In the end of this new beginning, I’m beginning to realise the parity of everything.
I struggled when it seemed I was presented with blessings wrought with temptation - good situations and relationships (read: community) that could so easily be perverted, ‘mis-intentioned’ and lost.
I asked myself and others: is this real if it comes with a trap attached? One friend, who offers me deep Christ-like wisdom mainly just by ‘being’ (and being gently humble) suggested that if it’s from God it wouldn’t have a trap.
But I remember Lot - you can have this freedom but don’t look back. And his wife looked back. Or Abraham - you’ll have all these descendants, but even armed with the promise he was given, he still thought he had to do something to make it come true. He thought his actions carried some weight.
I think my actions carry some weight (I’m mostly wrong)
I believe music, reaching people through music, showing God’s love through music is my purpose. In the meantime I’m busy doing other things adjacent to that purpose God has built me for, but that in my meandering mind I somehow think are useful.
And I get distracted by the glittery jewels that adorn some of the tools that are laid out in the armoury as I battle on. But that’s what they are. Tools. Useful and beautiful humans.
I’m not meant to take you in and reshape you, pretending like you’re mine to fashion. We are both, each of us, just part of the design - segments of wool and other fabric the Lord Himself is weaving together.
Yes, do good things, but that doesn’t make you good
We are not a kind of equal we can easily understand. It’s not likely I can show you parity with purity – that’s kind of an inhuman thing.
Don’t think that you can change the colour or placement of another piece of string in God’s tapestry of creation. How long is the thread? Only the master craftsman knows how long He ordered it. Where will it go in the final form? Only the master craftsman knows. What stitch will it tether to? Only He knows.
Distraction equals temptation
I am distracted all day long. Distracted from finishing one email because I remember there’s an avocado that needs eating in the door of the fridge - or half a one in the container I keep in the fridge specially for that half avo every second day. Yes, it sits empty sometimes - it’s not dirty enough to wash but it’s not clean either, and just exits between the fridge and the bench in an avocado-incubating or avocado-waiting state.
I wrote that out in full, to demonstrate the distraction. It’s fleeting but it’s completing. I have not fixed my gaze on anything. I am not honouring the Lord with every thought, word and deed (as Paul urged in his letter to the Colossians chapter 3, verse 17).
Setting sail, linguistically
All of a sudden in the last two weeks my language has launched past the gutter into sailor territory. I began to blame hanging out in pubs more often lately than I have in a few years. I began to blame the company I keep who admittedly swear more than the main slice of folks I’ve hung with for years.
I began to blame my quitting alcohol three months ago (edit: now 15 months in March 2021) and maybe I’ve just substituted in the other aspects of pub culture / ‘avante boganness’ / or Australian complacent-larrikinism.
No, I have no respect for foul language. I have disdain and I disgust (read: disappoint, sadden, horrify) myself when I use it. I throw it around now like some preppy kid serving it up as a novel nuance they barely understand and couldn’t possibly mean.
My life isn’t that rubbish to complain about it in that way - by my choice of words. Especially not if I am loved, blessed and chosen. Which each of us are!
I used to scream it (swearing) out loud, shout it with a bogan drawl. I’m sure my intelligence was actually lower then - because I chose for it to be and I kept it sedated. Yes, my intelligence, not just my brain. How’s that for a concept?
I couldn’t have written words like this, and articles like I’ve had published and songs like I write now. I kept the creative sedative. And creation was not meant for sedation.
That’s lazy talk
This is the language of people who’ve given up. Who’ve squeezed or been squeezed so hard they’ve lost every mite of respect for themselves and their fellow humanoids. Don’t tell me it’s a term of endearment. Don’t tell me it means something positive or that it’s innocuous, and means nothing, and then get upset about a mislaid word of a politician or the vicious tongue of your bride. Or when you misinterpret my criticism as derision (my parity for purity).
Words are how most of us convey feelings, in part because we’ve kept the other ways we communicate and create: sedate.
We can do better. I realised it was more likely my social media / phone addiction, coupled with struggling technology of a 3.5 year old iPhone and some ridiculous reason I can’t fathom (actually) why I’m running out of data and the impaired wiring that hurts when there are breaks in your selected stimulus (poison).
I forgot today was Friday. Days of the week don’t need to matter to me. A comedienne/author I was talking to today said “let’s talk on the weekend” because I was texting her at her day job and I felt angry that she wanted to put me off for days. She wasn’t even talking about 24 hours.
The long weekend in WA disrupted my 7-day-cycle slightly, plus I just had a big week at work, finishing with what was officially my last day, on Friday, a gig Friday night, then flying across the country Saturday morning for three gigs in 24 hours followed by a long day of partly restful progress then intense deadline-meeting.
That reminds me, (insert deadline you need reminding about here)…
To be continued (and completed!) in Part 2 next time.
Pepper Jane from the Toowoomba is a recovering workaholic and (under usual circumstances) a touring musician. Pepper Jane was raised free range on a farm on the Darling Downs. Pepper Jane generally writes for the arts, entertainment, folk music magazines and brewing songs within her own flexible schedule. It is the Lord to whom her craft celebrates.