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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Avoiding the Shoulds
Just another Water Buffalo
Getting wrapped up or not.
Sometimes I get wrapped up in the human world around me. During this time it is normal to pay some attention to politics if you live where I live. And I like to check up on news from the world around me. I must admit I do not watch the news on TV. It just seems weird to me. It looks like entertainment instead of news. No thank you. It is not entertaining to me. But I get wrapped up in stuff all the same.
But most of the time. I am not wrapped up in the news. Most of the time like just now I go outside as it is just breaking dawn and I try to recognize the 10 or so different bird sounds I can identify. It is a very low cloud morning as our El Nino overcast is starting to take hold. Hallelujah we will get rain in this coastal desert in a day or so, you can just tell, without even watching the sexy weather lady on TV. What is up with that anyway? I was at a friend’s house just the other day and he had the news on on his huge TV and right there in his living room was a gorgeous gal smiling as she pointed at a map. My goodness she was dressed like those actresses on Oscar night. I felt guilty just looking at it.
Anyway reading a book to a youngster and picking out weeds you don’t want and pulling them and then maybe planting something and maybe painting something takes up a lot of “spare” time and so that is what I do with my extra little space in time. I am not a recluse, I just spend my time like one – and that makes no sense, or maybe it does. Now do not get me wrong here, I have a bunch of friends that I see often. I mean hugging type friends. Of course not with the manly man friends. I reckon you just get to a certain age and you get a feeling for what wastes your time and what is meaningful. A proper tomato or a proper carrot are proper to me.
Taking time to smell the roses
Make a living
Dividing the duties
For some reason when I am wrapped up in the affairs of man. I distance myself from peace and serenity and closeness to God. I do not mean when I sit one on one with a friend or loved one and listen to their story or thoughts. I mean when I get caught up in the worldly affairs of man. The massive world at large. Politics and sports come to mind but just news of the international or national affairs can pull one in and away. And of course “the news” seems to love to focus on tragedies and violence and that news is disturbing.
But one cannot live a completely cloistered life in the normal spectrum of things. So I wonder how we turn the switch on long enough to be informed yet be able to switch it off in order to be healthy happy well-adjusted beings. Of course if someone is just obsessed with “news” of any sort that is a problem that they need to consider doing something about, quickly. And the opposite is true, someone who becomes obsessed with avoiding any knowledge of what is going on in the world need to consider doing something about that quickly.
It is strange. I feel like I am ready to vote in a primary. I think I know the bent of the candidates. But I only know that the republican candidates got into a spat but I don’t care exactly what was said. I expect them to get into spats because after all they really are running against each other. Of course there always is that nagging thought that I could do better. Funny isn’t it. Did you know that the concepts within the liberal and conservative movements are well represented? Between the five major candidates they go across the whole spectrum. Isn’t that cool, here in the US we really have choices. But that is as far as I can go down that rabbit hole. I cannot listen or watch it too closely as it is tiresome and just the thought waves removes me from peace and harmony.
On the right road in life
Know when to....
Make time to play
So isn’t it interesting that to be good citizens and people we have to strike a balance. Be informed but be holistic in life. How do we do that? In specifics I haven’t a clue. In the broad view I have some thoughts. We have this great guide post from Jesus. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’.” That was made in relationship to taxes and our duty to pay them as part of a civil society. But it clearly goes deeper. I render unto God my meditation, study, prayer and love. I don’t just pay my taxes I engage in doing a duty to being a good citizen. But I do not owe my government more than that. If I see a horrible thing going down, it is my duty to act to stop it. I see my government doing something very wrong it is my duty to protest against it. If my sidewalk of life is dirty I must clean it. Those are duties of a citizen. And one of the most important duties of a citizen is to vote with a learned mind. But it stops there. I have no duty to watch the hype and craziness that goes along with a mass media fed campaign.
Now back to leading that balanced holistic life. I like talking to my buddies. But some are fanatical about politics and some are fanatical about sports and still others about national and international affairs. When talking with them I learn some things. But I also here a whole bunch of “shoulds”. Interesting but not how I lead my life. I should do what my boss says, except on rare occasions. I should take out the garbage at the right time. I should listen to my wife. I should pay attention to my children. And I should take care of myself so that I may be of service and not a burden to others. But should I sit around and decide what others should do? Maybe that is where the rubber hits the road.
If I do not need to decide what others should do then I do not need to obsessive compulsively have to follow what they do. I can examine what they do. And I can make decisions for myself based on that. Please Lord make it enough that I do not need to tell the world what to do.
This is not about children so much as life. I have a small one who is in school stuff for 8 hours a day. And we have time for reading and some writing and some math at home. But he darned well needs some time doing nothing. It is hard as a parent to just let him do nothing. But boyo it is my job. “Son just play”. What just a couple of hours a day just to play? I am sorry but it is not a suggestion around here it is a mandate. I direct you to have a few hours of play time a day. That is an order. And no, watching the “news” is not included in that play time.