Archive for the 'My Perspective' Category

Chasing My Tail

Life definitely takes its turns and I must have fallen asleep at the wheel because I’m not quite sure where I am. My life has experienced some unexpected losses and because of those losses my thoughts seem to send me in circles like a dog chasing its own tail. With all of my energy focused on trying to become a more selfless person I find that deep down I’m getting no where. I’m perplexed with thousands and thousands of questions that do nothing but overwhelm all of my senses. For the last week I’ve found it impossible to journal or write anything that accurately expresses any of my emotions or struggles. It’s like a big chunk of myself has fallen further and deeper into the black abyss that has become of my soul. I’m so confused that it seems that no matter what move I make I’m permanently stained as selfish. Selflessness towards a stranger seems selfish because it’s easier than being selfless to those around me in my life and being selfless to those in my life seem selfish only because in a mutual friendship you often get something in return, is selflessness really selfless if you get something out of it? Is the true selfless life a lonely one? What does true selflessness really look like?
All I know is that when I had someone to bounce these questions off of, I chased my tail a lot less and was more effective at bringing real change into my life. Is it possible that the truth is just easier to find when two people seek it together than when we seek on our own. And is it really unfair to say that I feel robbed because now I am forced to face these realities all on my own. And I can’t help but wonder if someone else feels this way as well.

Be Careful! (A Warning for Myself.)

It is easy to become blinded by ones own search for contentment and happiness, especially when happiness is placed where it does not belong.

In the parable of the “Wicked Husbandmen” (Matthew 21:33-46) Jesus clearly demonstrates for us the danger of this. He tells us of an owner of a vineyard who basically leases his vineyard out to a few folks who quickly became short sighted and selfish and used the vineyard as a means to support their every wish and desire. They began to imagine themselves as masters of this beautiful and fruitful vineyard. Their blindness, imagination, and delusions lead them into a series of foolish and cruel actions, which resulted in the exile.

So it is for each one of us that imagines this life as our own and begin to believe we have the right to enjoy it in such a way as may seem good to us, without recognizing our obligations to each other. The husbandmen seemed to forget or just didn’t wish to remember that the vineyard was given to them fully hedged and labored and that it was expected of them to labor in turn for others. How often do we forget about the things that have been provided to us and never realize that we are only where we are because of others and we owe it to them and to God to labor and work so that others may have what we have as well.

Lord, may you help me to remember that a life lived for my own contentment and happiness is a life of robbery. I am meant to labor and work for the lives around me. We were meant to live for so much more!

I will say this… It’s one thing to know and understand this concept but it is a whole other thing to try and put it into practice. To lose yourself for someone else is a very difficult thing to practice especially with very little accountability. But maybe this is how it starts, by giving up the most important thing to my own contentment.

Any thoughts anybody?

Quote of the Week (a.k.a Parable of the Week)

People come to a farm; they find there all that is necessary to sustain life, – A house well furnished, barns filled with grain, cellars and store-rooms well stocked with provisions, implements of husbandry, a life of comfort and ease. Each wishes to profit by this abundance, but each for himself, and begins to seize upon all that he can possibly grasp, without thinking of others, or of those who may come after. Then begins a veritable pillage; they fight for the milk and grain; they grasp more than they can consume. No one is able to sit down to the tranquil enjoyment of what he has, lest another take away the spoils already secured, to surrender them in turn to someone stronger. All these people leave the farm, bruised and famished. Thereupon the Master puts everything to rights, and arranges matters so that one may live there in peace. The farm is again a treasury of abundance. The comes another group of seekers, and the same struggle and tumult is repeated, till these in their turn go away bruised and angry, cursing the Master for providing so little and so ill. The good Master is not discouraged; he again provides for all that is needed to sustain life, and the same incidents are repeated over and over again.
Finally, among those who come to the farm, is one who says to his companions: “Comrades, how foolish we are! See how abundantly everything is supplied, how well everything is arranged! There is enough here for us and for those who will come after us; let us help one another. Let us work, plant, care for the dumb animals, and everyone will be satisfied.” Some of the company understand what this wise person says; they cease from fighting and from robbing one another, and begin to work. But others, who have not heard the words of the wise man, or who distrust him, continue their former pillage of the Masters goods. This condition of things lasts for a long time. Those who have followed the counsels of the wise man say to those about them: “Cease from fighting, cease from wasting the Master’s goods; you will be better off for doing so; follow the wise man’s advice.” Nevertheless, a great many do not hear and will not believe, and matters go on very much as they did before.”

Leo Tolsoi – “My Confession, My Life, My Religion” pg 129

And so it is, A life lived for yourself is a life of pillaging and robbery. Only is it when you allow yourself to be concerned not with your own needs but the needs of those around you that you choose the road of selflessness and compassion. A world of individuals is a world where only the tough survive. A world of communities is a world where everyone has enough.

The Conflict Between Self-Worth and Selflessness

Self worth is a tricky bastard. A person’s personal self worth, or what the individual thinks his own worth to be, is a need just as necessary as air and water and in my life I think I’ve sufficiently proven that life just can’t function with out it. Although, this is the place at with which I have found myself. What I have found is that I’m having trouble reconciling the idea of my self-worth with my goal of becoming more selfless. It seems as if my life has become a sort of negotiation between me and those closest to me in my life. “This is what I believe my life to be worth, what will you give me for it.” And those who I believed valued my life and my contributions to their life began to present really low bids, making me feel under valued. I deserve more! I am worth more! Why give myself to these ungrateful people, maybe I could find someone who would think I’m worth more. I often find myself angry, hurt, or just utterly dysfunctional because I believe that I deserve more care, concern, attention, or just plain love. So, then I thought maybe it would be easier to be selfless if I believed myself to be worth nothing. So obviously that didn’t work, it didn’t really make me want any less, it actually did the opposite, made me desperate for more. So what is the answer? Because I don’t believe life to be about getting what you deserve or about getting anything out of anyone. Life is about the giving not about the taking. So I can’t help but think “what is wrong with me.” “Why can’t I just not care about what I get.”
How am I supposed to just not care when I give my all and all I get in return is a slap in the face? So now I’m back trying to re-discover my self-worth after my little failed experiment, but am completely clueless about how I am going to learn to be satisfied with whatever treatment I get, because after getting the biggest slap in the face of my life here recently I’ve found that I’ve become rather cautious when it comes to giving everything I have. It feels impossible to overcome the pain, anger, and depression that has become life. Not to mention the longing I have to not walk this path alone. I long to find someone who wants this lifestyle of selflessness. A person who will walk along side me, someone who needs the same help, the same encouragement, the same accountability. How do I just not want? How do I become content with walking alone? How do I become selfless when I know I’m worth so much more.

KEvin as an Inanimate Object

So now I know. Now I know what it feels like to sit in a corner, unused, untouched, and ignored. Now I know what it must feel like to say “When somebody loved me everything was beautiful.” You know what I think the worst part is, the waiting. One day you are being used, played with, and you have a purpose and then it just stops. So you spend everyday thinking, is this the day I will become useful again, is this the day someone will find a reason to give me a purpose. It’s definitely the waiting that drives you crazy.
I remember when Jacob dropped my 300gb hard drive. I’m sure if it had feelings it got tired of the waiting because there is a process you go through when things break, an analysis process. You have to decide whether or not it is worth the time, effort, and money it will take to repair that object or if you should simply replace it. Yea… the waiting has to hurt the worst. It’s like an innocent prisoner being convicted and waiting on his sentence. The story with my hard drive, ended well for him (not so much for me). The hard drive held so many unbacked up, unreplaceable memories, in the form of documents and pictures, that I couldn’t just replace it, so I needed to fix it. So I invested over $2,000 into fixing that thing and holding onto those cherished memories. It was worth it… for me and for him.

Kevin now knows how it feels to be a broken inanimate object waiting and wondering if he is worth fixing or just replaceable.

My Lucky Penny


Just like Scrooge McDuck on DuckTales I, too, had a lucky penny. It was a penny I had found when I was 5. I treasured this penny… it stood out from all the other pennies I had ever seen. I used to carry it in my pocket every where I went, I would run around the playground at school and pretend I was Scrooge McDuck. A couple of times I even convinced other people to chase after me… we would pretend they were after my lucky penny. I would run under a swing and then the kid chasing me would follow and get knocked over by the kid on the swing as it came back down, as swings usually do. (Ahhh… I miss those days) But anyway I am straying from the point. The truth is I loved that penny! I still have it to this day, but unfortunately it doesn’t hold the same value it used to. Do you know why? Because of JACOB!
You see, once I met Jake and he explained that my lucky penny was nothing more than a “wheat penny” and there were millions of these things produced between the years of 1909 and 1958 and that my “lucky penny” was nothing special then, sadly, my days as the proud owner of a heck-a-cool lucky penny were over.
So anyway, I say all of that to say, maybe I was just created with a tendency to play pretend on the playground. Maybe community, much like my lucky penny, is something that can only be imagined. That maybe friendships were never meant to be anything more than two individuals selfishly seeking after what makes them happy, being kind to each other for only a moment. Maybe I lost another lucky penny to this cruel thing we call reality.

(And yes… before I get corrected by everyone… Scrooge McDuck had a lucky dime not a lucky penny. I WAS 5! Give me a break! Geesh!)

Resist Not Evil!?

Negativity Breeds Negativity…

“You have heard that it was said, `AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”
Matthew 5:58,39

We have ALL grown up in a society that teaches us to fight fire with fire. They have taught us that when we are faced with evil we have the right to fight. The structure of our whole society depends on matching evil with evil: when someone treats us unfairly we sue them, if someone takes something from us we prosecute them, murderers face murder, and alcoholic father’s deserve to lose their family, the list goes on and on. We have been taught ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH and it has created a monster; a monster inside of us!
…But Jesus Said
“Do not resist evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”
Jesus changed the name of the game. He was making the point that fighting “fire with fire” only creates more fire. He was asking us to give the fire the opportunity to die out. Instead of meeting evil for evil, present evil with the opportunity to change.
It’s time to start showing we actually believe in the words of Jesus. “Resist not evil.” Face it! Endure it! Give the person the opportunity to make the right choice, and when they fail, do it again.
This might be one of the hardest things to actually live out, to put yourself in a place where you will be hurt, taken advantage of, used, and often times left alone almost completely destroyed in order to give those who chose evil the opportunity to chose differently.

There is no Jesus in giving a man what he deserves, but it’s the very essence of Jesus himself to give a man the opportunity to change, especially when it means facing a lifetime of pain.

“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Lu 14:27

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matt 18:22

“You have heard that it was said, `AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. ” Matt 5:58

The Hierarchy of Relationship and Possible Solutions!

“Humans are so lost and damaged that to you it is almost incomprehensible that people can work together without someone taking charge… It’s one reason why experiencing true relationships is so difficult for you.”
This is a statement made by the God character in the book, “The Shack.” The reason I’m quoting it here is that from my perspective this fact is quite relevant, it is so difficult to have a relationship with someone without one person stepping up and taking control. The person who steps into the more dominant role ends up making all of the decisions, all of the plans (or lack of plans), while the other one sits there quietly submissive. It’s just too easy to slide into that type of relationship, especially when one is older than the other or there is a more dominant or controlling personality involved. I guess it’s the survival of the fittest friendship edition.

Now the way I see it, there are two ways to break free from this type of relationship.

1. To choose independence over relationship. This is usually the solution of choice for the more submissive person in a relationship. It’s a way out. It’s a way to rapidly switch the control into the opposite hands. This choice is often seen as the easiest choice because it allows for the initiator to feel very little pain because it immediately frees them up to pursue their own happiness. The big quandary here being, that anytime independence is chosen over relationship there is a tendency to enter very dangerous territory where others become objects to be controlled, manipulated, or managed for ones own happiness, because now the control is in their hands.
2. The other option is to choose relationship, to begin the messy and difficult process of colliding head to head with another human being by no longer being submissive but still being present. This would be the route of choice for those who are not afraid of being honest and not afraid of feeling pain or causing pain. This option is very much dependent on ones ability to be honest with the way you feel and to remain steadfast in walking through the disaster of emotions and situations that follow with honest, loyalty, and integrity, but to choose to do so together.

Justice for my Pain

Ever since I became addicted to the show “Joan of Arcadia” (a moment of silence please…) I’ve begun to imagine what it would be like to have conversations with God. I’ve decided that maybe it’s time to start sharing some of these discussions… Maybe they’re not just for me! Here is my most recent…

Why is it that in reality the heroes are also the villains… Why is it that the people who change my life for the better eventually turn around to cause me so much pain?

Kevin, the world of heroes and villains as separate entities, is not the world I created. Life was created by choice. I chose you and gave you the ability to choose as you see fit. You need to stop trying to define people in order to label them. People aren’t good or bad, that’s something that just can’t be measured, it’s the choices we make in life that are quantitative. There aren’t heroes or villains but heroic or villainous choices. It gives each person in each situation in each moment the choice to follow their selfish nature or to step outside of themselves into something beyond.
The ideas you have of villains and heroes are your ideas not mine. It’s you trying to get justice for those who are causing you pain. Just because you feel pain does not automatically mean that someone has presented you with some form of evil or evil decision and just because you feel that pain does not give you the right to start judging those who are the source of that pain. See, pain can be an indicator of good relationships and influences as well. The pain in your life is a big part of your story and can only be understood once your story has reached it’s end. Choose to endure, it’s the only way pain will find it’s purpose.

Politics is such a joke!

Politicians keep getting dumber and dumber!