-James Anthony Froude
I’ve tried to be fearless in pursuit of God and chronicling my journey along the way. I can pretty much put up with name calling and people disagreeing with me. What I can’t tolerate is being the source of pain for other human beings, and yet no matter what I do or say, I end up hurting someone. I don’t think you can really blog in the religious space without stepping on toes, but we were commanded to love one another, not to step on each other’s toes.
Far from pronouncing judgment and condemnation and trying to constantly correct others, Yeshua taught his disciples to be peacemakers, merciful, meek, humble, patient, and longsuffering, even under persecution (Matthew 5:1-10). Rather than boasting about being right, we should seek to do what is right.
“Becoming a Shaliach,” pg 95
Tent of David: Healing the Vision of the Messianic Gentile
I’ve come that close to shutting down this blog on more than one occasion over the differences between being right and doing right, but never closer than I have with today’s “meditation.” I had a email “conversation” with a friend who both (without his realizing it) triggered the desire to close up shop and then encouraged me to keep on going. I won’t go into the details, but all kinds of misunderstandings can happen when we rely on the Internet for communication. I’m thankful that God is patient and that He gave me the time to reconsider my original course of action.
The image at the top of this missive was the one I originally selected and I decided to keep it because one: I love Looney Toons, and two: as a reminder that the show must go on.
You are not required to complete the task, you are not free to withdraw from it … but be aware that the reward of the righteous will be given in the World to Come.
-Pirkei Avot 2:21
So the sages say I can’t give up, even when I want to, even when I don’t think I’m doing such a good job, even when any blog post I create can be sharply diverted from its course by someone commenting off topic. I guess like Bugs Bunny and company, as well as everyone in show business has traditionally said (and as I said above), “the show must go on.”
But as I wrote yesterday, I need to spend a lot of time at the feet of my Master, learning, studying, meditating, and pondering on his words and his teachings. If what I do isn’t about serving God and showing love, then it’s not worth it at all. I need you, my readers, to understand that. I think a lot of you do, but there’s always the potential for the more “controversial issues” in the religious blogosphere to get in the way, especially through comments and conversation.
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
–Matthew 7:5 (NASB)
Even when I express frustration at what happens at church sometimes, I am absolutely not placing myself above the church or criticizing other human beings in the church. We’re all running madly along the edge of a razor blade anyway, desperate to not fall one way or the other and be sliced to ribbons on the blade of our own folly.
For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward.
–Job 5:7 (NASB)
This much is true, but I’m reminded that in some corners of Judaism, the Divine in each of us can be seen as “sparks” and these “sparks” always desire to fly upward to rejoin their Source, the Holy One of Israel. This same train of thought states that we are all put into this life to search for very specific “sparks,” the shards of Divinity “with our name on them,” so to speak. It is our task to uncover these sparks to send them upward again. The world is in disguise, covered with mud, and blood, and worse, but that’s not how it was created and that’s not how it’s going to end up. Beneath the disguise is something beautiful. Beneath the masks of ugly, base humanity we wear, we are beautiful people made in God’s image. All we need to do is learn how to uncover the world and ourselves to see the beauty that God built into Creation and into us.
If that is my mission, then as you can see, I have little time to focus on “negativity.” If I’m tempted to take pot shots at someone else or some organization, I should take the Master’s rather sarcastic words from Matthew 7:5 to heart.
The blog post I originally intended for today was difficult to write and I couldn’t think of a single portion of scripture that seemed to fit. After some reflection and no small amount of influence from the Holy Spirit, this “replacement” for today’s “morning meditation” is more in touch with who I believe I am in Messiah.
It’s funny how something as simple as a childhood memory can remind you of what’s really important. Thanks, Chuck Jones. You’ll never know how much of a hero you are, and through your artwork, humor, and a scrappy little “wascally wabbit,” how much you showed me that being down doesn’t mean being out. On with the show, this is it.
Overture, curtains, lights
This is it, you’ll hit the heights
Tonight what heights we’ll hit
On with the show this is it