"Everyone should be allowed their own opinion of right and wrong based on what makes them happy,"
"All religions are the same,"
...all of these statements are based on a common theme.
Each of these topics, and many more, assume that being happy is good. So the question we have to think about is "why is happiness considered good and sadness considered bad?" There has to be a reason that these feelings are assumed.
When I feel happy I consider that to be a good feeling. And when I feel sad I consider that a bad feeling. I'm not saying that the thing that made me sad is always bad, but the literal feeling of sadness is never preferred.
Is not the admittance that we all think sadness is bad and happiness is good, proof that there must be something in all of us that sets an equilibrium on how we all perceive life, or the accumulation of good and bad moments?
And must not that equilibrium come from some other source than our own opinions in order to set the commonality in all people?
No matter if you're from Uganda or Des Moines...
No matter if you prefer chicken or steak...
No matter if the death of your mother makes you cry or gives you relief...
No matter if you love going to church or hate it because it was the church that killed your innocent family in the Crusades...
No matter if you think abortion is murder or simple relief from a would-be consequence...
No matter if you're Hitler finding happiness in power because of others submission or Gandhi finding happiness in submitting so that others may gain the power of freedom...
...for some reason we all think being happy is good and being sad is bad.
That must mean that good and bad are definite and distinct.
And if you can define a good and a bad feeling, must not you also be able to define a good and a bad action, perception, or standing?
There was a night last week that qualified for a need to "just drive." It wasn't a bad night by any stretch, but I needed to think and relax. Those nights happen to all of us and if you are having one of those nights I suggest the following remedy.
I got in my car and drove down the backroads of Monroe.
Country roads are always best for "just driving."
The following two steps are key.
Roll down the windows.
Turn on Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" record.
I don't care whether you're a fan of The Boss or not.
Make yourself be one because he's going to help you.
Bruce taught me a lot that night.
He taught me many things about freedom and that a man desperately needs it. We need to just go sometimes. Especially men. Here's another key...don't skip around the record...listen straight through. And let the saxophone solo in "Jungleland" send you on your way.
I don't know if it was what he was saying or just how he made me feel, but I did feel that "free" feeling.
“Lord Jesus, we are silly sheep who have dared to stand before You and try to bribe You with our preposterous portfolios.Suddenly we have come to our senses.We are sorry and ask You to forgive us.Give us the grace to admit we are ragamuffins, to embrace our brokenness, to celebrate Your mercy when we are at our weakest, to rely on Your mercy no matter what we may do.Dear Jesus, gift us to stop grandstanding and trying to get attention, to do the truth quietly without display, to let the dishonesties in our lives fade away, to accept our limitations, to cling to the gospel of grace, and to delight in Your love.Amen.”
-The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning...a must read
These pictures were all taken with an all-plastic camera called a Holga by Lauren NeSmith.
Digital is fun and forgiving, but there is just something about film photography that makes me feel good. The art of the development (all I've done is watch it happen) is like opening the prize in a cereal box. You never know quite what you're going to get. These are from a trip to Montana.