Monday, January 17, 2005

Martin Luther King, Jr.

14, originally uploaded by Run Steve Run.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King. The world is not the same because of you.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Rethinking Resolutions...

usnv9158, originally uploaded by Run Steve Run.

Well, we’re two weeks into 2005 and it’s traditional for me to already be "checking up" on my new year’s resolutions. I admit that I can be a geek that way. I don’t have charts and graphs plotting my progress, but I do get fairly hyper about accomplishing big goals each year.

This year I didn’t make any resolutions.

It’s not because I think resolutions are bad. I just think that, for me, resolutions are perpetuating something of which I'm becoming very aware. I’m finding that my resolutions turn into a passionate pursuit to better myself.

Maybe this isn’t horrid. After all, I don’t want to waste my life sitting in front of the TV for hours eating Twinkies. But, what might be equally as damaging for me, is to spend too much of my time watching/monitoring my own self-improvement. I fear that it perpetuates this eerie worship of a central figure… me.

Even in this Christian life, where I believe the central call of Jesus is to follow him (which leaves room for many expressions), I find myself temped to use the Christian infrastructure as one more avenue for self-promotion, positional recognition and success. The ironic thing is that I don’t see Jesus, the one I’m supposedly following, living his life that way.

It’s arresting to read about a person who seems to do everything possible to overturn the expectations his world. I find it interesting that we have only one account of Jesus overturning the tables at the temple. But his whole life seemed to be overturning things all the time… and receiving similar reactions for his temple trashing antics.

What was it? I think it was he. It seems that his mere presence made those in power and position nervous, yet his same time, his presence made the "least of these" feel right at home. It’s like everywhere Jesus went, “temples” of power were threatened, while the ghettos of “messed up” people welcomed Jesus as one of their own (or he welcomed them). Crazy. Beautiful.

So that brings me back to my New Year’s resolution meanderings. I hope that any resolution this year isn’t going to be about me bettering myself… rather, I hope for a metamorphasis that extends me to listen, love and support others and their dreams.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I can do it. Even as I write this, I can already hear the voices inside saying, “if you give, you always get more back” and “people will think you are wonderful.” All this plays to my ego-worshipping self again. Yuck.

For me, right now, resolutions perpetuate what I don’t think I want to be. Revolutionary language scares me… but I think it's what I might need this year. Not because I'm a Jesus following revolutionary... but because I feel that this one who wants me to follow him might head in my direction and turn some steve-temples upside down. Change the "s" to "v" in "resolution."