Get Over It

I can’t help but have the lyrics to one of my favorite Eagles songs ring through my head as I read this article about an autism advocacy group demanding an apology from CBS for a remark that a contestant made on Big Brother.

You’re kidding me, right? First of all, while I’m not any huge fan of reality game shows, how can the network realistically be held responsible for what a contestant on their show says? Secondly, off-color as the remark may have been, it is that individual’s opinion, and he has a right to express that in America. Thirdly, what good is an “apology” going to do?

Words cause damage, that is certain. We should be conscious of how our words affect those around us. I am aware of that with every word I place out here in the blogosphere. At the end of the day, though, I think its time for America to toughen up a bit. Activist groups and various subcultures announce that they are “offended,” and everyone runs to try to make them feel better. We really should stop that. Being offended is good for us. It makes us think. If you’re going to debate or argue with what someone said, then do so intelligently and constructively, but don’t waste time whining about how you’re “offended.” Hopefully, American culture will stop pandering to those who are “offended” soon.

Because, seriously, they need to get over it.


I get way too caught up in what I think I need to be doing to appreciate what I am doing.

Seriously, if there is any “lesson in life” that I could articulate that I am learning right now, it would be that I really shouldn’t be planning life so carefully, because it has this way of turning out differently than I had planned. Still, I’m constantly stressing over how much I’ve written during a day (or, often, if I’ve written during a day), my responsibilities to this or that or something else…I even get stressed if I’m not where I want to be in a book that I’m reading for pleasure and relaxation! What’s wrong with this picture? Why am I stressing over things that are a privilege to be able to do to start with, things that many don’t have the opportunity to do? Things that I remember not having the opportunity to do? I complain about not writing enough, when there are many who would love to be able to put words onto paper. I complain about how I had to struggle through my master’s degree when there are those who would give anything for a GED. I complain about being too involved in friend’s lives, or family situations, when there are those who would don’t know what family is like and would give anything for a friend.

For all of the planning I do in life, all of the arranging and predicting and looking toward future education, artistic, and general life goals, I suddenly realize that I’m making the tragic error of not enjoying today to its fullest. Madeleine L’Engle speaks of how her spirituality was something she just did, that she just lived in faith and therefore grew in faith. There wasn’t the stress of doing more spiritual things or being more religious. There wasn’t the stress of keeping a certain writing formulae. She just wrote, and lived…and did both prolifically.

It seems that, in compensation for losing track of the things that I realize I was designed to do, I’m suddenly trying to overdo them. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m starting to get my brain around the art of letting go, and just letting life happen instead of trying so hard to arrange and schedule it. It will either be a vibrant success, or be a complete disaster. But whichever it is, it will be a free one, and I think that’s better than a pristinely organized and planned existence.

Here’s to spontaneity.

Locked Up

There’s an ancient debate among theological circles between the ideas of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will as they are presented in the Scriptures. If you’re not familiar with this, don’t dig too deeply…trust me, your faith will be damaged. The crux of the infighting, though, is an attempt to decipher if what happens in our lives is the result of our own independent choices, or if we are simply puppets with God pulling the strings.

Personally, I sway to the (almost extreme) end of our free choice. I won’t bore anyone with the reasons why, because by now you know my distaste for theological hate…oops, I mean debate. I’m wondering lately, though, about how this plays into the concept of fear.

Specifically, my fear is of our government of late and the freedoms that I remember us once having that we give so freely away now (for more comment on this, see my Newsvine column…link on my sidebar). I’m not really an activist at heart, though, so I have to find something to do with the fear that I feel. I know many others with different fears: fears that past mistakes will return to bite them (don’t we all have that?), fear that their significant others really are cheating, fear that their job could vanish from beneath them…most of us have felt these at some point in our lives, a realization that there is no such thing as security, or at least that we can’t create such an animal. That being the case, do we completely take our hands off of the proverbial wheel and let life go where it will? If we can be confident (my assertion is that we can) that our choices hold the key to the ramifications in our lives…physical, emotional, and spiritual…then doesn’t the age-old argument that “God has it all under control” lose its weight?

Somehow I’m attempting to reconcile that in my head. My gut says no, that He still does, but that if we’re hell-bent on screwing things up, He’ll let us. Of course, He still can make good come out of our screw-ups. Still, however, I’m left with fear, and with that fear comes bondage.

I think America is existing in the bondage of fear right now, so part of that is cultural in nature. As free as I may feel, though, it stands to reason that I’m being held back from my potential by these latent fears of family, friends, and country that lurk in the dark recesses of my spirit. Feeling free and realizing that you’re not is an exasperating sensation, one for which I don’t have an answer.

Perhaps, though, an acceptance of paradoxes is at its core, believing that two contradictory metaphysical elements can simultaneously occur and exist within our lives. It seems to me that we must accept these at some level, because God is (or at least appears to our finite little brains to be) paradoxical at times. Which leaves us with a choice: we can either become arrogant theologians who presume to think that they can ascend to understanding at some point, or we can opt on the side of faith and accept the mystery of our spiritual existence.

I don’t have much taste for the first, and I’m finding that mystery is one of life’s…and God’s…most beautiful qualities.