Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Being Defined By The Things You Hate (aka: How To Live A Miserable Life)

It’s election season, and we are snowed under with emails, mailers, tv and radio ads all trying to sway you to their candidate. Despite the avalanche of information, it’s getting harder and harder each year to get a clear picture of what each candidate stands for. It seems they are less interested in convincing to you to vote for them as they are in having you not vote for the other guy.  

As much as we hate to admit it, our politicians are often just a reflection of the population as a whole. As a culture, we love to hate things. "It didn’t come quickly enough in the mail", "the lines were too long", "the service was poor", and a thousand other things define our lives. We rabidly air our grievances on Facebook and Instagram. Our lives can quickly become defined by what we don’t like and by who we don’t want to be. This way of living is toxic and exhausting. In her prayer journal, Flannery O’Connor wrote, 

“I don’t want it to be fear that keeps me in church. I don’t want to be a coward, staying with You because I fear hell…I don’t want to fear to be out, I want to love to be in.”

So many times we live our lives running from things instead of running to things. The difference is very real. Running away from things I fear or dislike leads to a chaotic life with little or no direction. Conversely, running to something, the way O’Connor wants to run toward God, gives direction and purpose to life. Live your life moving forward with open eyes and an open heart, don’t live in reaction to everything around you. You were made to embrace great and beautiful things.

Quotation from A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor
Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo

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