..radically counter cultural..

Who even lives this today?

Hipsters and Christians? Haha. Or the Christian Hipster. There is such a thing, even a book all about it.

My son – my soon to be 15 year old son says that I am of the above. It’s interesting to surmise that is the view of one so close to me, that, that is actually what he thinks.

Because I dress a certain way, because I call people out – challenging perceptions, proposing love rather than malice or hate? That hardly qualifies the label. That in itself goes against what I believe and stand for. Labels. Boxes. Preconceived beliefs on the ‘should’s’ of the world. It makes me want to scream. Who can even live up to that?!

Radically Counter Cultural is something wholly different than trending a lifestyle choice based on peoples reactions. For that is NOT the reason to become Radically Counter Cultural. I want to live. Simply. I really want to live. I want to thrive and I want my friends and family to thrive, I want the teens I minister to LIVE. We are so caught up in this death culture – consumerism, existentialism, hedonism, materialism. OH. MY. GOD. Help us get out of the death culture of superficiality.

What would happen if everyone unplugged their tv’s, computers, game stations and went outside? What would happen if families sat together in the same room for dinner? What would happen if kids and parents talked and laughed and really listened to one another? What if we didn’t rush and pre-order our new iPhone 5’s. What IF we stopped keeping up with the Jones? Or as I think it’s a bit more relevant – keeping up with the facebookers!!! (that’s a rant for another day)

Where would that leave us?

Lost for sure – for about 3 days. BUT and I challenge you to try it and if you think I am wrong – please feel to tell me – you will find clarity. You will see. REALITY.

This is not what we are made for – it’s a 60 year sweep of ever faster moving technology and development that our humanity is buckling under. We are not made for this world.

It’s a miserable life. We are choosing to live miserable lives of superficiality. It’s intolerable to me. I can’t and won’t do it anymore.

I can’t squeeze one second of happiness out of anything physical in my life. Not anymore. This madness must end.

I really like this quote by Gandhi –

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

It is ME that must change first. It is me that can and will change the world I live in.

My circle of influence is not small. This is something I am very aware of. So in living this radically counter cultural life – it may well be a beckon of hope for the humanity nearest me.

It’s time I say, to LOVE.

..carefree timelessness..

This is something I am pondering. A little gem of knowledge that seems to make or break you. Without it – things are stressed and grey and very un-inspiring but with it…

There is this author, Matthew Kelly. I have read several of his books – all good, great even, but what is on my heart today comes from a talk he was giving on the topic of Family Foundations. Building great families.

“Most of us know that the happiest people on the planet are those who are focused on their personal relationships.  Relationships thrive under one condition: carefree timelessness.  Do we gift our relationships with carefree timelessness?…We have to make carefree timelessness a priority.  The nature of carefree timelessness is to be timeless.  You lose track of time. Carefree timelessness is carefree.  It has nothing to achieve other than the enjoyment of each other’s company.  Teenagers are experts at this.  How often do parents ask their teenagers when they are going out with friends, “Where are you going?” The children reply, “I don’t know!”  Of course, we may consider this an unacceptable answer, but it may well be the truth.  Carefree timelessness.  It is the reason young people fall in love so easily.  The lack of carefree timelessness is the reason the rest of us fall out of love so easily.  Carefree timelessness cause us to fall in love with life and others.”

Take a minute and let that sink in a bit.

I am so fortunate to have had a recent experience where my daughter and I had nearly six weeks of uninterrupted carefree timelessness. I have never in my life experienced the freedom and light heartedness that was the mainstay of that time.

We were driving, for the most part with out destination – adventuring across our country exploring and learning and marvelling.

I think there is really something in that. Like Matthew Kelly says – the happiest people on the planet are those who are focused on their personal relationships.  Relationships thrive under one condition: carefree timelessness. Her and I & the open road. 

Tonight when I go home – I am going to really put some effort into this. I want to make this important – so there isn’t six weeks and a road trip. I know I can’t spend all the time I want with my little people anymore – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other important people in my world. Others that deserve to know me and more importantly for me to know them, as well.

Tonight I am going to be spending time with my Mom, we are going to be doing ordinary things, normal things but tonight I am going to be there – really truly there. I am going to ask her how her day has been. I am going to listen when she answers, I am going to put down my phone, shut off my alerts and we are going to spend some time together.

I really have no answers for the tragedy my life is enduring right now, I have no idea in the long term what the outcome is going to look like but until such a day when I look back and realize things are changed – which is an abstract thought for me right now – because more often than not I am overwhelmed, until then I am going to baby step it – and within my new world I commit to creating some blocks of carefree timelessness.  Such a far, far cry from the mere 4 weeks ago when I was having the time of my life. It was easy then and it happened naturally now – I will make an effort. It truly seems worthy.

Today I am going to begin the possibly long difficult process of carving out a new life for myself.

A new life filled with bright spots and gratitude.