Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Step into the Garden

You can go on and on about your beliefs, but if they have little or no influence on what you do in your life, they can hardly be called "beliefs." They are meaningless.


Are you talkin’ to me? Are you talkin’ to me?

Ever wonder why some sayings and phrases become cliché’s? Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. They always contain some element of hard-nosed truth, some bedrock, common-sense verity, and the way some deal with that truth, to keep from being blinded, or perhaps seared by the light of that truth, is to relegate it to the smallness of a cliché. That’s a good thing. Isn’t it? We can deal with what we think small and irrelevant.

The picture of Robert DeNiro looking into a mirror talking to himself and pointing a gun at his image is magnificently ridiculous. But that is how you and I look when we get arrogant with misguided and unfortunate notions, or even with the truth. Arrogance is a deceptive contagion.

Are you talkin’ to me?

For DiNiro’s character in Taxi Driver, this was no cliché. He used that gun to murder several people. The final scene, his head shaved except for a Mohawk strip careening over its nakedness, pistols discharging, women screaming, Travis Bickle sits down on a sofa and dies, a smile on his lips. He has embraced and is comforted in his own evil.

Are you talkin’ to me?

* * *

Emotional feelings follow in the train of our patterns of thinking. If we think about something long enough, intensely enough, our hearts will soon follow. And then, conversely, our reason is impacted and influenced by our feelings. It becomes a dark, vicious, category five psychological vortex. Psychological debris whirling through our minds. Reason and emotion bounce off one another, shaping and massaging one another, and in the process, shaping and massaging who we are, and what we become. Behavior is dramatically coerced. Annoyance engenders hatred and hatred becomes madness.

What I think and believe in my heart of hearts is going to come out. It is going to evidence itself in how I experience life. It is going to shape my world view. I cannot hide it from others, I can’t even hide it from myself, and I certainly can’t hide it from God -- who I am, what I believe, what I become. The mirror reveals all.

So what we believe, what we think about is ultimately going to be as evident as the color of our eyes, the gait of our walk, what we wear, or how we comb our hair. You can see it. You can see it for yourself. All you have to do is look in the mirror.

Are you talkin’ to me?

A voice somewhere in the epochal, almost undiscernible reaches of our soul returns an answer, “Yes,” it responds, “I am talking to you. Go ahead look at yourself in that mirror; see yourself for the absurdity that you are. What you are looking at, once you realize how ridiculous it is, becomes the gateway to your redemption. The path to wholeness lies beyond. Think about it. Let your emotions react to it. When your cheeks are wet, and the vortex subsides, lay down your pistol and come to the God whose feelings can be touched; moved – even for your absurdity.”

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