The Struggle between Love and Power

Is a great life always a struggle between love and power?

I just got home from watching “Jobs”.

I just want to be upfront about that.

Good movie – great subject – and I notice I feel the same way leaving that theater as I do when I watched Star Trek, the Marvel movies, and when I read Harry Potter, “Three Cups of Tea”,  and Terry Pratchett’s “Nation”.

There is some variation in subject matter, genre, and even media type in these – but the common thread – I think – is that they are all stories of great vision.

The thing about vision, is that there is never an instruction manual that comes with it.

There have been millions of innovators and millions of visionaries – but none of them are the same.  None of them go about it the same way.

Their wins, their failures, their obstacles, and the casualties they leave in their wake – the only common thread is that they all seem to have some of all of them.

 

I have a vision myself, and what scares me – is not the failures, not the obstacles, but something I saw over and over in Jobs, and something that the form of fantasy can ignore in the world of Hogwarts – the casualties of following that vision.

I know people died in Harry Potter – but I am not talking about death – I am talking about ruined relationships.   Harry got to keep all his friends.  All that survived the battles, anyway.

It seems that in reality, that choice is not available.

And that sucks.

I want to innovate.  I want my vision to come true.

I am just not sure I could ever feel proud if it came at the price I watched Steve Jobs pay.  

And I am not confident that putting relationships first, over a project that could change and better the entire world, wouldn’t also make me a coward.

It’s probably not as black and white as all that – but it’s what I am thinking about tonight.  

Is a great life always a struggle between love and power?

33 reasons to abstain from porn are not enough

So I stumbled across this [http://russellkorets.com/2013/06/02/33-reasons-to-abstain-from-porn/] while wrestling with the British Airways STUPID WEBSITE trying to book Christmas tickets. I took a deep breath and decided to check twitter instead of hurling my laptop across the room.
One link led to another, and I came upon this.

It’s an article in which the author creates a list of 33 reasons to abstain from porn for himself which include things like:

For the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

God is always watching me.

Angels and demons are often watching me.

It causes anxiety, paranoia, fear, irritability, anger, and depression.

Every female is someone’s daughter.

Every female is someone whom Christ loved enough to suffer and die for.

There are a lot of others in the list (27 others) but on the whole, it just seemed so glaringly “not enough” I had to respond.  It just seemed so shaming, so guilt-inducing, and so vaguely sexist….

I left a long comment, but I’m not done talking about it —- there is something fundamentally wrong with this list – something missing that is really bugging me. And I am not quite sure exactly what it is.

So – wanna explore my thoughts on the world of porn? Then I guess, read on:

My original comment contained the following:

“What about the – and I think this is really why it’s likely to be unholy – fact that it objectifies people to mere sexual objects – and that impact of meditating on that distortion of humanity can have on your mind and heart?

It doesn’t just objectify women, men are objectified too.
You may find it a more meaningful motivation to actively try to see humanity as God, our creator, sees us – as opposed to vaguely fighting sin with the goal of holiness.
I mean, props on fighting it anyway you can – but if you are working on material to help with this situation, I am just not sure if coming at it from a shame or negative response is the most healthy or helpful.
People who are interested in the products already feel shame, and are actively repenting – perhaps what they need more of is help laying out a healthier mindset about what is going on.
If you shouldn’t view porn because it is wrong – what is right?
I don’t think many people applying anti-porn filter software need to know more about why it is wrong, or how it can negatively impact their lives, or the lives of those around them.
I guess I am just frustrated that I only seem to see people being guilted and shamed out of something that like 90% of us see or use with varying frequency.
Surely we can now move on to see that we need to do more than just quit. It’s not enough. The mindset that allows porn to be compelling itself surely must change.
Maybe shame and guilt has to be the first step?
But wouldn’t the more powerful way be to see all life, as best we can, for what it is, and what it should be?
Seeing all people, in whatever area of life we are struggling, as real people – instead of as objects – or a uniform for all that matter.
Isn’t that the real idea behind loving your neighbor as yourself? You can’t do that until you see them as equal, and try to understand them – and it is presumably (this is yet untested) difficult to become aroused at the idea of a loved one preforming derogatory sexual acts.
I haven’t thought about this much before I read your list and…
…. this is too long of a comment – but it has me inspired to blog.”

So let us continue in this thought —

someone please comment to tell me when and if Jesus ever addressed a problem with the heart, or how someone was dealing with humanity like this —– I am guessing he may have at some point?  But it just doesn’t seem to me that his go-to tool for helpingus deal with sin was shame or guilt – but I need to really think about it.

Okay… so what example can I think of when Jesus some someone sin and confronted them about it – specifically on their view of humanity, or mis-treating other people….(sunday school memories, don’t fail me now!)

Well the story of the people trading at the temple, might be an example?  If an argument could be made for the traders treating their customers as less-than people by extorting money out of them for their sacrifices…. but that doesn’t seem strong enough.

What about the people wanting to stone the woman caught in adultery?  That seems like a good one!

Okay, so the story goes that when Jesus was in town in an afternoon-ish sort of setting I imagine (as people were all out and about) some professionally holy people just “happen” to find a woman “in the act” of committing adultery and they drag her before Jesus, presumably wanting him to condemn her and affirm their right to violently kill her publicly for this crime.

Ha! And the irony of remembering this story is that Jesus sits and writes something in the sand which none of us will ever know — and then directs people to look at her as they do themselves “Which of you has not sinned?  Let him cast the first stone”
A genius response – wouldn’t expect anything less.

I am not going to sit here and pretend like I can pull apart that incredible scene to be able to tell you exactly how Christ would have us respond to sexual deprivation, peeping toms, or self-righteous snobs — but I do think it is key that he doesn’t say anything about the sin brought before him – but rather addresses the true sin – the ultimate sin – degrading his creation to anything less than the beautiful soul he corrected.  They had no love for their neighbor; it is easily concluded that this woman was set-up in some form or fashion.  They were condemning too.

And Jesus didn’t shame them for presumably watching this woman engage in a sexual act – but for objectifying her in a way the man she was with was not.

Okay so I’m off subject and out of my depth – but tell me your thoughts.
Is there something we are missing when we address the issue of pornography????

It feels like it to me.

But what…?!!

Freak out / Faith

So I had a bit of a freak out night before last.  Couldn’t sleep, and didn’t want to keep the bear up as he had work in the morning, so I quietly panicked in the living room and the bath.  Then at about 5am I finally woke him up by crying, and then hyperventilating, and sniveling, and generally freaking out with a whole load of incredibly painful fears that I don’t think I was quite conscious of… not a strong point in my life…

 

Someone once said, “I don’t know what I think until I write it” and unfortunately I can’t remember who, and can’t be bothered to look it up – but this is my attempt at making a similar discovery.

 

I found within me a quiet, unnamed desperation, that seemed to have woken up screaming.  Disappointedly, it did not scream it’s name – just a long, howl of anguish.

 

Now, as I have said before, everything I have going on in my life in wonderful – seriously, I am living so much more than I have ever dreamed.  I love my husband, and this town I live in, my material goods are all above and beyond, and I am learning new skills (shout out to pintrest!) so nothing is going wrong – which leads me to conclude that  as opposed to something be “wrong” in my life, it is instead a case of something simply not being there.

 

I would assume this is tied to my lack of “community” – I am, perhaps, in need of a “bosom friend” as Anne Shirley liked to say.  

 

Thing is – I have no idea how to help this along!  It is simple enough to meet people if you are in school, or at work, have a church you love, or even someone else to make introductions for you.  I don’t know how to do it now.  And as my departure date for the states becomes closer and closer, and as the duration of that trip still remains unknown – I add to this the fear that I will just get things started and then I will have to leave – and then the bond will weaken.

 

But that is an absurd fear.  Because I know that in order for relationships to grow, both sides need to be able to offer something.  At the moment I feel I don’t have anything to offer – now this isn’t a “I’m not good enough” downer low self esteem thing – I know I am awesome!  But I don’t have a car, or much space to entertain people at my place, or much spare cash… I feel really needy, and I realllly don’t want to be!

 

I also had a bit of a pregnancy scare last week – only a little scary as my visa isn’t sorted yet, and that would be *quite* the hassle to organize with a baby on the way too!

I think that the idea that I could very seriously be pregnant also was a bit of a wake-up  call as to how isolated I really do feel here.  If that happened, my mother and grandma, and aunts, and best friends, are all over an ocean.  With jobs.  They can’t come over and live life with me day-to-day!  And while I have met some very nice people here, they aren’t relationships you really want to put this kind of a strain on.  

 

I think that is probably it.  Nothing all that complex after all.  Just something I need, and don’t know how to get.

So…. now what?  I turn to my religion at times like this, and I suppose this is that walking by faith (the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Heb 11:1) and relying on grace.

 

And that feels cool and nerve-wracking.  Like repelling down a cliff face – something I love to do, AND terrifies me too.  But I never want it to stop.  The climb is nerve wracking, but the view on the way down, as you are suspended in the air, hundreds of feet up – is amazing.  

 

So that is what I will do.  Keep pressing on, and walking with that faith that God loves me and has a plan for me and my life, and that he won’t let me drop.  So as I stand with shaking knees, about to lower myself horizontally backwards off the cliff edge, I will take a deep breath, and enjoy the view.

 

I’ll keep you updated as to what I see along the way.