I was looking over some of my old work ( I do that sometimes) and came across something that I would dedicate to one of my sons. He struggles with me on lots of levels. Or maybe it is just one stubborn level, I don’t know. Anyway, he is an adult and thus can choose whether he wants to work things out or not. I thought I would repost part of something I wrote some time ago, dedicated today to him:
I am thinking that most people would like to just tell everyone they meet that “you are ok”. Most people would like to give that approval that we know just about everyone wants.
If I could I would. It would be something of a relief sometimes to just be able to say “you are fine, and everything is fine”. Sort of a “Go and Be Happy” type of benediction. But would I make a good world?
If I really had the authority and power to tell everyone they are wonderful in what they do and all that….would I be making the world a better place? Is that what we really want for ourselves and each other?
I am just asking because sometimes it seems that way.
None of us likes to think that there is some lack of approval. We don’t like to look at sin with calculations. You know, like what it is really costing. We want bargain sins: under the circumstances we get a better deal. Than the next guy. And especially when it was some of our flesh that someone gouged.
Then we want the full value extracted.
Or else we are more than glad to recognize sin, just don’t make us pay repentence. Punishment is out of the question. That is a given. Not being sarcastic either.
Do you want to pay full price of restitution for your asundry sins against your fellow man? No, I don’t think so. I don’t either. But most of us would tolerate what the difficulties and the forgiveness costs alot better if we somehow had assurance that there is a stanching of the flow. Like death and destruction didn’t get to go on unabated.
Because I think we mostly want life. It seems like that.
But how do we get life without understanding that some things work against it? Maybe I should say how do we maintain life. If this is the case we can’t just go around saying “it’s all good”. It’s not all good, and we lie and perpetuate hurt if we give everyone and ourselves all the approval and turn the blind eye in pretense. That is the opposite of good. It won’t produce a good world.
That is not to dismiss mercy. Mercy doesn’t discount sin and hurt. Which is just the outcome of what we would term sin. It accounts for it. It just absorbs the losses.
But that means someone pays somewhere. And nobody pays for nothing – to no end. Nobody. And they shouldn’t, not really….. should they?
I don’t think so.
I think that there ought to be some response to good …. an answering to it of likeness. Just like the admonition that some people give when helping someone out: “Just do the same for someone else someday”.
That sounds like maybe it could help create a better world. Not entirely good, but better. To stop the damage and turn around and try to do something of worth.
Most people would agree with that.
Where we get our differences is usually in what the standard and definition of “good” is. But it is there, the fact that we have a concept -however vague or clouded shows we have some idea of it.
I just don’t think we can have it in this type of world without having some understanding of its opposite. And that understanding would mean nothing if we kept exempting ourselves. I mean it would get pointless pretty quickly.
Maybe that is just what has been happening. Maybe we don’t have much of a point of what is good and what is not good. Maybe we have personalized the definitions so much that the concept in life is pretty much gone and meaningless.
Maybe our comfort has cost us too much, and wringing out our hearts hasn’t been enough without real change on our parts.
Maybe we just fool ourselves that way.