You get a handfulla little kids from anywhere in the world and show them how to play the Keep The Balloon Off The Floor Game and they will fall all over themselves playing until they’re exhausted or the balloon pops, whichever comes first. It’s the best game. In addition to being really simple, it is entirely cooperative. I suppose some sick asshole could find a way to introduce competition into Keep The Balloon Off The Floor, but as it is generally understood, there is no competition, only cooperation. Little kids cooperate, and enjoy it, because they haven’t been taught not to.
Cooperation, unity, people working together in harmony – that is how God wants us to live. Competition, division, people squabbling and fighting over resources – that is the corruption of the Enemy. The Creation stories in Genesis differ dramatically, but they both present God creating a world in which all creatures get along and live in abundance, until the Evil One enters the scene and introduces conflict. Skipping ahead to the New Testament, we find Jesus, the new Adam, preaching unity, harmony, sharing and love. Yeah, Jesus said he wasn’t bringing peace (Matthew 10:34) but the only way to make sense of that within the context of everything else Jesus said, is to take it as referring to the split between the followers of Christ and those who prefer the world’s way. The two are kinda irreconcilable. The very little bit we’re told about Heaven seems to indicate that things are pretty calm there.
Of course, we’re in the world now. We have very little opportunity to live as Christ instructed us to live.
Okay, so I wrote that far a few days ago and then got distracted by some something or other here at ye olde homeless shelter, and I’m not inclined to try to pick up the thread, which wasn’t all that ground-breaking anyhoo. Pretty typical for me, actually – resorting to Scripture to point out the most obvious observations – things would be better if people got along and shared shit. Capitalism is the devil’s wishbone, catbox, zoot suit, hot house. Meh. True, of course, but if saying it made a difference, that difference would’ve been made a long time ago.
More relevant to me in this, the year of our Lord, 2020, is how forgiven I am. If you go back to February, when I wasn’t really writing in this, I left the restaurant where I was a worker/owner and spiraled into a bog of depression. On Shrove Tuesday, I went over to the Shrove Tuesday All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Dinner at the church, and I was lookin’ around at the Lutherans and thinkin’ “These people are not cool at all, but I like them anyway”. And I realized that I hadn’t decided what to give up for Lent, which is tough one – I’m clean and sober, celibate and vegetarian. The obvious things for me to give up for Lent would be coffee and cigarettes and that’s a hard “no” followed by a hard “no”. Then I thought, “What if I just give up?” Like, give up, admit defeat, quit trying to do whatever it was I was trying to do, and I decided to do that, and went home with no plan and no ideas.
The depression went away. I got the job here at the shelter a few days later, basically the first job I ever had that gave me any kind of fulfillment on top of paying enough to live on. When the shelter closed for the summer, people offered me all the work I could show up for, and I had a bit of time to play in creeks, shoot guns, and really hone my laziness. Made a lotta art, went antiquing with dykes, completed a Bachelor’s degree program, got a new tattoo, was approved for seminary by the committee that does that. And all that without a return of the depression, which is real weird since I’m pecking this out in late November, when I’m normally about halfway down the spiral.
I just keep reminding myself that I gave up. I’m not trying. If something doesn’t just happen, I’m not gonna be bothered. It does come natural to me to show up to work, do the shit I gotta do to keep myself sober and on the beam, that kinda thing – I’m doing things, but I ain’t gettin’ het up about it. And I ain’t letting myself beat meself up over the raft of truly petty sins I commit every single fergin’ day. Because I’m forgiven and I can’t change that, so I don’t have to worry about it. Really – God knows what He’s doing. If He wanted to call somebody to ministry who made sense, He would’ve done that. Instead, He called me. And He loves me, so they say, and if God loves me, who am I to not love me? So I’m workin’ on gettin’ my head around that. And on living in the now. Because if I start thinking about the future, then I’ll start thinkin’ I know what God’s plan is and when I think I know that, I start fuckin’ shit up. I don’t know the plan. I’ve never known the plan. When I remember that I haven’t got the foggiest notion what’s going on, I’m pretty content.
Then I went outside to smoke and there’s a couple guys out there – can’t let ’em in because they weren’t here to be med-screened for covid which we have to do everyday. One of ’em’s passed out and the other is tweakin’ – he yammered at me for a few minutes about he was trained as a boxer by a Green Beret but he had to retire because he killed two opponents in consecutive fights with his lethal skills and everybody abuses him because he’s so kind – he actually said that he’s like Christ, giving to everyone and being hated for it – but no more because he ain’t putting up with that shit no more, man, and on and on, tweaker bullshit. I gave him some snacks and apple juice.
Now I’ma watch a Buster Keaton movie. I’m really into Buster Keaton right now.