Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Only Way That Wins

The world hurts.  It contains people who either intentionally or unintentionally have hurt you.  It also contains people who just don't care: they blow right through you to get whatever they want or to wherever they want to go.

You can respond by no longer caring, by toughening up your exterior, by saying "No more!" and bulldozing people and their feelings to take what you want and get back at the world.  After all, it is a dog-eat-dog world, so you can become a dog.  You can become what was done to you and perpetuate the cycle, contributing to exactly what makes the world so cold and shitty.  And it will have won.  You won't have won.  It will have - the evil done to you, the hurt passed onto you from another hurt and defeated person... defeated and claimed by the hurt.

Or you can be claimed in another way.  You can retreat to the cold dusty armchair of the hardened cynic.  You can stand on the periphery of life, bewailing how messed up people are, yet refusing to ever be involved again.  You can dig in your heels and tell yourself that you are different, which is easy to do from a retreated, negative, and uninvolved position, casting down judgment from your ivory tower.

Or you can do the hard thing and not let it, the system of the world, claim you.  The world does not know this way.  It customarily calls it weakness.  It mocks and taunts it.  But it is the way which refuses retaliation, refuses to let ourselves become infected.  It is the way that may mean suffering and being misunderstood, but it is the only way to fight and truly win... by refusing to play the game.  It offers us no protection from harm (as if the other paths offered us any, either), but it is the way that lasts.  At the end of this whole system of things, it is the only way that stands.

This way has a name. His name is Jesus.

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