It’s been two months. Last time I wrote, I had just started a new job, and the state of Colorado was becoming more and more like a home for me. Back to my old ways, sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on what recently to me has become the nectar of the angels, I am feeling more and more at home. You’ll know when I become more comfortable in a place when I make time for my favorite activity: writing. On this site, as most of you know, I make time for the things that cross my path and cause me to pause, that deeply interest me, that puzzle me, and that move me. Also, you’ll tend to find out whats going on in my life every once and a while. Continue reading “The Social Store-front Window, Wall, and Secret Garden.”
“Tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” A. Hitler.
A chilling reminder from a man who convinced most of a country to participate in easily one of the world’s greatest tragedies.
A lie…is one of the more dangerous and destructive things that can intersect your life. The lie often starts small, almost insignificant, but given enough belief, the lie ends up foundational in our lives.
It begs the question: What lies are we feeding belief? What lies are we allowing real estate in our own minds? Who are speaking these lies to us? Co-workers? People who dislike us? Ourselves? Continue reading “A Big Enough Lie”
So, this post may be a little deep, but my blog is also about letting readers into my head.
I’d be lying to you if I told you that I was hanging in here. That I was tough. That I was taking all the bad and outweighing it with the good. I’d be lying because we all know that when things get down to the wire…we think. What if? What then? What now? It’s a very common place for our minds to go. Whether you believe in a God or you don’t, it’s near impossible to fence in the wandering thoughts of doubt. When everything starts crumbling around you, and you don’t have a leg to stand on, a friend to call to, or a hope to cling to…doubt steps in. Doubt that it’ll get better. Doubt that the people you trust in will come through. Doubt that the job you’ve been needing is finally here.
This is a very dangerous place to stay for too long. I would know. Thoughts like this begin to erode at truth. And this is what needs to stay at the forefront: Truth. You see, I began to swim in the doubt. It became a struggle to get around questions like: At what point do I begin planning my move back home? What did it all mean if I leave before I’m ready? Was all of this pointless? Have I failed? How can I possibly face my friends who supported me, or my family who prayed for me? The thing is: I have days when I can’t stop thinking about these questions. This in no way means I have quit, but it isn’t helpful either.
If you know my journey so far, you know that I felt strongly called to this country and it’s people. It was all I wanted to do for three and half years. Studying, graduating, filling out paperwork, raising funds, and working. This “calling” ran through my veins and I’m sure that I annoyed many of my friends in the process. Living and working here is more than a feeling I had, it is a deep rooted belonging.
Something you will not know about me (because it’s usually only revealed when I’m cornered or get truly angry about something) is that I am very determined and outspoken. I refuse to give up on this call, I refuse to give into these crippling thoughts, and I refuse to stop trying until I have a reason to stop.
Because I am a Christian, I always believe that there are better things to come. Hope. And wow, I don’t think it’s much of a coincidence that my iTunes, on random, is now playing Greater Things Are Yet to Come as I type this sentence. And I DO believe that ‘greater things are still to be done in this city.’ I have to believe that the future holds better things. I am NOT done here. And if for some reason I am supposed to leave…I trust in Truth, not Doubt. I refuse.
In case you were under the impression that I am living the good life over here, sipping cocktails, kicking my feet back in the warm, dwindling rays of the New Zealand sunset every week, allow me to pop your bubble. No I’m not donning a hobbit costume, herding sheep through the exquisite mountainside, going on wine tours, vacationing on the weekends, hitting the beach whenever I can, eating at highly rated establishments, or adopting a general “take it easy” mentality.
Let me take you on an eye opening journey through what my life looks like up here and what the reality of the situation looks like.
I wake up. I figure out how I am going to eat, pay for gas, and where I’m gong to live next week. I worry. Yeah, I worry a lot. I pray for continued reliance on God. I pray for peace amidst the chaos. I hope that tomorrow is the day I can stop worrying about finances. I swallow my pride (admission: this is my newest addition to the “things Eric loathes to do”) and asking for help when I can’t do it. I keep myself busy filling out job applications and watching tv shows, reading books, or writing because if I stop for one second, I will think about my family and how much I miss them. I constantly remind myself why I’m here, my calling, and what I sacrificed to get here.
Sound familiar? NZ is no different than any other part of the world when it comes to daily struggles. Pretty mountainsides and golden sunsets don’t buy you food, close a mortgage, resolve a fight with your spouse, keep kids off the street, end injustice, create equality, or stop a kid from putting a gun in his mouth.
You want to know the sad thing? I haven’t seen anything yet. I’m still VERY green to this country, and I will be shocked. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon. New Zealand is filled with sadness, pain, suffering, damage, grief, and wrongdoing…And if you thought I came here to escape the problems of America to go and live in a paradise…then you are so far outside of reality, that I can’t help you. It doesn’t matter if you live in Fiji, Hawaii, or Jamaica…brokenness will follow you, because there isn’t a place on this Earth that doesn’t have any.
I realize that I have perpetuated this in the past with only showing photos of the good things I’ve been exposed to in this country. I have since stopped doing that on facebook, but the truth is I can’t even properly display in photo, video, or even text…as I am doing now…the true horrors I am exposed to in New Zealand. Nor would you want to hear about them. The truth exposes things and forces you to step out of what is comfortable. We like comfortability. We like it so much that we have fallen in love with “talking” about things that matter, yet rarely do anything of personal sacrifice. Rarely acting towards “otherness”, rarely REALLY believing in what we talk about.
Still, even someone like myself, who left everything behind to live-out my calling, I found myself asking the important questions, “What am I doing for these people I came here for? How am I living in “otherness?” How am I actually living how Christ called us? Christ became a human being, talked to whores, touched lepers, broke the sabbath and had Sunday lunches with sinners. To live like Christ? This means: Otherness. Pay attention to “others” and love them. Actually DO those things.
Living in New Zealand is not easy, let me make that very clear, and I hope I have. This was not an easy decision to move here, and life here is not glamorous. Let me also make clear that I do not hate living here. The reason I don’t hate living here is that I truly believe in this country and I believe in making a change here. I have committed to New Zealand, and I’m not giving up on her. And though it’s not comfortable, I will continue to force myself to consider the “other” and to love them in my work. This is seeking the kingdom of God. (Matt 6:33), and if anyone does this, God will take care of the rest.
This I needed you to know.
Today is the first day in the 7 day long media fast. I’d have to say that it is going pretty well. I am using gmail and wordpress for simply necessital reasons. Necessital is not a word, don’t bother looking it up. I do that sometimes. Makes life interesting. ANYWAY. So yeah, writing doesn’t distract me from doing what I really need to be doing, unlike other sites that I have taken away from regular viewing.
I don’t often get too deep on you, my readers, because I don’t like to offend. Most of you know that I am a spiritual man, and that I follow a higher power. I don’t do this out of lemming conviction, where I am just going with the flow without any reflective decision making. No. I have come to believe in God on my own terms and in my own ways. I am not influenced by FOX News, and I don’t always vote Republican. I am not a “conventional Christian,” whatever that would even mean, and with that comes a price sometimes. I am a firm, FIRM believer that everyone must come to their own conclusions about belief in one way or another.
KNOWING is much different than you may think. There are much too many Christians who are not able to hold down a complicated conversation about what they believe, why they believe it, and answer questions that someone who is curious about their faith may have. This is a problem. If you represent Christ, be prepared to actually represent Him. Too often I hear stories about Christians in the media or in places of power Failing to uphold basic truths about our faith. They simply cop out to please the masses or to refrain from stepping on toes. This paints a horrible light on what I choose to believe, and makes me look bad.
All I ask, for those Christians reading this post, is that you figure out what you believe. And especially on “hard to talk about topics,” such as: Birth control, Homosexuality, Women in Leadership, Drinking, Truth, Why pain exists, Why good people suffer, Does everyone go to heaven, Eschatology, The Resurrection, Jesus, The Trinity, Spiritual Gifts, Baptism, Can other Religions be also true, etc. It is important to not live on autopilot when it comes to something that you believe in. If I believed in a cause, I would find out as much as I could about it and become very well versed on it, so that I could effectively create change. To compare how we treat other things we believe in with our personal relationship with Jesus, can be quite an eye opener. Why do we care so little about it? Why are we so complacent? Why are there so many spiritually dead?
Some thoughts I had for today. In no way are they easy to think about or talk about, but it’s not really meant to be. I want you to seriously think about this. It’s important to you. Or is it?…
I wont always be discussing faith on this blog, but it may be a theme for the next 7 days. This is my Week-Long Journey.