Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Just Read a Fantastic Blog Entry

Since I could not express it better myself, I'm including a portion of a blog I stumbled across earlier today--a friend of a friend of a friend's blog. The blogger addressed an issue that I'm thinking about a lot, and I think he really makes some good points. Hope this stranger doesn't mind (and I don't think any laws would prevent this)!

There is a big difference between asking someone how they’re doing and actually caring about the answer.

I saw a young man in the mall once that had a T-shirt that had these words on the front "People always tell me to stop drinking.." and on the back the phrase ended with, "But no one ever asks me about my thirst." Today's culture (MEANING= The world we live in everyday! Even our lives!) is built around trying to avoid the real questions. Avoid that void, the pain, the hurt. Why can't we be more enticed to see someone’s soul? To really be in tune with someones heart?

Culture today lives for comfort and escapism and we wonder why were apathetic and indifferent. We should change our motto from "Land of the Free, to the, Land of the Numb".

We can create ourselves island paradises if we have the right supplies. (TVs, DVDs, music, espresso machines, laptops, video games, nice cars, the right relationships, the cool shoes, the high position at work or church). This was the idea Hugh Grant presented in the opening scenes of the movie, "About a Boy", the last line of that whole montage said the following," all island dwellers you often have to visit the mainland."

How often have we visited the mainland of our hearts? How often do we break out of this state of anesthesia and enter into another persons world and actually touch them?

As Brad Pitt says in Fight Club, "We're the middle children of history.... no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives." We associate with this quote, with this movie, or at least I did because we feel lost in this culture that says that we live for ourselves. At least those people back when had something to fight for, to fight against, right? we are simply trying to escape reality and enjoy every fake minute of it. We are self-absorbed, living somewhere between depressed and happy and never simply content.

Turn off your TVs, your palm pilots, your cell phones, your video games, your computers for one night and face the quiet.

How does it feel?

Do you feel lonely? At a loss for what to do? Why do we always have to have something entertain us? Because it numbs us from the reality that we need something greater than ourselves. If we occupy our time then we don’t have to worry about the reality of life. That it is lonely without God, without a relationship with Christ. When life gets hard, the dating scene seems old, your children wont behave, your spouse annoys you, your job is depressing, your dog dies, whatever..turning to the numbing agents of TV, computers, cell phones, and video games feel empty don't they? They don't quite satisfy during those rough times. {As a side note- So we eventually turn to bigger self scenes, clubs, relationships, drugs, wealth and whatever else}

I'm not saying to turn into a monk and throw away all your posessions, but be aware of what culture says is important, be aware of what you turn to when you feel lonely and empty. Turn away from the thin things that this consumeristic culture has put in our lives and turn to the thick promises and security found in a relationship greater than ourselves, a relationship with Jesus.

And as a follower of Jesus the next time you bump into someone and ask them how they're

Show them the love of Christ. Crush them with love!

If you want to check out more of Jordan Ross's blog, click here


spam_price said...

As one of Jordan’s friends – I seriously doubt he will mind. In fact he will probably be quite humbled by your comments.

I think that our society uses, “How are you doing?” as a way to say “Hello” and that is unfortunate. We rarely pay attention to the answers because we don’t really expect one or we don’t want to hear anything other then, “I’m good, how are you?” Our fast paced society doesn’t allow for people taking the time to slow down – and really care about the answer if it might be, “Not so good actually”.

So my question to you is, why have you been thinking about this a lot recently?

Jordan said...

Just for curiosities sake, who was the friend of a friend of a friends blog? Its like seven degree's of Kevin Bacon.
Ever see Footlose? Ah, 80's movies.

spam_price said...

My wife Amy worked with Ally's friend Kimberly at Safe Harbor. Kimberly moved back down south and I have kept in contact with her on her blog and such. Ally has posted comments on her blog as well and I have no idea really how Ally and Kimberly know each other, so perhaps Kevin Bacon really is the lynch pin to this whole operation and that's how they know one another?

Ally said...

My boyfriend lives in Boston, and Kimberly once lived in Boston. So my friend Laura met Kimberly at church here in Macon and asked her to recommend some churches in Boston for my boyfriend. So I've known of Kimberly for a few months....we finally met at a dinner party at Laura's, and then Kimberly moved to Columbus where two of my best friends live, so we all went to lunch one day in Columbus and that's how I got to know Kimberly. We've hit it off and seem to have a lot in common.

As for why I've been thinking about this, as I am growing in Christ one thing that has bugged me is how as Christians we don't look that different than the rest of the world. We treat people the same as non-believers do; we're just as likely to get a divorce or have premarital sex (these are just easy to recognize because of statistics); we watch the same movies and say/listen to the same racist/inappropriate jokes; and just in general conform to our culture, which is clearly not of God.

I think one of the best ways to share God with others is by serving, caring, and loving others. Our culture certainly doesn't encourage that (note all the homes without front porches...I hate that!), and it's easy to be so caught up in doing things efficiently/quickly that we ignore those around us. My profession can especially lead to this mindset. So I've been thinking a lot about how as a Christian I can share God with others in subtle ways, including how I treat others.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ms. jackson. You ceratinly are a spiritual inspiration to those around you! (well me, anyway). Would love to discuss this further over a nice steak burrito and some guacamole!

kimberly said...

This is so exciting! I love playing the six degrees game. and it finally makes it seem like there is some purpose to my gypsy life of the past few years.
As for the actual subject we are discussing, I am struggling to stop saying "How are you" when I really mean "Hi." It is ingrained in southern culture to do that I think. But I really want to ask it and mean it every time. It's amazing how much that question can mean to someone if you really care about the answer when you ask it. It's one aspect of being real in the way I relate to others instead of just being surface-y. I love how you all make me think.

spam_price said...

Ally that is great to see you wrestling with those issues, as it is a familiar one to my heart as well. With each decision we make we have an opportunity to glorify God or glorify ourselves. Running the race with perseverance is having the strength to glorify God even when you don’t want to. Sometimes that manifests itself in speaking up to those around you living in this culture, especially those that take the name of Christ on themselves.

People notice when we make these choices to serve the needs of others over our own needs. They notice when we speak out on issues that point others to a Christ centered life. Word and deed are both necessary to expand the Kingdom of God and glorify His name above ours.

I heard someone speak once about the front porch. They said that houses now have big back porches as we isolate ourselves from society and seek the privacy of our own home and family. We tend not to worry too much anymore about our neighbors and focus more inwardly rather than outwardly into our community. So true.

Kimberly…it’s not just a southern thing. We here in the mid-atlantic also make that same mistake lol

RJJ said...

WoW! You folks must all be psychology majors. How much do you charge per hour?

Ally said...

RJJ I am billed out at a ridiculously cheap rate of $95/hour. Is there anything I can help you with? I need to bring in some clients....

Aaron said...

I would like to just go on record to state that my house has a front porch. :)

(Yes, it was a requirement before I purchased.)