the god of our lives. Science, celebrities, our own intuition, the government, luck, civil rights, tumblr…. It does not matter what you say your religion is or is not…. whatever you feel is your purpose in life is your belief. Whatever decides what is good and what is evil in your life is your god.

But that being said; I had just mentioned in the seventh dimension that what IS good and evil is completely separate from our beliefs. We may cannot change reality by wishing it to be so. We can not keep things from happening by ignoring them. What is, is. If God is the one who determines what is right and what wrong; who could create such rules?

A power-hungry mad deity who demands people worship Him or else He will smite them? No wait… that can’t be it. Because those would be rules and laws… not what is right and wrong in itself.

What is right and what is wrong go beyond rules and punishments. Rules and punishments are made to keep us doing right and prevent us from doing wrong. A rule is a warning sign, a punishment is a fine. But should you do what is wrong you will face more than a fine. You will face the consequences of your actions in how they affect everything around you!

So who can determine such things? Who can determine how something is supposed to run in order to avoid it from breaking or causing damage? Who can intuitively know what the optimal conditions are? And how to get you back to them when you’ve run so far away?

The only one who could know a creation that well through and through, is the creator. God. The one above all things.

 

Thank You For Listening!

I know this spiel was long, abstract, and possibly confusing at times; but I hope I explained it in a way that made you consider what I was saying. It is not my place in life to tell you to think one way or the other; and as I said at the beginning, this is only a theory. I have no proof or research to show that it is true. But if I caused you to think… to consider things you never would have otherwise and honestly ponder the world as you viewed it… I would consider this post a success.

 

If you found this concept interesting, and would like to read a fantastical adventure with such concepts visualized; I would like to invite you to read my latest book, The Wolf of Class 1D. It is available in E-Book and Paperback as well as available on Amazon, Nook, Ibooks, and several other places around the world!

It was a very deep book for me to write, and I would like for it to one day help encourage others just like it did for me.

Again, thank you for listening to my ramble and rant. I hope it was good for you. I hope you have an amazing day and know you are important. Your choices matter, and you have impact. Keep being the amazing person you are!

M.D. Tolman ~Mac~

I Blinked…

I was driving along the 400 a few days ago, when all of a sudden a car appeared right in front of me, clearly not aware (or caring) that I existed.
 
Now thankfully, I grew up in the city, and therefore was pretty used to such homicidal driving styles, and as such, was able to slow down, even on icy snow, enough to not get a newly reshaped front bumper… but I had to ask myself, “How did he appear out of nowhere?” and then it dawned on me…
 
I blinked…
 
Now, a normal person would have just left it there, but anyone who knows me should realize, that I am most definitely not normal… so it really got me thinking….
 
I blinked…
 
See, people know about blind spots…. They know we have areas we are naive and unwise in… we invest millions in technology and training to minimize the effects of those blind spots (much like how we install mirrors on the sides of our car and train ourselves to look way back before turning so we can keep an eye on our blindspots) but that doesn’t change the fact that….
 
We blink….
 
This usually doesn’t affect us much. It’s usually something we don’t have to pay much attention to. After all, we usually only blink for a second, and we can usually catch ourselves afterwards pretty quickly… but as any gamer can tell you…. a lot can happen in the fraction of a second…
 
and so we blink….
 
we miss stuff… we get blindsided by things… We make incorrect assumptions due to corrupted observations. It’s not always bias. It’s not always pride. It’s not always incompetence, laziness, stupidity… sometimes…
 
We just blink…
 
I think this is important to realize. ESPECIALLY in today’s modern age. I see so many people running themselves into the ground with anxiety. They have to micromanage every aspect of their children’s lives or their children will rebel! They have to micromanage every part of their finances or they will be blindsided by debt. They have to micromanage every calorie of their health, or else they’ll end up overweight, sick, and dying of cancer…. but here’s the thing…
 
You can learn every technique, manage every detail, download every app, buy every fitbit, protein shake, gross kale combination, and non-everything recipe book you can find… but at the end of the day….
 
You blink….
 
You can manage your health as well as you can, but then one accident will send you down a rabbit hole of slow recoveries and missed medical issues because….
 
you blinked…
 
You can save every penny. Squeeze 50 cents out of every nickel, live as frugally as you can… but then one lost job and bad economy later, you find yourself having anxiety attacks every bill you get, because…
 
You blinked…
 
You can focus on “Fixing every mistake your parents made with you.” Read every pinterest article. Be the most empowering parent you can possibly be giving your children every frivolity and experience you feel you lacked in life, yet still have them rebel against you and say they hate you when they hit teenagehood because while you were focused on what to do you missed that….
 
You blinked…
 
You can do every thing you can imagine. And study further to learn things you couldn’t imagine… but no matter how responsible, strong, or mature you may become…. you will never be able to fix the fact that you are human…
 
You will blink…
 
And that’s why we can’t take the stress and strain of the results of our lives on our own shoulders. We were never designed to be able to handle such a vast and broad thing. Our perspective is tiny and limited. No matter how much experience we gain, we will never be able to grasp every detail we need to to know what the result will be.
 
But that’s okay. Because God knows that we are weak. He made us this way. God never asks us to “Make this happen.” God tells us what He’ll do through us and asks us to trust Him enough to follow Him as He does it…. And it’s hard… and it’s scary…. I write this honestly not knowing if I even have a future worth seeing…. In all honesty, if I was to carry it all on my shoulders there would be no point… I am way too small and far too many of my plans have fallen short by this point… but I’m going to keep following, and I’m going to keep trusting…
 
Even though I can’t say I feel it every day… God is with me… I may not see any freedom… but I would not have lasted this long without Him… It is honestly one of the hardest lessons to learn…. but at the end of the day I give me best… that is all I am ABLE to give… Sure, I’ll look back, and there will be things I SHOULD have done differently. I’ll see things I was dumb on. See things I could have avoided… I already do… but as I’ve kept saying…
 
I blink….
 
So I’m not going to rely on my eyes which blink. I’m not going to rely on my ears that misshear. I’m not going to trust my sense of touch that can go numb…. I’m going to trust God, who says to keep moving forward and trust in Him… because if I do that, the results are His, and it doesn’t matter if…
 
I blink

In His Hands

You know… when I really think about it, there’s absolutely no difference between living a life of comfort and ease, and living a life where every day is a battle and any moment everything could fall apart.
 
No matter how rich, powerful, or well off you are, God could wipe you out in but a single word. No matter how weak, broken, or destitute you are, God could raise you up just as easily.
 
Whether we have freedom or captivity, our hope for the future remains the same. For it was never on our abilities that we were to rise or fall… But by the hand of God.
 
So do not take pride in your standing, and think “I did good and now I am safe to do what I want”…. even though it is easy to do so.
 
Do not despair and say “God save me! I am going to drown!” Even though it is so very hard not to.
 
Your situation hasn’t changed. Your potential hasn’t changed. Your future hasn’t changed. You were, are, and forever will be in God’s hands, whether you follow Him or not. Find comfort and humility in that.
 
Amen

Follow Him

Why is this world so scary?
 
Why do we hold so much fear?
 
What job will we have?
What will they think of us?
Will I get in trouble for this?
Will this work?
Will I have enough money to pay my bills this month?
Will I end up on the streets?
Will I lose everything I own?
Will I go bankrupt?
Will I live my life single?
Will they be offended?
Will they be disappointed in me?
Will they scold me again?
Will I lose support?
What if I get sick?
What if another emergency comes up?
 
We take worry after worry upon ourselves. We lose sleep and energy over obsessing over them. We go to great lengths to knock out as many threats as we can… but to what end?
 
You can give life your best to the point of exhaustion and depression, but if God so wills in, you will be accused of being a slacker.
 
You can apply to thousands of jobs, with a perfect resume, and wonderfully supported cover letter, but if God so wills it you will continue being overlooked and picked over for people with better smiles
 
You can be supportive and wise, but unless it’s the time God permits, you will only ever be considered “Just a friend.”
 
You can search the wisest people for direction and advice, but unless God inspires them, they will just tell you what you’ve already known and have already been working on as if it is the “Save all Answer”
 
You can live like a monk and save what pennies you can, but unless God protects you, all it takes is one scam, one unexpected crisis, and you’ll find yourself even deeper in the hole.
 
You can obsess over self care, taking all sorts of medicines, avoiding things you’re weak at, and exercising to grow stronger, but unless God watches over you, in three seconds you can have an accident that will ruin everything.
 
We are not on this earth to please others. We are not on this earth to protect/provide for ourselves. We are not on this earth to show the best business practices, wisest lifestyle choices, or best relationship advice.
 
We are here to follow God where He leads. To show what He can do through us. To show how He defies all logic. How to the world His logic is madness, but to Him their wisdom is meaningless.
 
At the end of the day, do not worry about the hundreds of thousands of people you must keep happy in order to follow God. In the end you are only responsible for following Him. If people get angry at you, it is because He let that happen in your life. If you go through loss, it’s because He let it happen. But do not be sidetracked trying to appease the many voices that come at you from all sides. Focus only on following God! He is able to restore all that you have lost and more. He is able to protect you no matter where you go. He is able to provide for you, no matter what you have. He can do more with nothing than you could do with everything.
 
Follow Him so you can have no shame. No matter what others say. No matter how they misinterpret you. No matter how they judge you from your state of life, not what you are doing. Realize God is the judge. God is the provider. That there is nothing you can accomplish without Him. So cling to Him, follow Him. Trust in Him
 
Amen

Societal Forces

(Originally from Twitter which is why it’s an odd format)

Society is maintained through balance, and Balance is maintained through two conflicting forces that have obtained equilibrium.
 
As hard as you push for your ideal, there will be someone who pushes back equally. No matter how hard you pull, the same will result
 
There have never been “Winners and Losers” in this world, Only temporary imbalances. No matter which side loses, resistance will return
 
We judge our struggle by the pain we feel. We judge others’ by the pain we assume they have. But no one can know what another feels. No one even really knows what WE ourselves feel. We only have assumptions based on the trial and error of our lives and wisdom from others.
 
So what is the answer? Should we give up pushing and pulling altogether? Well… that would be impossible.
 
Even if you lived your life without ideals for your direction, that in itself would be the ideal with your direction.
 
The greatest pushers of our age are those who say you shouldn’t push. The greatest pullers are those who say pulling destroys
 
You cannot have no impact at all on this world. You cannot know what the other side feels or acts. So what can you do?
 
As I said… there is balance. As hard as you push or pull, you will only be met back with equal resistance.
 
To focus on one force alone will only keep growing until you are finally overwhelmed. But a balance between the two, may have potential
 
Pull too hard and you give up what you stand for. Push too hard and you will live and die alone. Do both equally and see what happens
 
If you have morals, live for them. Do not give them up to make others more comfortable. But don’t lock others out because they are not you
 
Do not give up who you are so you can fit in. Do not give up on others so they can fit you.
 
There IS right and wrong in this world. There ARE things people do that hurt others. But you can advise others, not control them
 
Do not be frustrated by the lack of control over others when you cannot control yourself! Do not fight others when you cannot fight yourself
 
Most important, consider no life a virus or a waste. Even those who offend you to your core. Their actions and beliefs are not what they are
 
At the end of it all, we are all people. We will be right on some things and wrong on others.
 
No life is devoted to ruining yours. They are devoted to living life the best that they can, even if they are wrong,they are trying like you
 
Stand strong. Accept generously. Live as an example, not as a crusade! /endrant