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Archive for December, 2010

Well, since we all enjoy a good round of gossip, I’ll let you have a delicious swig of some with this one: I’m pretty backslidden!
At least from my good intentions to stay or become politically correct earlier this year, as I unfortunately will have to prove with this post.

A few years back we still had “once-a-week Christians:” Even if you didn’t see or hear any sign of your fellow brethren throughout the week, you could be sure to meet them somewhere among the pews on Sundays.
That Christianity may be in somewhat of a decline again may be assumed by the fact that the surge of “once-a-year Christians” is becoming alarmingly evident.

Folks you never heard of for 364 days straight, now will at least send you their Christmas emails as a reminder that there was something you had in common, namely the celebration of the birth of Baby Jesus.

The notorious party pooper I am perhaps, I was never all too fond of that sort of relationship, religion, tradition, or whatever you’d like to call it (since it couldn’t possibly be called anything like genuine friendship)…

While it is probably better to hear from (some) folks once a year than never at all, what takes a bit of the magic out of the whole thing is that it does come across as somewhat stereotype.

Blame it on my distaste for any type, shape or form of ritualism ever since I got an overdose of Catholicism as a boy that quickly drove me to atheism (if God was like that: no thanks!), but I just can’t get warm with people using the same words over and over and over again to express something which seems to represent the very role you played in their lives over the previous dozen of months, the equivalent of which, in numerical terms would be zero.

So, here’s to all the zeroes of the world who are only remembered by their friends and relatives on that special day on which we celebrate the event that marks the year Zero…
And if you feel like a zero, cheer up! The Guy born that day didn’t amount to much more in terms of bank accounts, Facebook friends and followers on Twitter, either, latest by the time He hung on that cross 33 years later, when He was able to count the friends He still had left that day on the fingers of one hand with room to spare…

So, nevermind if I’m not sending any of you any Christmas greetings this year: I only mean to do you a favor.
If I didn’t write you all year long, then shame on me. But I certainly wouldn’t want to make matters worse by sending you a mass mail equal to the ones from previous years, not to mention those of the dears who had exactly the same idea… or lack thereof…

I might send you a note on Holy Friday, though, to remind you that even when you don’t have a friend in the world left, there’s always Someone Who knows exactly what you’re going through, and that that was the purpose for which He had been born: to be there for you when no one else will be.
The time may come. You may not see it now, but at the rate not only (true) Christianity, but things like lasting friendship and interhuman relationship are on the decline, don’t be too shocked if it might even happen to you one of these days…

Merry Christmas!

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Usually I’ve answered the question, “What do you do for a living?” by saying, “By playing music,” which was usually met with an unbelieving, questioning look as if to say, “You’re serious?” But the longer I think about it, it’s not entirely true. Playing music was only a small part of what I do for a living, and I’m afraid, the part that sounds more believable.
The main part I’ve done for a living over the past 30 years, ever since I left my mother’s home in 1980, was even more outrageous and less believable that “play music.” What I’ve mostly done over the past 3 decades to sustain myself and my families, was to trust the Lord.

Often I’ve been trying to get away from that, and been looking for ways to be able to do just like everybody else: be comfortably relying on my own strengths and wit and fend for myself, as opposed to depending on some obscure, invisible Supreme Being we really know rather little about to be trusting Him with all our bills, our meals and a roof over our house.
Oddly enough, obscure and invisible or not, He has chosen to do so anyway, and has just been doing it (seeing to it that our bills were paid, moths fed, etc.), despite my own often less than appropriate skills and abilities to provide, and even the shocking fact that most of what I do in order to make it happen when I do, is play music.

It was outrageous enough, but infinitely less difficult back 30 years ago, in 1980, when I was young, optimistic and the world had not yet been drowned in the type of plastic entertainment that has managed to make them practically allergic to actual handcrafted music in the 21st century.
The doors were open wide, and it was easy to be optimistic that things were going to just keep getting better.
There were situations that looked desperate, yes; like the time our car broke down right on the main transit street through Barcelona, and we had to unhook the trailer, park in a tiny little side niche on the side of the road which became our home for the next few days. Me and my American partner Phillip took our guitars to the streets and did what we could to little avail, except for the pity of some merciful old lady that would occasionally toss a tiny coin in our guitar case. But at one point, some guy came up to us, interrupted us in the middle of a song, and after a few minutes we found ourselves booked for a whole week in an exclusive club called “Incontro.” A week later, our car was fixed and we rolled on southward.

A year later I found myself having to fend for myself in Vina del Mar, Chile, a place where the familiar luxuries of Europe were frighteningly absent, but even there God did what I couldn’t and supplied abundantly for all the needs I ever had.

Years later I found myself with a family, kids to feed and bills to pay, and God kept doing it.

Lately I’ve found myself having to fend for myself again, and it’s 3 decades later and the world has changed into a state that sometimes makes me wonder, “Alas, is the Almighty still going to manage and keep doing IT?”

Well, as of the news I got from Him this morning, He obviously intends to do so. Good news for me, since I’m just about as clueless about the business world and the art of making money as I’ve ever been – and that in the middle of the world in which just about everyone else does that and absolutely nothing – or at least not much – else.
The good part about it being that God, over the years, has become a little less obscure and unknown to me, even though I admit, it’s still sometimes a little hard to see Him in all the hubbub and confusion all around me, and every now and then it does cost me a little effort to trust that He’s really serious or in His right mind about it all – or whether I am, until He assures me, as usual, that everything’s going to be alright.
In fact, He’s not crazy at all, nor does He want me to believe that I am, but actually encourages me to let others know that He wants to take care of them and their needs, too, as unbelievable as that may sound.

When it all comes down to it, He already provides all we need in the first place: every breath of oxygen we breathe, every swig of water we drink, along with all the raw material for our food, nourishment and fuel to keep our vehicles moving and out houses warm and lit.
It’s just that instead of granting Him the credit for it, we prefer to ascribe all that benevolence to an even more obscure and questionable deity, namely coincidence or chance, that brought about all that opulence simply by itself. Man, are we one lucky species to be alive!

So, what do I do for a living? Well, mainly, I trust the Lord. I’ve done it yesterday and 30 years ago, am doing it today, and will keep on doing it tomorrow and for as long as I live. I can do no other. I simply haven’t learned anything else.

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I can’t get over the loyalty thing. Compare it to someone who has never wasted a second thought about trucks until one fine day he gets run over by one, or about terrorists, until he is being abducted or something…

Something you never devoted attention to, all of a sudden becomes paramount.

 

If you look at it from a spiritually historical point of view, all the evil in the world falls back down onto a loyalty issue, namely Lucifer’s. If he had remained loyal, there would be no sin, and accordingly, most likely, no evil.

But I guess that wasn’t the plan. After all, those lessons on loyalty must be learned eventually…

 

Another issue I never wasted a second thought on for decades, or that I had simply put in a mental drawer of “does not exists” or “there is no such thing,” is that of soul mates.

A year ago or two I met a Christian couple who told me they believed they were each other’s soul mates. “Interesting,” I thought, but as far as I was concerned, there couldn’t really have been such a thing. (In my particular situation, it was always, “Maybe you’re not; maybe you are…”)

Relationships were just bound to be messy, that’s all, I figured, and the “Soul Mates” thing was a nice thought, and I was happy for them, but my personal reality was a different one.

 

Was.

 

Strangely enough, God often uses the darkest nights in our lives only to bring about a sunrise as bright and golden as you had never before thought possible in this earthly life in an, after all, often questionable world, obviously temporarily run by His adversary.

I know now there is such a thing as Soul Mates, because lo and behold, I’ve found mine. Not exactly where I would have been looking for her, but then, life is always full of surprises. Maybe you’ll hear more about this in the future.

 

 

Yet another topic my mind is currently dealing with is the sin of avarice.

 

Imagine you were the Creator and Father of every living soul and would have to watch how over ten thousand of them were starving to death daily because their richer brothers and sisters were simply too stingy to share even a fraction of their overly proportionate wealth with them, making it their philosophy that the world would actually be better off with a significantly smaller population. I bet it would certainly become an issue to you.

Living in a country where big corporations even advertise their relatively low-priced goods with slogans like “Stinginess is cool!” (“Geiz ist geil!”), as usual I’m probably a lone voice (of widely considered insanity) in the wilderness even wasting a thought on such issues, let alone web space, but I simply cannot leave any potential serious seekers of truth dwelling in the illusion that everything is just fine with us and our world.

 

People always blame God for the suffering of the world, when it becomes clear, after taking off our spectacles of self-righteousness, that it’s really largely the evil in our own hearts that’s responsible for it. Maybe some day we’ll find out that even natural disasters are being caused by our own bad vibes that we’re spewing off into the ether. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

 

Anyway, these are, as always, just a few thoughts from a mole who’s just breaking through the end of a long dark tunnel into the light, in an attempt to cheer up any of those out there still digging: Folks, there’s light at the other end, and it’s worth it!

 

Keep digging!

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