Ruminations of the mind

Yes, I know some of you will be shocked, but I OFTEN ruminate! 🙂

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. There are myriad reasons for this, which I won’t elaborate on now, as they aren’t relevant to today’s post. But my silence of sorts is not indicative of lack of thought on my part – in fact, I often “write” posts in my mind and then am too busy to put them here. So, today I thought I’d try to recreate some of that.

First Rumination (a theme here) – Inconsideration for Others

Okay, most will admit there seems to be more people in the world that spend less time noticing other people around them. Maybe it’s that I am getting old, but seriously, is it hard to leave the door open behind you if someone is entering a door right after you? Does it kill you to stop rolling when a pedestrian is crossing the street in the crosswalk? How hard is it to acknowledge that some people might be having a hard day and a smile from you might make even a small difference?

But being considerate takes many forms, and I fully acknowledge I lack consideration for others at times, too. I was at a concert the other night and witnessed something that made me a little sad. It wasn’t a big deal at all, yet I felt sorry for a girl. You see, two ladies walked by us (including the “girl” I mentioned) who were meeting a group that had already been at the concert for some time. One of the girls obviously knew everyone (I will refer to her as Girl #1), and “the girl” obviously did not (I will call Girl #2). Girl #1 excitedly joined the group, totally leaving Girl #2 alone on the fringe. Never once did Girl #1 even THINK about her friend; never introduced her, never included her in the larger group, never even looked back at her. Girl #2 tried once or twice to “break into” the group, introduced herself to one person on the fringe, but was obviously feeling awkward and left out. I almost offered to buy her a drink, it was so bad!

Why am I mentioning this? Well, for me, it made me realize how self-centered we as a whole have become. NO ONE in the larger group seemed to have noticed ANY of this going on, especially Girl #1 who was her friend! And then I wondered – if I were in the same situation, would I do the same thing to my friend? I am sad to say I hope I wouldn’t, but I am not sure. I guess I am saying, we could all work a little harder thinking about others more and less about ourselves.

Second Rumination – Keeping up with the Jones’

I have been mega guilty of this in my lifetime – buying things I didn’t need to keep up with my friends, having the big house and the fancy cars, etc. Life circumstances, especially this economy, have humbled my attitude if in no other way then taking away my ability to act this way. So I am starting off by saying I am more than guilty of this area…..probably more guilty than most I know.

But now that the economy has gone south for many people, and now that I can’t even PRETEND to keep up with the Jones’, seeing “the game” played seems so much more offensive! Some use Facebook as well as their lives to promote their indulgences while others are struggling to keep their houses, feed their kids, etc. I have an acquaintance who modified their home loan after not paying if for three months on purpose (they COULD make the payments, but knew they could get their loan modified in this market), the wife went on disability because she “could not even sit”, and they have taken three major vacations this summer (Hawaii, Mexico, and back to Hawaii). They refinished their swimming pool after the loan modification. Oh, and the person on disability is having no problem partaking in very physical activities such as jet skiing, etc. This family has friends that are losing their houses, have lost their jobs and are barely making it by on unemployment.

I am NOT suggesting that people should stop taking vacations, should not enjoy life, or anything like that. But it seems especially hard to swallow blatant “booyas” to others, especially when they are so very vocal about the way they are working the system to finance their activities! Even if they WEREN’T working the system, in this economy I would hope that more people would at least be sensitive to the struggles others are facing when broadcasting their third international vacation or whatever. And, with all sincerity, I hope my acquaintances don’t hit the bottom like so many others have…….

Third Rumination – Politically Sanctioned Hatred

I am a registered Republican, although I at times agree with and vote for Democratic initiatives. I research all areas and don’t vote “only Republican”. I know that some people vote down party lines exclusively and get fighting mad at the mere MENTION of the opposing party. This has been a theme for many of my friends on Facebook as well. Politics are a very personal and emotional area of our lives and far be it from me to tell anyone how to think. That is what is so so wonderful about this country; we have a right to think for ourselves and vote and not be persecuted for it.

However, the last part is my true area of rumination – how come there is so much hatred regarding politics? I mean seriously, it’s one thing to say “I don’t really like Obama – I really feel his plan is to make this country socialist and that makes me ANGRY!” It’s another to say, “Obama is a communist, not even an American Citizen, and illegally gave government money in the bail out.” Let me just say here, the bail out started with Bush and hello, do a little research……the House and Senate were involved people!

ANYWAY, I have to laugh a little at my Republican friends on Facebook (and remember, I am a Republican too). They post over and over all these hate-filled articles against Obama, but NOTHING about U.S. Senator John Ensign resigning for having an affair. Nothing about Mark Sanford and his fiasco. More importantly, they are ignoring the recent revelations that Bush and Cheney appear to have broken law with illegal activities under the guise of fighting terrorism. My view is, POLITICIANS ARE, IN GENERAL, GONNA BREAK THE RULES. IT IS NOT A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT PROBLEM. However, when I mention that to many of my Republican friends, they pretty much attack me to the point that, if their words were rocks, I would be dead right now!

So, yes USE your right to vote. Use your free speech to criticize actions you find reprehensible. But please, all I ask, is to also use your brain a little with the issues AND do not be mean to those that do not agree with you. It is NOT fair to say that Republicans are Christian and Democrats are not (and yes, I have been told that and chastised for voting along Democratic lines… that is “voting for Satan”). And I don’t believe it’s EVER fair or productive to spew hatred when you’re trying to make your point.

And for the Christian readers out there, who profess to have a Biblical world view, I add this: Ephesians 6:5-8, which says, ” Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.” In Gina’s words – you might hate that Obama is President, but you need to honor him as your President……..and I would say the same thing if it were McCain!

Final Rumination – Christians “In the World”

I fully acknowledge that the whole Michael Jackson media frenzy was, at times, too much! But a friend recently got into a huge debate regarding his memorial. My friend (Friend #1) was heavily chastised by Friend #2, who happens to be a very conservative Christian. Friend #2 said “nothing about the memorial or Michael Jackson’s life can be contributed to God and no Christian should have anything to do with Michael Jackson, his music, his memorial, or any secular music at all.”

Friend #1 argued that the name of Jesus was proclaimed several times throughout the memorial – even HONORING Him – exposing Christ to MILLIONS (if not billions) throughout the world who watched the memorial. Friend #1 further suggested that Friend #2’s stance was pharisaical in nature, as to be truly effective in spreading the Word of God, you need to sometimes “touch the Samaritan”. Scripture was provided to point out how Jesus criticized the Pharisees and their legalistic view of others and their high opinion of their own godliness. Friend #2 retorted “The Pharisees were not Christian.” Well, so much for seeing that BEHAVIORS are what is wrong and that, perhaps, behaviors by today’s Christians can be very pharisaical……

I am NOT suggesting that everyone be FORCED to listen to secular music, but I WILL argue that Christian can and do listen to secular music and that has no bearing on their salvation or their walk. And I will NOT EVER limit the power of God, who uses those who profess Him as their savior and those who do not. I also assert that no one can really know if someone is a Christian or even that sin in our lives (and let’s face it, we all sin Christian or not) automatically ends our usefulness to God, OR that it limits the Power of God to work……I mean, all those years Ted Haggart was having an affair, people were accepting Christ in his church! So please – stop the hatred and what not!

So, I am now tired from all this ruminating! Gina OUT!

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