Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pick up the shovel and start digging!

We have all heard (and even uttered) the phrase, "Put down the shovel and walk away from the hole!" It is something I use with my husband often, especially when he is teetering on the edge of really pissing me off... It means, in short, stop talking before you say something you cannot take back or get out of gracefully. You are digging a verbal hole and you are going to make enemies if you don't stop. It's good advice... Sometimes.
I have been reading this guy and I am being challenged to actually pick up my shovel. He isn't necessarily a Christian - I don't think his message hinges on his religious preference at all. He is, however, motivational while being aggressively in-your-face with what he has to say. I don't necessarily like the cursing - but as I have stated before, I can work past that if the message is right. And his message is right.
So often I talk myself into the lull and the lie that I can't say certain things here because it wouldn't be "right" or it isn't the right place. I might alienate readers or I might not get God's message across because I offended someone. The truth of what living the Christian life is about is controversial, though. Jesus was a radical! He was in your face and used language that the uppity-ups viewed as inflammatory and blasphemous. He didn't dilute His message to please everyone, on the contrary - He amped up the reality of what He was saying and pared back the BS.
Funny thing happens when you pare back the BS... Your message - your real message - comes across loud and clear. There is no room for misinterpreting what you are saying. It makes you stand out. It shines your light without a dimmer switch or a lampshade to soften it. It makes you vulnerable and it makes you believable. Let me be crystal clear about what it isn't. It isn't an excuse to be ignorant. It isn't a reason to attack others on a personal level and name call or make assumptions about their private lives. Pare back the BS, not civility. Don't wander around the point, get to it and settle in. You may not be agreed with, but at least you stand a good chance of being respected for it.
When I started this new blog, I promised myself I would take off the gloves. I have let that slide. I have softened and I have disappointed some of my own desires because of it. I cannot say that I won't do it again. Some days I just don't have the energy to get real. Isn't that sad? It's sad, not because my readers will be sad, it's sad because those are the times I am lying to myself just to get through the day. Pathetic.
So here it is... Getting real and letting you see more of me than you may have wanted.
* I am a Republican. I believe in letting people make their own decisions about healthcare, business, and contraception. I believe that making others accountable for my actions is wrong. If I decide not to buy insurance and I get a horrible disease, I think you should let me die. I will be sad and possibly regretful, but making that choice is my right. Quit telling me that I am too stupid to make my own decisions and that government has to babysit me. I am pretty damned smart and I don't appreciate the condescension. And I don't appreciate someone telling me that I have to pay for someone else's choice either. There was a time when responsibility mattered and people got stronger for it. I want that back.
* I support horse slaughter. When you see first hand, as I have, the neglect and mistreatment of these horses that no one wants to care for properly, you begin to understand the true definition of humane treatment. God gave us the animals to be a part of our lives, not us to them. Get it straight and make a choice.
* I am a pathetic people pleaser and getting this real is scaring the crap outta me! I want my message to matter, however, and because of that I will keep going.
* Being a Christian is the most difficult, obscure and frustrating thing I have ever done. I am ridiculed, marginalized, taken for granted and often lonely. It is also the only thing that I have done that is worth doing even though it hurts, except maybe childbirth - and that too is closely tied to my Christian beliefs, so go figure. I do things that others won't because of my faith. I take risks that don't pan out because of my faith. My investment in my walk is more important than whether or not I have money in my account but sometimes even I wonder what in the hell I am doing it for. It won't stop me. I can still choose, and I choose Him.
* I am more afraid of succeeding than failing. I am sure you are too. Know how I am sure? Because failing is expected. Failing is planned for, waited on and accepted daily. Failing doesn't get you noticed. Failing doesn't put you out there. Failing in this day and age is safe. Ask Lindsay Lohan. Ask Donald Trump. Ask anyone really. Failing is a big, fat non-event. Success... Now that is some scary stuff! If you succeed you must be accountable. If you succeed, there will be consequences and stands to make. I am not afraid of failing - Failing would be welcomed in the face of succeeding and becoming even more real. I challenge you to download that little book and really take a look at what you are scared to succeed at.
(Takes deep breath...) Here's the deal. I was called out today. I was called out to make a stand as I see it. It doesn't mean that I don't value my friends who have differing viewpoints. I am not that narrow-minded. It does mean that I have been holding back a part of me in order to not rock any boats. I have come to believe that rocking boats has value. People who rock boats make a difference and I want to make a difference.
If I have pissed you off, unfollow me. I get it. You don't want to be confronted and made to listen to things you don't like. I feel that way too. But I also hold value in the things that make me mad and require me to examine why. I read stuff that really irritates the crap outta me. I examine it and I come up with what I think on the subject. It makes me stronger. It makes me viable. It makes me believe. It doesn't threaten me or what I love. It's an opinion. My grandfather had a saying about opinions: "Opinions are like (inserting slightly cleaner version here, Grampa...in the interest of civility, of course) butt-cracks. Everyone has one and no one is particularly interested in yours." True. And if you are no longer interested, see ya.
If, however, what I have said resonates for no other reason than to fuel your fire and make you distill down what you truly believe, then GREAT! That was what I was after. I am all about a respectful, impassioned response. Ideas are meant to be batted around, not people. Pick up your shovel and start digging. You may just strike gold...