Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just Like Me

My little brother and I talk a lot.

We discuss a variety of subjects from sports, to marriage, to child rearing and, most often, our faith. Both of us are Christians, and both of us are trying to figure out the best way to live a life pleasing to God.

Often, we note that many people see Christianity as a remote religion practiced by a bunch of crazies far out of tune with reality. Basically these folks see nothing relevant to their lives in the New Testament, and particularly not the Old Testament (For heathens, those are the two sections of the Bible.) It's all a mishmash of ridiculous fantasy to them.

And this really makes me and my lil bro' laugh.

Have y'all read the Bible lately?

That joint is like a spy novel, romance novel, hymnal, book of philosophy and every other kind of tome known to man, wrapped up in one. Seriously, every other book in the world is somehow related to the Bible. There is no human thought or philosophy known to man that is not discussed in some way in the Bible. I dare you to read that joint and prove me wrong.

But, it's really funny when people can't seem to connect to the characters in the Old Testament, and find it kind of boring. That speaks to a lack of time spent reading. I mean, if there is a bigger collection of murderers, whoremongers and lame bastards outside of the Old Testament, I have yet to find it.

Just a few weeks back, I read the story of Elihu in the Bible. He's a minor character, but dude's story is insane. I mean, this cat went to the palace of a corrupt king terrorizing Israel, assassinated the dude with a hidden knife while being sequestered in the throne room, and then hid the murder while he escaped back to this country by locking the doors and fooling the servants. Hell, he might have even somewhat seduced the lecherous king to get into the throne room.

And that doesn't sound like something interesting, or something you can relate to?

I told my brother something the other day that both of us found profound. We were talking about how relevant the Bible is to life, and then I said something like "And the crazy thing is that these were all just regular people."

While we may view the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Bible as unassailable examples of certain good and bad character traits, they actually were just regular folks. When they were living their lives, they didn't realize that their actions would be used as examples of good and bad behavior for thousands of years. They didn't realize they would be held up as paragons of purity or the epitome of evil. They were just muddling along trying to make the best life they could for themselves and the people around them.

Isn't that an amazing thought? And it doesn't just apply to the Bible, it applies to everything. While many great people have had amazing focus and vision, they were all just human. They had the same human desires, the same human foibles, the same human strengths as all of us. They were us. They were human, and despite their humanity, or because of their humanity, they did things that have resonated throughout the course of time.

It's true for biblical figures, it's true for the titans of black history and it's true for your next-door neighbor. Every life has potential for greatness. Every life holds insights into the way humanity behaves. All of us provide good and bad examples to the people around us. Sure, some of us may have more reach than others, but all of life is connected and dependent.

For me, it's been both a stifling and freeing revelation. Stifling because it makes me even more conscious of how I live my life. Freeing because I realize that my mistakes do not have to doom my life. Who knows how my action or inaction will impact the future? Only God knows who my life will influence or not influence.

The potential is always there until we draw our final breaths.



the uppity Negro said...

you're so churchy, I be forgetting, lol.


if it works for you, I can't hate on that.

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