This week, Jen Luitwieler, Kristin Tennant and I are each taking turns blogging about writing, community and solitude. Check out Kristin’s take today (link supplied at the bottom of the page). Tune in here tomorrow for my thoughts, mostly pertaining to the fact that I am a hermit.
Most of the decisions I make on a daily basis are of a self-centered nature.
There, I’ve said it.
Being self-employed, I decide where I’m going to work, how long I’m going to work, and what I’m going to work on each day. If I write at a café, I decide what drink I want and whether or not I’m going to blow $7 on lunch or go home to eat.
Living in America, I can decide where I want to live, what I want to do and how to spend my time. I choose where I want to go to church and whether or not to have cable and which phone service to sign up for.
I am free to agree or disagree with the president, my pastor and my dad (those last two are the same guy). I can spend all of my money on clothes or books or Taco Bell, if I want.
The amount of choices that confront me each day are astounding.
And how I answer them has a lot to do with whether or not I am an enemy of God.
* * * * *
When I was in 8th grade, I fell in love. Not with a girl, although I probably fell in and out of love with more than a handful of females during that particular year. No, I fell in love with something else.
I fell in love with a pair of shoes: Nike’s new Bo Jackson Cross Trainers.
A friend of mine in intermediate school wore those fluorescent-orange-with-a-dash-of-slate-blue beauties to school, and immediately I was smitten. I wanted those shoes. More than anything else in the world.
I dreamed about them – literally. And when I woke up, the emptiness that filled my heart on realizing they were not lovingly laced to my feet made me physically ill. All day I thought about them.
Not only did I want those shoes something bad, suddenly my own shoes, the formidable Reebok Pumps (yes, the ones with the orange basketballs on the tongue that, when pressed, filled the shoe with air), were nothing to me. They were second-rate.
Nothing I owned was good enough anymore.
* * * * *
James (the Bible dude, not the British “Sit-down-next-to-me” band dudes) said something that grabbed my attention the other day.
“Don’t you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can’t be a friend of God.”
If my main goal in life is to enjoy this world, then I am an enemy of God?
If my main aim is to live it up, to focus on my own pleasure and to operate within these unfair systems the world has created, then I am setting myself up for a confrontation with the life force behind the universe?
Notice James doesn’t say, “If you enjoy this world” – he says “If your aim is to enjoy this world.”
What are you aiming for? Enjoyment? Pleasure? Self-satisfaction? The American Dream?
Why do you think aiming to enjoy the world makes us God’s enemy?
Now head on over to Halfway to Normal and join the discussion on Writing, Community and Solitude.