“Sometimes words can serve me well/sometimes words can go to hell/for all that they do” — Harry Chapin
“Don’t matter what I say/only what I do/never mean to do bad things to you” — the band Fastball
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” — Exodus 3: 13 -14
“And in the end/the love you take/is equal to/the love you make” — the Beatles
I spent the afternoon with my friend Rick today talking about ministry, friendship, love, what lasts, what doesn’t, what’s real, what people say is real, and other things. We were talking about my last blog post (about him and what he’s done with his life) and things became clearer and clearer until all that was left in the room was us and reality.
I don’t know if any of this is going to make sense, but I’m going to write it anyway, believing that some philosophical truth will show through.
The Truth wins out. The proof is in the pudding. Money talks, BS walks. Reality is what it is.
There’s a reason that “It is what it is”, is the catchphrase of this generation. In a world where so much “isn’t what it isn’t”, we struggle to find reality because unreality makes us not all there, it weakens us, and it makes us sick.
All of our lives, Rick and I have known people who pretend they are something they are not. Most often, they do it with words, so we have become suspicious of words. At the same time, we are aware that words have power if they are True — in the present tense, they “are” (life), future tense — “could be” or “should be” (ministry)– or past tense — “really were” (therapy). In those cases, there is no arguing with reality. Yes, you can do it, but it’s a waste of time and energy because in the end, Truth/Reality will win out, come out, come to life or burst into existence — however you want to say it. It may take awhile, but stick around long enough, and it will come into life.
You are a parent or you aren’t. If your kids want to be with you, you were. If not, you weren’t.
You are lovers, companions, partners, or you aren’t. If, at the end of your life, they care about you, you were. If not, you weren’t.
You cared for others or you didn’t. If, when they know that you are down, people are there for you, you did.
If you leave a living legacy through your work that was positive, you were a success. If you do so as a parent, partner, or friend, ditto. If not, it’s all talk, and it will fade as soon as you leave the room.
If you are good at your job, you are a professional. No amount of nay-saying will make it untrue. If you’re not, no amount of saying it will make it so.
If you’re a criminal,admit it because you’ll know it for the rest of your life anyway. If you are not, never say you are. No one can prove that you are because there is no evidence of that which didn’t happen.
Fancy is no substitute for truth, even if it looks like it. No matter how many times it looks, says, or acts otherwise, fancy is not powerful. It’s only fancy.
If you minister, you are a minister. If you create art, you are an artist. If you heal people, you are a healer. Do what you are rather than what you should, and be who you are rather that whom you should be. When you can’t help but be anything else, be that.
All of these things become clearer during illness, loss, or prospective loss. There is a reason so many people fear meeting their maker. They don’t want to really look at their lives and face the truth, whatever it is. The more truth you live, the more reality you face, the less fear you’ll have. It’s nearly impossible to fear the known.
Ok. That’s all I got. Long and short of it: There is a reality. Get used to it and you can get to like it.