10 Things (+1) Nobody Ever Told Me
1. Addictions are not cool. The government always said “Don’t do Drugs” but never said “Don’t do Porn”, or “don’t be a glutton” “Don’t steal from investors” “Spend less money”, etc. Lust in particular is common but destroys, easily hid but overpowering, is empowered out of needy places in your life.
2. By the time you hit thirty you’ll start feeling all those aches and pains from abuse you put yourself through as a teen and early adult. Parts of your body you never think about, like your knees and feet start hurting before during and after exercise!
3. Music is as varied and expressive as print communication. Most of the music you hear is by accident and just has good publicity. The good music often does not. You gotta hunt for it like buried treasure. Once you get on the search your life changes forever. The same is true, say many, of movies, drama, dance, paintings, and so on. God gives us these things to bring us out of depressive slumps. Creativity is a godly thing. It soon is not enough to hear or see these things, you must soon make your own music, films, books, art, whatever.
4. Nobody is ever really prepared for marriage. Of course you can’t tell that to single people or engaged couples or they’ll freak out. But no matter what you do, no matter what books you read: marriage—like faith and religion— is a leap in the dark. You think you know what you have but you don’t. You thought you knew yourself but you didn’t.
5. Nobody is ever really prepared for kids. See above.
6. Anybody who acts like they knew from the start and did everything perfect is a bald face liar!!! Just nod your head and smile and say “hmmm” like you were going to anyway and then think to yourself [assuming this is a male]“I wish I had been a fly on the wall when you were thirty with three kids under the age of nine. Where were you then? Hiding in your den while your wife watched the kids?” Some folks with positive dispositions who view all of life as a great adventure somehow laugh at trouble as it comes. But I tend to avoid these people.
7. Religion is a human thing. Its not necessarily heaven sent or hell inspired. Its just a human function like breathing or going to the bathroom. Like with little kids its important to learn the right way to go to the bathroom. But no one really teaches you to breathe. Well some religionists do, but. . . .
Its like bike riding or learning an instrument. All humans are religious in one way or another. Its become common to be Creole about it, mixing this with that. But in the end God judges all of our religions. God’s Word teaches a pure religion, but does not say that practitioners will be free from the boundaries of its sinful human practice of it this side of heaven. The Holy Spirit in us Christians brings our religious practice to life and promises a better future but does not promise perfect practice in us, but only holy struggle. Jihad if you will, in us. We can’t outlaw or kill our religious urges anymore than the State can. But we can understand that they are frail and fall under judgment. Hopefully this will humble us cause us to stop judging each other and allow for God’s judgment.
8. Theology, like science and philosophy, is fun (though addictive) but useless fun if not applied. Most people ignore theology (and science) because they can’t draw lines to personal experience. It usually takes a disaster to give you an interest in systematic theology. Sometimes systematic theology causes the disaster, either way it becomes a necessity. Like a basic knowledge of the laws of physics will save from certain death, so theology will save you from various metaphysical excursions into complete stupidity (like an addiction to television’s “the Bachelor” or “Average Joe” or “Elimidate”). Well maybe it won’t save you but at least you’ll know there’s gotta be more intelligent life somewhere.
9. Politics is not a dirty word. And people who avoid politics and religion are just doing their best to keep from growing up. I’ve embraced religion and politics all my life, and people still like me. Well a few people. But anyway, politics is, on a grand scale, the same poop we have to scoop out of our front lawns everyday. It, like religion, is just part of human life. Live with it. Learn it. Or you’ll just step in it and make a mess everywhere you go. My interest started with the horrific events in Rwanda. If you don’t know about Rwanda in 1994 by now please pull your head out of that hole you call your life and look around. If all you know of the Middle East is that Jesus once lived there put your head back in the hole, you don’t deserve to know anymore. But seriously, a lot of governments like it that you stay ignorant of the evil they do, does that tick you off? Israel, for instance, has done a good job at making its problems seem unsolvable by anybody and thus has managed to keep the world off their back and the US sending money and weapons. Don’t care for my politics? Fine. Find your own.
10. People who are always organized must never actually do much. The rest of us are constantly busy trying to undo the mistakes we made because we weren’t organized.
+1: (A freebie) Community sustains life. Anyone truly alone is already dead. (Though then we could say they’re in communion with others in the afterlife.) I have never had a truly meaningful relation with anyone that I don’t still carry with me as a part of who I am. At times in recalling the past I may be angry and resentful or I may revel in the bliss of the thought of us together. Most often I just carry a peace about that person around with me, like I needed them at the time and they made me more of who I am.