Is it possible to be consistent? Does anybody really live out all of their ideals?
First a quote to wet my whistle,
“When we were done, I started wondering if we had accomplished anything. I started wondering whether we had accomplished anything. I started wondering whether we could actually change the world. I mean, of course we could – we could change our buying habits, elect socially conscious representatives and that sort of thing, but I honestly don’t believe we will be solving the greater human conflict with our efforts. The problem is not a certain type of legislation or even a certain politician; the problem is the same that it has always been.
I am the problem”
– Donald Miller in his book Blue Like Jazz
What does it mean to live out my ideals? Ever since the sixth grade I’ve been haunted by environmental guilt. My sixth grade teacher was a big environmental activist. Of course I walked into her class in the wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. And my little 10 year old self promptly ran home and adopted my very own blue whale. I still have the adoption certificate to prove it.
I have been a conscientious recycler ever since. At one point while the world was paying to have their trash stored away in huge ugly landfills, my parents made an extreme decision to personally burn their garbage, and the recycling plant paid us for all of the aluminum we brought them. But do I personally see to it that all of my paper waste is recycled? No, far from it. Now I’m the one filling the landfills with all of my trash and I don’t even feel convicted because it is a hard uphill battle to do the right thing. How can I change the world if I can’t even change me?
Okay you got me, Activism is just a red-herring. What I’m really talking about is that element of tension within each of us which surrounds every issue worthy of passion known to man-kind. If LOVE is truly my motive I can not fail in my passion, but if trends and fads fuel my activism then my passion with fizzle and fade. HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT … is the sub-title of this page, namely because we believe that in the deepest part of ourselves only one thing is powerful enough to make the difference between whether I am consistent or not, LOVE. Do I LOVE it or do I NOT? I do what I LOVE to do. Point Finale.
This is the truth that speaks powerfully in a timeless ancient passage recording the words of Jesus.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
Does the reaction of Paul ressonate within you as it does me?
“I do not understand what I do. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!”