whining June 30, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once observed, “Many people are born crying, live complaining, and die disappointed.” It seems a malady of many that extends into history. People live their entire lives complaining about how everyone and everything is against them. They always have a reason, an excuse, why “it’s not my fault.” “Someone else didn’t do their part to make it possible me to do my part.” “I didn’t have time.” “I had a headache.” “The paperwork didn’t arrive on time.”
Pick a reason; there will always be one.
It’s called whining. Many of us make it a way of life- we cannot take hold of our lives, so we side-step the real issues, ourselves, and scapegoat the cause off on circumstances or someone else. Some of us seem to lack the fortitude and determination to fight our own foibles, our own ineptitudes, our shortcomings, and to overcome our failures. To be sure, it will always be easier to grumble about something than to dosomething to change it. It’s even easier to blame the whole thing on someone else.
It seems most of Western society is looking for any other cause for our own problems than ourselves. It obviously can’t be me that’s the problem? I’m not responsible for what I’ve done! It’s my parents, my lack of education, my skin colour, my sexual preference, my insecurities. I am NOT to blame!
A week after Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was fired (June 22, 1750) as pastor of his church in Northampton, MA, he penned this letter to a friend-
“I have nothing visible to depend upon for my future usefulness, or the subsistence of my numerous family. But I hope we have an all-sufficient, faithful, covenant God, to depend upon. I desire that I may ever submit to him, walk humbly before him, and put my trust wholly in him. I desire, dear, Sir, your prayers for us, under our present circumstances.”
Oddly, he stayed on in Northampton to preach in his church until they found a suitable replacement. Edwards went on to become president of the College of New Jersey, later Princeton University.
If you find yourself a whiner, maybe it’s time you focused your eyes on the God who made you and learned that He has your best interest at heart. Trust Him. Maybe it’s also time for you to end the chronic attitude of complaining and do something to change your life situation. If, on the other hand, you find yourself living with a whiner, maybe it’s time you told them to take responsibility for their own failings, and admit their guilt. This may require you to help them overcome their own stumbling blocks; your reward will be the silence of their petulant grumblings.
Have a nice week,
fundamental differences June 22, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
EmPulse for the week of June 20, 2011
Sooner or later, in the course of human interaction, we conclude that we have fundamental differences with certain other people, religious beliefs, corporate policies, or societal mores. In a pluralistic society the ideal is that we will all learn to get along in one big happy family; in the real world it doesn’t quite work out that way. Some of us form enclaves, huddling with our own kind. Others form protective cocoons about themselves as they move through evil society. In the marketplace of business all types of people are thrown together to achieve a common goal, to produce a particular produce, to contribute to the needs of people and to make a buck or two while doing so. The rub comes when people find they have fundamental differences about how to get things done. One person’s plans are dismissed while another’s are adopted: feelings are hurt, people are fired. Not always a pretty picture.
It is true—basic differences exist among people; religious beliefs, cultural traditions, leadership styles, and, of course, personality types. The trick is to, (a) not kill one another, (b) not to start with condemnation of what we do not understand, or (c) not to deny those basic differences. [… and the list goes on, of course.] As I have crisscrossed this blue marble suspended in space I have gained a wide-ranging perspective on life through other people’s vantage points, feeling their hopes, anger, disappointment, and loss.
In the grand scheme of things (read metanarrative) it comes down to the nature of Truth. Is Truth relative to time, era, and individual experience, as our postmodernist friends postulate? Do we create our own truth within our own frame of reference? Or do we dare suggest that Truth resides outside-yet-alongside-of human experience and perception? We hold these truths to be self-evident… . Are they? Do we?
If we hold that Truth is relative, that is, relative to a particular situation, or era, or culture, or religious belief, then we have dragged down deep heaven upon us and made ourselves the arbiters of truth. This is a human arrogance of highest degradation.
It has been noted that we are all inhabitants of this lonely blue marble in the grand cosmic expanse. We will not always be able to push move our fundamental differences and learn to get along. To raise our voice and decree that we determine what is truth and what is not, that we, de facto, are the Creators of Truth, is an egotism that will push whatever fundamental differences exist among us to the point-of-conflict. We will be at war with ourselves and with God. Forgive us, Lord. Our task is to discover the Truth that already exists, whether in science or faith, and to live by it in humility. So help us God.
Have a nice week,
… just as long as you’re happy June 13, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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… just as long as you’re happy
Cute fuzzy kittens. Hot chocolate (with Fluff), curled up in front of a toasty fire. A diamond ring. A new car. A tropical beach in an exotic resort. A new home. Just as long as you’re happy. Why not!?! What else is there?
Might I suggest, against the flow of popular sentiment, that, though guaranteed “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” by America’s Declaration of Independence, that happiness is not the end to which we should be striving. It should not be an end at all. Happiness, rather, is the proper byproduct of effort and service to society or another individual.
Pursuing happiness as an end in itself creates a deceptive sense of selfhood that is based on contentment rather than on a platform of considerate generosity. To be sure, there are some who give to feel good about themselves. Notwithstanding, they are still giving. But what if we were able to give purely from a motive of gallantry, or magnanimity? Scoffers will accuse that there is no such thing as a free lunch; that everybody wants something for their gift—recognition, admiration, etc. Yet I know many people who give graciously, sacrificially, who expect nothing, nothing, not even a thank you. They merely give because it is right.
No further happiness need be sought when a person’s individual integrity is in full blossom; when we steel our hearts and minds to a task, a challenge, an impossible situation which needs correction, the doing of it alone is the prize for its achievement. Happiness is merely a derivative of making a difference.
Therefore, if happiness is what you seek you pursue a wrong path. Instead, endeavor to make a difference, to add to the lot of others, to alleviate another’s suffering, poverty, or emptiness. It’s not about a free lunch, feeling good about yourself, or just as long as you’re happy. Life’s journey is to be shared with others—of greater means, of lesser means. We are each one on this planet for a short span of time. Our goal should be to make a difference, to leave a great legacy, in the changed lives of friends, communities, and nations.
And, yes, I like the picture of the fuzzy, grinning kitten.
Have a nice week,