Friday, June 04, 2004
I need a longer attention span. Either that, or I need to blog more often. I keep wondering about things, thinking long and hard about them, and then resolving them with a simple solution. That doesn't make for great reading.
One thing I'd been thinking about before was the subject of girls. The solution I came up with was that when I'm ready, things will start falling into place. If I force the issue before I've made sure I'm right with the Lord and that dating isn't just an idol I'm placing before God, then only harm will come of it, and I could very well alienate good friends. While I do know that I tend to be very oblivious, and probably wouldn't really know if I was being hit upon even if some girl started rubbing against me, that may be a bit of a blessing. Again, I figure that once I've made sure that my heart, mind, body, and spirit are dedicated to God, then things will work out the way He wants.
I was also thinking about race and the ghetto. Having volunteered in Chester, PA, I've seen some (not much) of the environment. I've also started reading "Code of the Street" by Elijah Anderson, which has been enlightening.
And, I was watching a rerun of ER this morning, and race was an issue constantly cropping up. At the end, one of the black nurses or receptionists (I don't watch enough to have that sorted out yet) was asked by a white doctor if she thought he had been racist in treating a badly wounded white gunshot victim first over a less-badly-wounded black gunshot victim (who later died). She told him that some white people don't see race in anything, but that black people see it in everything. I don't know how far that goes, but I've seen that statement ring true before. I have a very low tolerance for things that sound like political correctness or people making victims out of themselves, but when my friend BH, who is black, mentioned how one problem of the inner city was "institutional racism," it made me consider if there weren't more to this than just unfounded complaints. I think, in a way, it reminds me of the boy who called wolf. Imagine you're with a group of eighty people, and you suddenly have ten people run in and say that a wolf is terrorizing their flock. What would your immediate response be? Whatever this says about me, I think my first thought would be "There can't possibly be ten wolves terrorizing these flocks at the same time. Heck, I'd be surprised if there were ten wolves even in the area." My hunch is that a lot of white people think the same way. Now, it could be that there actually are ten wolves. It could also be that it's one wolf that's attacking all the flocks. And, it's possible that some of the people are either lying or overreacting ("That bush moved! There must be a wolf there waiting!"). I really don't know which is the case, which is why I'm trying to learn more.
At the Navigators Mid-Atlantic Spring Conference this Spring, the main thing that I remember (besides finger puppets and the Quiet Time story) was the speaker's point that some things only have to be given up once, while for other things we may have to pray to God for help every single day for the rest of our lives. I don't know a lot about them, but from my reading of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, I do believe in the idea of guardian angels, and that the whole hosts of Heaven and Hell are watching us to see what we do. So, one thing I've found effective is to ask God to send one of His angels to watch over you. However it works, temptations seem to be a lot weaker when I've done this. I don't pretend to actually understand how this works; all I can think is that the angel is wrestling with whatever demons may seek to harm me instead of me having to do it myself. I could, of course, be way off with this thought, but it seems to make sense right now.
I've also been reminded that deciding to walk with God is often like wading out into a strong current. If you try to stand still or don't move fast enough, you're going to get swept back. While you're on the shore, it's pretty peaceful, but you're not actually going anywhere. I'd noticed before that whenever I make a decision to do something that I know will be very hard for me, temptations to do what I'm trying to reject come flying fast and hard. Even, things that never would've been opportunities before "magically" open up. Satan knows when we're stepping out, and hates it. So, I think that these new temptations are a good sign that I'm heading on the right path and that Satan knows it, and hates it.