So this morning I’m in a different Starbucks and a different city, but I will say that I’ve found the match to my chair. It feels like a long lost friend, even though it really means that I’m once again contributing to the cooking of my upper thighs. Whatever....You get the bad with the good. It’s a mixed bag. In my headphones, Bruce is traveling down Thunder Road as I get ready to head home after being gone way too long. Ten of the past fourteen days have been spent trying in vain to fill my head with stuff that will eventually become a graduate degree. It’s a time that I always look forward to, and then can’t wait to get out of. What it will eventually get me I have no idea, but I do know that you get the bad with the good. It’s a mixed bag.
In the midst of it I was able to spend a few days
with the most amazing woman ever. I had the anticipation of waiting for her to get here and the joy of seeing her come off the elevator. Then a few days later the sadness of seeing her pass through security at the airport for the trip home. You get the bad with the good. It’s a mixed bag. In two days we leave for Guatemala. We’re on a mission to drill a well and give fresh water to a village that has never had access to it. We’ll have the joy of seeing the excitement and wonder in faces, old and young, over something that I waste everyday while I carelessly brush my teeth. I can even imagine the emotions that I’ll experience by this time next week. I have the opportunity to change lives, but at the same time I’ll miss the first birthday of my little princess. While we’re on a plain for another part of the world, she’ll be planting her face in a plate full of frosting. I wish more than anything that she could do it with Gumba. With the good comes the bad. It’s a mixed bag.
I wish more people could see that. I live, as you all do, surrounded by people who want it to only be good. If it’s bad, they want to get rid of it at all costs. That’s why so many lawyers have jobs. The reality is that with good comes bad and no matter how much you may get in a settlement, the echoes of bad are still there. You can medicate it, but you can’t remove it. Dead people are still dead. Injured people are still injured. Stupid people are still stupid. Just because there is a lawsuit or legislation against it doesn’t make it not so.
I find people searching on the road of faith to be of similar mind. Faith to them, no matter what or who its placed in, implies in some way that there should only be good. I can’t tell you how many people have walked away from the faith that I profess because there was bad mixed in with the good. Part of the fault is our own. I mean really… when some of our symbols are big haired, throne seated, bleached blonds giddy and grinning their infomercial faith, where did we think that would go. No matter how much of a positive spin we might want to put on it, the bad still comes with the good. Even the Crystal Cathedral is in bankruptcy court. If that’s not an illustration of the limits to positive thinking, I don’t know what is.
Here’s the difference…in the real world of faith…the world that Jesus lived in and still lives in…the world where he hung on a cross…we get a chance to demonstrate the good in the midst of the bad. His mission wasn’t to get rid of the bad…yet. His mission was to link us once again to the source of good. There are villages in the world where good people die because the water is bad. Jesus came so that people who believed in him could be once again be linked with the God who would break our hearts by the bad and compel us to do something good about it. That’s how life works. There is good, there is bad. It’s a mixed bag. In the end, we have a choice. We can spend our lives denying Him and denying the world we really live in or we can get over ourselves and seek to be the good that we long for. Beware though… it just might mean unemployment for a few more lawyers. It’s a mixed bag.