Archive for April, 2008

Alzheimer Patients at a gathering

(Picture: Alzheimer Patients at a Gathering)

While a small minority of still clear-thinking Americans, scholars & hobby-psychologists is trying to figure out what evil schemes are being put to work in order to hypnotize the vast majority of the American public and keep them in the indifferent stupor that not only enables them to tolerate what’s happening with their country, but to even give standing ovations to the 500th repetition of Bush’s “Anti-Terror” spiel and “We did this to protect our country” garbage, the answer was being revealed to me the other night while watching a movie called “Away From Her.”

Now, while this was not exactly your average action-packed Rambo-type of thriller and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, sometimes just one little line in a movie can unveil a mystery that keeps puzzling thousands. In the movie we see an aged Julie Christie (big star in the 70s) suffering from Alzheimer, and as her sickness progresses, she finally insists on her husband taking her to a special foster Home for Alzheimer patients. He does so reluctantly, and for a while comes to visit her every day, spending a lot of time at the institution.

In one particular scene they’re sitting in the TV-lounge and, while watching news clips from the Iraq war, Julie, during one of her clear moments speaks the words, “How could they forget Vietnam?” And then it hit me! It’s obvious! They’ve all got Alzheimer! Maybe the government has found a secret way of infecting nearly the entire population with the disease, and now the President can get away with nearly anything: they’ll just stand up and clap non-stop for 25 minutes whatever he says or does, because they wouldn’t even remember what to do if they would dare stop clapping.

While this is not your run-off-the-mill movie review, let me add that the movie does end with a surprising little twist, and if you’re not the Rambo type, you might consider it well worth watching. And, hey, at least you won’t be one of those desperate losers anymore trying to figure out what the hell went wrong with America! Now you know.

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God’s greatest, if not single commandment to all of us, is to love. “Thou shalt love!” The problem is, in the times in which we are living, about which Jesus Himself said, “And because evil will increase, the love of many shall grow cold,” that is sometimes easier said than done.

How do you love? How do you do it?

I’d say, primarily, it’s something that you’ve got to allow to happen. It’s an effort you make, but it’s primarily an effort of receiving, of accepting. You let it happen, before you can make it happen.

You accept that loving is just the thing to do, and you allow that law of love to rule your life and adjust your behavior accordingly. You’ve got to have it in, first, before you can give it out…

What makes it hard to put that into practice is our natural urge to be doing something, achieving or creating something ourselves, with our own two hands; something we can pat ourselves on the back for. Too often we find ourselves among those the prophet Jeremiah mentioned, who “
worshipped the works of their own hands” (Jer.1:16).

We just can’t sit still long enough to really listen to God and find out how He wants things done in the first place. We like to take our destiny into our own hands and make a name for ourselves. All else we consider too “boring.”

That is, in my opinion, precisely why we’re falling so short and doing such a lousy job at fulfilling the great Commandment. We think we’re so smart and so good at it, but are we? If we’re so good at it, and such fine, obedient Christians, then why are there 10.000 people starving every day while we stuff our bellies with fast food? Why are we praying for and applauding guys who are gang-raping 15 year old Muslim girls in the name of democracy and Christendom, driving them into suicide? Why do we silently stand by while another Hitler is threatening to take over the world, fulfilling his daddy’s ambitions to create a “New World Order”? Are we really Christians, or are we nuts?

Could it be that the thing we’re “making happen” is not exactly what we ought to let happen, if we were just so kind and let God take over the reins? Are we really on the right track? I mean, are we really, even if we may be 100% convinced that we are, but are we, according to God’s Word?

Or could it be that we’re missing something, lacking something? Hope to God that the description of the Laodicean church doesn’t fit us: “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…” (Rev.3:17).

Just because God seems to be “blessing” us with an abundance of money and wealth, can we be so dead sure that this is really a sign of His blessing for obeying His commandments of love? Can we really be sure that the reason for our wealth is not the exploitation of our poorer fellowman and neighbor, whom we’re supposed to love “as ourselves?”

How would we feel, if we were at the other end; say, as the father of the 15 year old girl who committed suicide after her encounter with the American soldiers who so gleefully boast of their heroic deed? How would we think about “Christianity” if we were in their shoes?

Can we really continue kidding ourselves into believing that everything’s the way it’s supposed to be with this world, our governments, our way of practicing our faith? Are we really doing all we can, or should we rather do less of what we’re doing, and make sure we’re really doing the right thing first?

I’m personally finding myself falling short in many aspects of my daily life, and have started to realize that it’s mainly because I’m still relying way too much on my own wits and strength, instead of making dead sure I’m getting ahold of God’s power to do whatever it is I do. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one.

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