Friday, April 11, 2008
Facing the Opposition
There a a few things that we truly are not capable of until we are put into a certain situation. For example, moms have lifted cars off of their child or the nicest person in the world shot and killed someone in the act of defense. In these scenarios we will never know what we are capable of until it actually happens. This is how our minds work. In James 1 it explains how we need to consider it joy when we face trials and tribulations because it is strengthing us but it's hard to see how this can be until later. If we are wise, we will realize that some amazing things couldn't happen until some negative things happened first.
A little while ago I wrote a blog titled "Living for Life" in which I talked about a lot of things that I believe were important to life. It's obvious that most people do not share the same views and that is awesome because that is part of what makes life exciting because the dynamics of people keep us entertained. Earlier today I received a comment on that post reporting that Jesus was sweet and that He jumps on pogo sticks.... I thought it was awesome that this person decided to break this news on my blog. Who could have even imagined that he would pick me. Ok, so there was more to his comment than just that breaking news. Logically I should have been offended but this is just another example of where our logic often throws us of course of just living life for life and, ultimately, leads us to feelings of worthlessness. In a way this goes back to my analogy of a surfer who harnesses the awesome (and many times negative) power of waves and has fun with it -- and the bigger the wave, the bigger the thrill. It's a lot like this in life too. If we are to really enjoy our lives we need to learn to harness the power of our opponents who attack us and have fun with it.
In high school I was picked on a good bit and, yes, it did bug me. I guess it's also true that no one totally gets over the fact that people attack them but it's really an issue of how you respond to that attack internally. I've had a lot of people tell me that I have matured just about every year that has gone by and I think one of the key points to this is that I've learned how to better harness this power and allow it to not upset me but to confirm that I have a purpose in what I am doing. I think just about any blogger would agree that the worst type of comment is the one that isn't left. I gave up caring what people thought of me a long while ago. I've realized that the logic that our society uses is what is hurting us the most and if I want to deviate from this logic in any way then I really need to understand that people are going to attack me and disagree with me and I need to understand that if I really believe the words that I say then I need to realize that when words I say strikes a chord with someone then I am actually making an impact on someone's life which is exactly what I am hoping to do. When I receive a negative attack I think the more negative that it is the more it gives me purpose and fuels me to keep doing whatever it is I do here.
Back in 2006 I wrote a blog based on starfish that I think also captures what I am trying to say here. The people that are constantly picked on tend to be the people that make the largest impact in this life. You may want to consider it a phenomenon but I really believe that its because these are the people that have the potential to become extremely motivated for the right reasons in life. They have experienced first hand that attacking someone for their beliefs doesnt get anyone anywhere so they embrace their own beliefs, become proud of who they are, and they work towards the things they believe are important. Those same people end their lives knowing they lived a full and worthwhile life and having made a great impact on this world. It's never about what bad luck comes your way or how much people hate you but its about how you feel about you and how you take the things that come your way.
Opposition fuels advancement. The human race has invented things the fasted out of mother necessity. The more that we have an opposing force the more that we will work towards answering that force. I'm sure the Wright brothers faced a lot of opposition but I'm also sure that when people attacked them they didn't argue with them.... in fact, maybe they listened to what someone was saying and maybe the person calling them stupid actually gave them a new perspective. Ultimately, they flew..... and I'm sure there were people that were humbled.
It all boils down to believing in who you are and what you believe. If you doubt yourself then anything that is said to you will cause you to falter in what you are trying to accomplish. On the other hand, if you truly believe in whatever it is that you are doing then the only thing your opposition does is confirm that you are working on something that is worth noticing and, in that realization, understand that negative comments and attacks really are a cause for celebration.
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Living for life
I still think it is amazing to watch how animals behave. There are distinct ways of telling when an animal is happy and when an animal is upset. While I don't think that animals experience emotions, per se, I do believe they experience euphoric states as well as states of fear. I love watching Lisa go about different things and just by watching her feathers and the position her crown is pointing, I almost instinctively know how she is feeling. I also know the reaction when I give Lisa her favorite egg crunch treat or I give Bacardi peanuts or I give Cracker, well, anything edible :)
I also think about the joy of seeing a newborn or seeing a child learn all of the amazing mysteries of this world. To a 2 year old a yoyo is an amazing thing and there is this desire to learn about the world - and we smile at watching that amazement. That same 2 year old doesn't understand that she shouldn't put the yoyo in her mouth. Eventually she grows up and learns that its wrong and figures out that she, too, can make a yoyo go up and down on her own and suddenly that amazing toy is now just a boring piece of plastic on a string.
What is it that turns something so exciting into something boring? Its the lack of wonder or mystery. With my birds I need to give them new toys and I need to confuse them so they have something entertaining to figure out - and one of the best ways to do this is to create foraging situations which is basically making them work for their food and figure out how to get it.
In almost all cases we will see an underlying need for survival in just about everything. The greatest sci fi and mystery films all have an aspect of a human surviving. Make a sci fi about someone that can't find an object (that's not crucial to their life) and you have a poor movie.
What is it that differs between us and animals? And does that difference mean we're better off or is it just something that simply makes us different. One of the fundamental differences is that Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But why is it that this tree was the subject of a curse? Isn't that knowledge good to have?
Consider this. In the Bible sin is not based on laws in the new testament but on what is in someone's heart. Basically this means that if you don't know something is a sin then it really is not committing a sin if you do whatever it is. So one could come to the conclusion that if we didn't have the knowledge of good and evil then we obviously could not sin. And yes, this is why dogs can hump anything and still go to heaven. They don't need to be judged because there is no right or wrong to them. If Adam and Eve hadn't eaten the fruit then the result would be that permarital sex would not be a sin. The sex the human race would have would be completely different but it would still be euphoric.
So why is foraging such a great way to keep birds entertained? Simply because food is essential to life. When you hide food then they have a desire to find it because they need to survive. When they find it, it is euphoric. Sex is essential to life so when animals mate it is euphoric because it is carrying on the race. Seeing a newborn baby is euphoric because its our race continuing.
The problem that us humans have is that we are so confused by things going on because we now have a "logic center" that has to weigh the appropriateness of each situation before acting upon it and to further confuse that the same logic system is trained by those who came before us using their logic system. Every generation that goes by we get further and further away from who God intended us to be. I believe we were created very similar to animals in that we were not intended to have this logic system - we were intended to live for life. The simple things in life are what are supposed to make us happy. Simply surviving another day is meant to be exciting. Every generation that goes by we're seeing more and more distortment of what life is supposed to be. In today's world our logic systems are telling us that we need to do everything that our boss says no matter what because we can't survive without that job but we just end up living for our boss instead of life its self. We need to drive nice cars in order to be worth something and we need $100k salaries in order to "make it". All of these are the result of our twisted logic.
Most of the world no longer lives life for life. We regress more and more in life the more we progress in society. We are all losing the fact that we are all a team and the greatest way to survive is to work together instead of rising above others in order to survive. We see more and more acts of greed and we covet things more and more. We have truly lost what it means to live and yet we spend so much time figuring out the meaning of life - as we drive by someone stranded on the side of the road. Afterall, according to our logic system, our life can't continue if we don't hurry up and get to work to make money.
Our world is not going to get any better until we all start living life for life. If we can start to realize that survival is survival as the human race and that with that survival comes euphoria and happiness then we might have a shot at making this world a better place. We need to live life for life in general rather than just for our own lives..... This is where we find the meaning of life and become happier people.
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Monday, April 16, 2007
Today was a huge turning point for me.... but some of the changes happened a few weeks ago when I had a conversation with Tiff.... and there is a reason why I didn't mention that back then. The biggest problem wasn't that I missed Tiff and I wanted to be back with her... the reason why she consumed so much of me was because I wanted to have answers to something that seemed to be a focus of her hiding. What I wanted to know is that she was a good person and that she was, in fact, capable of telling the truth.
I guess it's kind of like the situation of someone dying without you being able to tell them something that was on their heart. All you want is to be able to talk to them and say good bye and exchange anything that either of you feel needs to be exchanged. To me, Tiff died and I never got any closure to anything. It was a long and drawn out battle... years and years and years went by and it destroyed a part of me.... tho hindsight can see that when a part of you is destroyed, it's often to make room for a part of you that is better. I knew Tiff lied to me time after time and I knew that she lied about lying to me as well.... and for the past 2 years I wanted to hear something that would really hurt me but yet, anytime that came up, all I was given was a lie. I wanted to know that it wasn't ALL a lie.... I wanted to know that at least something was real -- but when a lie was put on top of a lie, you can only imagine that everything was a lie. Tiff told me a few weeks ago that she is back with Jim. I now know that she is capable of telling the truth.... and she is capable of being a good person.
See, here's the thing. For the past 2 years, I really honestly never wanted to be back with Tiff but there were a few times that I let it appear to be going in that direction because I felt it was the only way that I could get closure.... I learned about a year and a half ago that Tiff wasn't ANYTHING that I wanted for my future wife.... and I also learned that whether or not she cheated on me in actions with Jim I knew that she did in thoughts and I learned that that was where she was meant to be. Simply put, I knew that Tiff needed to die within my mind but I didnt want her to die with the horrible image that I had.... I wanted her to die in my mind on a good note -- and help me put this bitterness aside.
It's been pretty earth shattering since then. Tiff asked me why I let her tell me the truth and then just wanted to walk away and I told her because it's what was needed... it's what has been needed and was well overdue. I don't want her in my life and I really havent for the past year or so.... I just wanted to have something to hold on to.... and because I did really care for her, I wanted to know that she was ok.
Jesus said that we need to give Him all of our burdens and He will give us rest... and over the past few weeks, a lot of burdens have been lifted from me.... some really huge ones that literally bring tears to my eyes. Finally closing the final chapter on Tiff has been extremely life changing.... and the financial burdens that have arose in the past month or so were miraculously lifted today... and most importantly, the miracles that God has performed has really restored my faith in the fact that He really is taking care of me no matter how bad it may seem at times. Because of that renewed faith I have had a lot of bondage lifted from me.... a lot of the things that I have struggled with seem almost non existent right now... Right now I sit here writting this blog and I realize that the eyes that I see the world through right now are so different than the ones that I saw through 2 or 3 weeks ago... I have dealt with a lot of struggles.... my faith has come close to totally disappearing... but as has always been true in my life, God will let things get messy for a while because I need to learn new lessons and I need to be prepared for "my next mission" ... and whatever the next thing is that God has for me is something that I usually don't know.... but God knows me and He knows when I need just a little something to give me a little boost. The singleness has really been hammering me hard recently... and my faith in ever finding someone special became extremely numb... last week someone asked me to the prom. Yea, there are some things to laugh about there but there is more seriousness to that than it might seem. I do look really young so she wasn't real sure of my age.... but you know, that gave me something to keep holding on to. True, it was something that wouldn't materialize BUT having someone see something in you that would push them to do something that they normally wouldnt do can really make you feel good about yourself.... and it really did remind me that there are girls out there that will find something about me that they don't see in anyone else.... and ultimately I will find a girl that sees something in me that she can't live without and vice versa.
I am really thankful for the fact that I have this blog. I'm thankful for everyone that reads it (even the ones who read it because they are "out to get me").... This blog is my life and the purpose of it is to show both the good and the bad and hopefully it will touch people.... Honestly, if keeping this blog and going through the horrible experiences that I go through ends up helping even just one person -- then it's all worth it. And I really love the people who try to throw salt on my wounds by spreading the news that I made a depressing post or try to say "oh look, Christian boy is hurting" .... actually, its not really salt -- it's more like peroxide... whether it hurts or not it cleans out the wound and makes me stronger -- probably the whole reason why I had the wound in the first place.
Life is all about helping people, loving people, and being honest..... The greatest fruit of the Spirit is Love.... and you can't love people and lie to them or love people and not want to help them.... so I guess it all really does go back to that.... and being honest about the fact that we don't always feel happy is, in my opinion, a very important part of being able to help people.... we really can't help anyone if they have any view that we're not human and have no possibility of understanding what they are going through. Rarely does anyone know exactly what the other person is going through but the people that have been through more can come closer to those who have had the poster "perfect life".
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Sunday, January 21, 2007
First of all, I swear I was born in the wrong year. I act like a completely different age than what I am and I act like someone who has the attitude and values of the early 1900's ... but then again, I tend to be someone who is all about new things... innovations.... and they just don't seem to mix.
Then, of course, I am a Christian.... but yet, I don't fit the stereotype of what people think a "Christian" is so as a result, people don't understand me. I'm honestly glad that I am not like most Christians but yet when I say I am a Christian, all of a sudden I'm tagged as someone who is holier than thou and will never do things such as drink alcohol, or go to a club, or whatever else may be happening. So, of course, no one invites me anywhere.... I don't fit in with the Christians tho because I have different attitudes.... so I'm left with this little group of people that often seems to only consist of me.
And now I live in Northern VA which is an area of a huge amount of greed.... every man for himself and money is the sign of success.... yet, I grew up as a country boy where we are all about helping each other.... so I try to help where I can and I get tagged as a "freak" because it's just not normal to help people or to think about someone other than yourself..... and of course, if it's a girl, I automatically have other motives.....
I am a geek at heart.... I like computers so that means that I automatically hate people, right? No one takes the time to realize that I am a human being who really enjoys being around people.... actually, I NEED to be around people.... but geeks are odd and no one wants to stick around them unless they have a computer problem....
I just fit into all the wrong stereo types.... ones the describe exactly who I am NOT.... and at the end of the day, I'm left as a lonely person because no one understands me.... but the biggest problem of all isn't that no one understands me but that they just don't care to look at my heart and find out who I really am.
It's really tough but I do know that there is a reason that God has put me when and where I am.... there is a purpose whether I feel it or not. I don't understand why so many horrible things happen to me.... and I really don't understand why I can't just be blessed with a friend who is someone that will always be there for me no matter what.... While it's not neccesary, I still so often feel like Moses before he had Aaron.... And when it comes to relationships, I can't understand why God has chosen for me to be alone for now.... but He is God and I am not.... so all I can do is trust Him and pray that he would someday bring some really strong friendships into my life and eventually bring that one special girl into my life who thinks that I am worth more and worth standing by me no matter what happens.
I deal with the pain of a broken heart so many days of my life.... and sometimes it seems my heart just ends up in even smaller pieces... every now and then someone comes into my heart that seems to care about who I am... they start helping me pick up some of the pieces but then they realize that the job is more than they had expected and they leave, dropping the pieces they picked up and breaking them into even smaller ones.
So now here is my disclaimer... this post isn't because I'm depressed or anything.... I'm doing ok.... sure, I have some struggles but I'm hanging in there.... I'm just trying to get some thoughts down.... and if I put it here and someone happens to understand what I'm talking about, well, maybe it can be a source of comfort to them.... thats actually the prayer I have for my entire blog.... I show some really deep feelings that I have here because maybe there is someone else out there who just really needs to hear that they are not alone.... thats why I allow myself to post negative feelings at times....
At any rate, if your in the north east, I hope you're enjoying the snow.... it's beautiful down here as long as your not on the roads.... and it has nothing to do with the roads and everything to do with the fact that people around here just simply can not drive.... you'd think a dusting of snow was the apocalypse.
Hope you all have a great week!
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
(C)2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
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