Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pass the peas, please

(Pre-script:I'm feeling cheeky today; Go down to the playlist, click on the song, "Gone," by Switchfoot, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)
So there I was, flying, I was flying, I was soaring on the treadmill, and the music was moving me along, to the highest of inclines, to the fastest of speeds, speeds so fast you'd get whiplash trying to watch, and I'd be tempted to say "Wanna see that again?" over and over as I broke some sort of light barrier with my speed...At least that's how it was in my mind... When what, to my wandering eyes should appear, but a trainer, in my face, making mouth movements to indicate that she was trying to both talk to me and get my attention. So I had to pull out an earplug to listen. And folks, what came out of her mouth was not music, nor did it translate as music once it hit my eardrums. What she said was "How long have you been on?" Friends, there are so many things wrong with this statement. I was forced to look at the time on the machine, which I purposely cover so that I will not have to see it. I have a rough estimate in my mind of how long I've been on the hateful device, but I cannot look at the time without also noticing the distance I have gone, and trust me, I don't want to know, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!! Until the end!! Because knowing in the beginning or middle when you are in pain but know you are not even halfway done yet is very discouraging!! But she was asking me because all of the treadmills were full, and someone had just walked in and was looking for a treadmill. Blink.
Y'all, it's about to get all un-politically correct up in here, so this may be your place to stop reading. Unless you are a renegade, or at least have some renegade tendencies from time to time, and can handle some renegade thought. Here is comes, like a lightning rod smack down: The whole idea of sharing is so, so misunderstood and taken to unhealthy proportions in our society at large. I will even get biblical about it in a moment, but first let me explain: the gym's policy is that of many gyms, which is that if all of the machines are taken, and someone is waiting for one, you are supposed to adhere to a 30 minute time limit, then get off of your machine. This logic works for those who are there for the purpose of, oh, walking for instance. But for those of us in serious training, working on things like speed and endurance, 30 minutes is not going to cover it. And besides, I got there first. I got my butt out of bed and GOT There, and the other person, well, he or she sauntered out of bed and out of his or her house whenever he or she did, and then expected me to shorten my training. So that he or she could walk. You see my point, or you don't. I think it's a co-dependant policy.
Let's review the scriptures: I believe that Paul wrote that the fruits of the Spirit in a life are as follows: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.* At no point on that list do you see the word "Sharing." Jesus also did say to "Love your neighbor as yourself."** The indication there is that you of course already love yourself. In other words, you can only give out of what you have to give.
There is a children's TV program called the Koala Brothers on the Disney Channel, and it's theme song goes "Always try to help," and "Share what you have with others."
DON'T always try to help; sometimes it's not your place, and your motives are wrong, anyway.
Oh, and back to Jesus, remember when he fed 5,000 people out of one little boy's lunch?*** He did that because He was God, and He had the ability to take that food and physically turn it into much more than that many people could ever eat. The boy did not give up his lunch and have an empty stomach; he gave it up and could have eaten 10x as much as he had brought. The point is, if you are the only one in a large crowd who has remembered to bring your lunch, snaps to you for your foresight. Gobble that thing up, and maybe do it stealthily, so that you do not cause a riot from the hungry non-planners around you. UNLESS Jesus intervenes and says "Give ME your lunch." and then you give Him your lunch. Or your quarters. Or your whatever it is that God is asking you to give up, knowing that somehow, someway, He will not leave you empty for it.
There are 2 times in my life that I can think of when I felt like God was asking me to give change to homeless people on the street. One was as I was walking down a street in Berkeley. There were many beggars along the street, but I couldn't walk past a particular man without feeling a distinct tugging on my heart that I needed to give that man money. So I did. The look of joy on his face was priceless. In other words, what I got back from him was SO much more than the few dollars in change I had put into his little cup. There was another man, a few years later, a man with a red beard who was standing near the freeway off ramp. I felt it in my chest, that tugging, and I kept hoping it would go away, or that the light would turn green, turn green, turn GREEN already!! and FINALLY, it did turn green, FINALLY, after I had about 20 chances to give the guy the money that was right next to my hand, that I KNEW I was supposed to give him. And I drove away. And then I felt horrible. I couldn't get it out of my mind for WEEKS, and I tried to drive past that off ramp as often as possible so that I would see him again, but I never did...until one day, I did see him, and you can bet, I gave him that money so fast!! And he smiled, and was so, so grateful, and I was so relieved. You see, after that first missed opportunity to give what I knew I needed to give, the money meant nothing to me; it had lost it's value. It only regained it's value once it was in the hands of it's rightful owner, which was the red bearded man.
God loves a cheerful giver.**** When He prompts me to give, I will give. But I cannot cheerfully give up my treadmill when I am on mile 4 of a 13 mile run.


*Galations 5:22
**Mark 12:31
***John chapter 6
****2 Corinthians 9:7


Brian said...

Very unpolitically correct. I love it. Definately will cause controversy and make people think. You're like the best truths of Ayn Rand bolstered by the ultimate truths given us by God.

Anonymous said...

Well said :)