Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Lessons from Farmers, Chickens, Brian Williams, and Bill O'Reilly
"As you do it to/for them, you do it to/for Me; and when
you don't do it to/for them, you don't to it to/for Me."
While I'm still scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus and know anybody who thinks they've arrived hasn't started, I'm really ignorant when it comes to farming.
Sure, I know the Bible is full of stories about farmers; but as Karl Barth used to say about preachers, "It's not a matter of whether one wants to...[do something]...but whether one can...[do something].
God gives the talents/gifts/charismata to us and then we're responsible for their stewardship; or as heard long ago, "God gives choices to us but we, ourselves, must choose." You can read more about that in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.
Still, while Belvidere and neighboring communities in Boone, McHenry, and Winnebago Counties, Illinois are changing rapidly and can be no longer be considered exclusively agricultural, I've learned a lot from farmers over the years.
Not long before Maynard "Skee" Bye went home to Jesus back on February 9, 2011, I asked what happens when there's bad weather or something else affecting crops. He said calmly and confidently with a smile, "You go with what you get."
He talked about good years and bad years and being prepared to "go with what you get."
He said farmers don't get too down about bad years because they know there will be good years; and they don't get too high in good years because they know bad years are inevitable.
Skee taught me about the patience, stability, and balance that are indispensable to farming; and how those strong and calm character traits enable and ennoble any industry.
Farmers like Skee have taught me about the ebb and flow and predictability of life on the farm that's a metaphorical model for living with sanity and serenity no matter what happens.
Plant in spring.
Knee-high by the 4th of July.
Then do it all over again and again and again and...
Farmers have also helped me to understand the pecking order in the hen house as a metaphor for where two or three or more are not always gathered in His name with love for all as love for Him: "As you do it to/for them; you do it to/for Me; and when you don't do it to/for them, you don't do it to/for Me."
As explained to me, chickens have this nasty habit of always picking out one chicken as their scapegoat/victim for angry venting about something - picking and pecking at that chicken until it's crippled or dies; and when that chicken has been dispensed to assuage whatever kinda pathologies plague chickens, another chicken is picked immediately to continue the spiral of transferred violence.
There's nothing redemptive about it; kinda like those Islamofascistnutball savages who are sooooooo sick and pretend their pathetic pathologies are somehow related to an irenic religion. President Trump is right. They're not warriors for some higher cause. They're losers.
Gossip comes to mind; or as gossipers wish secretly in the deepest recesses of their sick souls, "If I can't actually snuff 'em, I'll kill their reputations with my words and maybe push them to..."
People feel much better about themselves by talking pejoratively, demeaningly, and destructively - picking and pecking like those chickens in the hen house - about other people.
It's really sick; but, apparently, works for 'em because it never stops.
Again, kinda like hen houses.
Whoever's on the bottom of any social organization's hierarchy - even in churches that should know better if they know Jesus better than worse - better watch out for those picking and pecking puckered-up lips and poisoned-tipped claws.
I'm reminded of one of my three associate pastors in Kansas City.
Whenever we'd have a staff meeting, he'd tell me how the other pastors weren't doing their jobs so that I'd be distracted from how he wasn't doing his job; lighting fires in their back yards so I wouldn't notice his house was burning down.
It's from the Vince Lombardi school of winning strategy: "The best defense is a good offense."
One of humanity's sickest character traits that started in the garden is to blame somebody else for our problems or pick and peck at somebody else to avoid the reflection in the mirror and distract others from seeing our problems.
It's only natural.
We feel better about ourselves by picking and pecking at those who we've decided aren't as worthy or good or nice or noble or pretty or cultured or respectable or entitled or...whatever...as we are.
It's so delusional and hallucinatory and sick that it proves America has lost the war on drugs.
I think of Brian Williams and Bill O'Reilly.
While both have been disgraced, degraded, demoted, and professionally destroyed - Williams for lying repeatedly and O'Reilly for being perpetually horny - they have more in common than their previous constituencies would care to admit.
Williams was the darling of soccer moms, junior leaguers, mushbrains to the left, form over content crowd, and other femininized citizens.
O'Reilly epitomized those Neanderthal traditionalists that Jesus mocked who long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.
Ideologically, they were not on the same page; yet, they still had a lot in common.
Both were products of private and privileged not public-level-the-playing-field education, Irish descent, and became quite wealthy by rising rapidly to the top of the food chain as television news anchors.
You can learn more about 'em by googling 'em; which isn't necessary because their idolaters continue to overlook their humanities in desperate supplications for their professional resurrections.
Their greatest commonality is they were/remain hated; and they were/are not hated mostly for their ideologies or privileges but because lots of people are jealous of those who are more productive than they are and relish the fall of icons.
Make no mistake about it.
There are lots of people who savored them falling from favor, popularity, position, power, and prosperity.
What's more exciting to lots of people?
Checkered flag or sensational crash?
What made Evel Knieval more famous?
Jumping over cars or breaking bones?
Why do people hate the Packers, Patriots, Steelers, Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs, Crusaders, Titans, and President Trump so unreasonably and irrationally and hysterically and pathologically?
They're winners and producers not losers and looters and have very, very, very large fan clubs.
Losers hate winners and want them to be destroyed; and it's especially aggravating to losers to know winners have them in the rearview mirror. Or as an old pastor said to me just before ordination, "When you get out there, just remember, if they're nippin' at your heels, they're behind you."
Barbara Streisand hit it right on the head of losers: "Americans love to build up people so they can tear them down."
Jesus loves everyone with no favoritism or partiality.
Read the red letters and apostle for more on that.
As confirmand Owin Hunter said so eloquently and correctly on May 21, 2017 as he was received into church membership and spoke about the priesthood of all believers, "We are equal in value while different in function by God's design."
He also said, "Only God defines who we are."
God's verdict is clear.
We're worth His life; and He says loving Him back in gratitude for confident living and eternal life is best expressed by loving others just like He has loved us: "Love each other just as much as I have loved you...As you do it to/for them, you do it to/for Me; and when you don't do it to/for them, you don't do it to/for Me...Whoever loves Me like I love them is a member of My family."
There's a story out of the South about that/Him/His going back to our civil rights struggle.
After a terribly violent riot, a young boy was lying dead in the gutter.
Looking down at the boy, a deputy said to the sheriff, "Well, that's one more dead..."
The sheriff slapped the deputy to the ground and yelled, "That's some mommy and daddy's little baby boy and don't you ever forget it!"
The next time that you're tempted to gossip or look the other way as Islamofascistnutballs and other savages prowl around to ravage while thanking God that you're deluded enough to think you're safe, just remember that "they" are members of His family and our family if we are really members of His family.
That's some mommy and daddy's little baby girl or boy and don't you ever forget it!"
So let's boil this down.
Genealogists as well as women and men of Biblically Christocentric faith know everyone has been a part of the same family since the garden.
Everyone's roots can be traced back to the garden.
In other words, when we're doing it to/for them as doing it to/for Him or not doing it to/for Him by not doing it to/for them, we're hurting His family which is our family if we're really members of His family.
Farmers and anyone else planting good seeds know pecking orders hurt business; or as one 12 year old said long ago for the Godly, "Don't you know? We must be about our Father's business."
That's what every part of His family has in common.
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!