I hate watching people fail. No matter what the situation; from instances where lives are cut short, bodies damaged beyond repair, or careers cut short to moments of reaching for something beyond one’s ability, I find it painful, often unbearable. Even when I watch a television program where you know the person lives I find myself leaving the room, unwilling to experience the spectrum of emotions that I know will follow.
The irony is that we as a people seem unwilling to learn from history. The failures of yesterday repeat themselves in today’s youth, an endless cycle of lost opportunities and wasted futures. Even when someone looks at the past, the conclusion is wrong. It is clear, at least from my viewpoint that the focus on the wrong part of the equation. The key lies in lessons and communications with the heart, not the mind.
Think about the obvious. Do we know that speed kills? Obviously but look at how we drive; with our hearts. Do we know that abusing our bodies shorten our lives and put our self at risk? The immediate results of excess are known but they are not the keys to most decisions. We indulge, experience, and enjoy; paying the price willingly for the pleasures of the moment. Do we recognize that God plays an important part of the lives of billions of people? Obviously, but…and our heart looks away, unwilling or unable to deal with the mystery that follows.
In days of old there was the accurate observation “you worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God's way of salvation is made available through the Jews.” (John 4.22) Yet the facts of that day didn’t make a material difference in the lives of the people that knew.
Facts are always incomplete when held in isolation from life and living. What is love without action? Can mercy find meaning without examples? Does grace have definition without our lives? We can complete the equation, a living definition. Today is our chance to be the difference.