“During previous periods of cultural decline when most of the political, legal and economic prescriptions were tried and failed, it was left to the churches to remind the public of the consequences for individuals and nations that depart from the source of virtue. Today’s churches too often lack the power to do this. That’s because they are competing to see who can bless the culture the quickest.”—Cal Thomas
I am a Christian, but I will be the first to admit I have doubts. I believe every Christian does.
I remember particularly one day I was riding around my city with this girl I had been great friends with for a while. She claims to be a Christian and has a cross hanging on the rear view mirror of her car. Later that night we went to a party with several underage teenagers who all proceeded to get drunk. I was one of the 5 who didn’t drink, the other 5 made it their mission to be as drunk as possible. Through that process I heard things about friend. I heard things she had done, things that would not be considered righteous.
Also at this party was another young man I know. He, also drunk, told me stories about the drugs he would do and the girls he would sleep with. Several days later he posts a status on his Facebook quoting lyrics of a Christian worship song.
I sat thinking the other day, as I often do, that who are all these people to claim God and then not live like they know Him? Is there a really a God that would allow people to get away with leading double lives like this? What kind of a God is this? I would be thoroughly convinced that they are not Christians, they don’t live the life.
At this point a little voice in my head whispered “you are no different.” That made me stop for several seconds as I considered it. Of course, it was true. I may not be guilty of the same sins as them, but I am definitely a sinner, as we all are. No one can boast of being perfect.
One of my favorite quotes is: “the church is a collection of sinners, not a museum of saints.” I don’t remember who said it, though Constantine is a good candidate, and that might not be word-for-word, but the message remains the same. Becoming a Christian does not make you perfect. One of the beauties of our God is that he accepts everyone, no matter what they have done. Jesus hung out with prostitutes and thieves, drunkards and tax collectors. However, he would never have hung out with a pharisee, who were the most righteous, moral abiding citizens back then.
So next time I look on someone and think they are not living how God desires them too, I will look on an equal.
I always come across people who claim they have met some interesting people. I say: “Oh really? Like who?” and they reply with “Madonna, Bono, Katy Perry.” Sure those people are cool, but are they really interesting? They are just people like you and me who got lucky.
I have met a couple who believe two scratch off lottery tickets are a perfectly acceptable tip for their curbhop.
I’ve met a lady who was on the first University of Tennessee women’s basketball team.
I’ve met a man who always eats hot dogs and always pays in exact change.
I’ve met a 60 year old mentally challenged roofer who was banned from the local pool for pulling off the tops of young girls.
I’ve met a young lady who will proudly tell anyone who will listen about wrecking her new pick up and having to tow it out of a tree with her tractor.
I’ve met a one-time female body builder.
I’ve met more used car salesmen then I can count.
I’ve met (and befriended) two Putt-Putt national champions. One of them currently has the world record in Putt Putt.
I’ve met an old elementary school teacher/author who went to the local high school graduation and gave five dollars to every graduate he taught in elementary school. He gave away over 100 dollars that day.
I’ve met a 76 year old woman, appropriately deemed cool granny, who has instructed me that the proper way to cure constipation is to eat a spoonful of Coke syrup without the carbonation and water added to it. Just the syrup.
I’ve met a 70 year old local legend, mentally challenged man who still rides his bike everywhere he goes, even though his parents left him with more money than most people will ever see. A man who insulted him at a High School football game was escorted out by the police for his own safety. The other spectators almost killed him
I’ve met the sweetest little man you will ever meet who just happens to be Sweedish.
I’ve met the current top stock holder in Home Depot, and his lovely wife.
I’ve met toddlers who will eat buckets of crushed ice.
I’ve met a young man, born and raised in the South, who will blast techno music during clean up.
I’ve met a man who thinks a shot of whiskey is worth six dollars in payment for his food.
I’ve met single moms and single dads of all ages.
I’ve met a man who walked into his apartment after mowing his lawn to find his girlfriend dead, having shot herself in the head.
I’ve met a man, 36 and still in college, who ruptured an artery punching through a glass door the day after he spread his father’s ashes.
I’ve met hard working men who love what they do, even if it is a job no one else will do.
I’ve met a man who used to dress as Santa and deliver presents to the hospital. He even was not allowed to enter one. However, he now refuses to deliver more presents because he shaved and claims: “a fake beard is just cheating.”
I’ve met a woman struggling with alcoholism as her husband suffers incurable brain cancer, and their daughter, newly engaged.
I’ve met a man who could have been a pro golfer, but gave it away to run his father-in-law’s local diner, now sick with brain cancer and staying strong despite all odds.
I’ve met many brave men and women battling against cancer, some who have not made it.
If you ever want to meet truly interesting people, move to the south and get a job at a local diner. I can’t say I have always enjoyed this job, but I can definitely say, as much as I have complained about it, apart of me will be sad to leave. I’ve met so many amazing people that I will never forget.
I think all art and artist are in themselves contradictions. As an artist, you are expressing yourself. You are taking what you think, feel, and imagine and displaying them to the world. As an artist, you aren’t supposed to care what the world thinks, as long as your piece is how you imagined it. As long as you make your point and display your imagination, you have succeeded. However, as an artist, you long for social recognition and acceptance. You display your art to the world, hoping the world will beam back at you positive messages. If the worlds hates your art, you begin to wonder if their is any point in continuing to make it. It no longer becomes about simply expressing yourself and the art is good if you have expressed yourself properly, it is about pleasing the masses.
This is what I get for watching Exit Through the Gift Shop.
In about two weeks I will be moving on and literally moving away. I’ll be headed to college about six hours away from where I was raised. It will definitely be a culture shock being that far away from home, but I will have plenty of friends and a brother there to make the transition easier.
After I graduated from high school I changed a lot of things. I’m still the same exact person I was all through High School and Middle School. I like the person I’m becoming, so I won’t change that. The changes I made regarded the other people in my life. People I once called friends. I realized many of the people I knew in High School I should not carry on a friendship with out in the real world, so I cut them out. It was not an easy decision, believe me, but hopefully in the long run it will be worth it. I’m starting to see the benefits already. My life has been more drama free and happy this summer.
Some of my friends I’ve kept, though. Like my three best guy friends. I wouldn’t give them up for the world. I realized this summer and this past year just how much they mean to me. They kept me sane through all the stuff I went through with their insanity. Outsiders look at the four of us and think we are immature and stupid and many hate us. But they don’t know that immaturity and sillyness really helped more than they will ever know. It helped me step back and realize it is ok to laugh and have fun. Life is too short to spend sulking.
I’m glad I’ve been able to realize who in my life is important to hang on to and I’m excited for what the future holds.
I feel like Tumblr is a site for Hipsters. So if something has more than 1,000 notes, you can't like or reblog it, because it is already cool and way to mainstream. You gotta get that before it's cool.