Fictional Memoirs: Is that your phone or mine?


Doing the right thing is having integrity regardless of bling. Good is declining your selfish desire when it calls with a charming ring. Who’s phone call will you answer; God’s or yours? Ring ring … one is good and one is bling.

And I know I ought to do the right thing. As an Eagle Scout I know I ought to do a good turn daily. Slogans to help pave a pathway. Even miscellaneous things like eating three bags of chips in one sit makes for a gluttonous stay. Decisions decisions, are made each and every day.

“How ought you live today?”

What you love will show how your moral compass sways.

Should I hold my tongue when authority rules and remember my role as servant or challenge anyone who restrains my autonomy? Do I answer the call of God for Christ and others or the call of me?

Anyone who handles my freedom brings to light; what is my freedom? Lecrae wrote about powertrips, so I think my life is more than running errands: Grocery trips. There I go, feeling superior. Authority by definition must have power, but I always hated playing Monopoly.

Right and wrong is the classic’s song studied with riddles and parables. Struggling to do what’s right, many people decide to run rather than fight. Fighting is strange too. How efficient is fighting that causes you to drum your ideal of correct rule into the drooling melting-pot pool? But if you don’t fight, you lose. Is that right? Doing nothing? The most verbally militant person I know boast of his conviction that pacifism is in essence the way of Jesus. I wonder if he’ll be upset when he reads this.

The right thing is hard to follow through with. Sometimes you swing and what you thought was a follow through was a whiff. Did anyone else read that book on Jesus’ childhood friend Biff? I don’t mean to distract you, but being correct is difficult and if you try to understand this, it might affect your sleep. There I go, trying to sound deep.

Back to the issue:

Doing the right thing is having integrity regardless of bling. That bling is anything that makes your heart’s selfish phone ring. That integrity is submitting to the King. And that right thing is more complicated than the plot of Barton Fink. I loved that movie. Made me think.

“End rhymes are not classy,” said a former professor. Was he telling me what was correct or trying to help me do the right thing when I write things?

Decisions weighed by the bling they gave, are decisions chosen by a heart enslaved. So I looked to detachment for freedom’s sake. Freedom defined by detachment did not help my entrapment. For the bling autonomy gave was so fake it made my whole soul green with ache. Fake gold held me like a prisoner to the ship I made. I was lost at sea, seeking another to hit. Each time I thought I’d found the moral ground it was my own hands that were bound.

Throw the stone and watch your worldview unfold. Reasons crumbling down to sand and leaving you scattered with the slightest breeze.

How can this be? Doing the right thing was how I lived? How could I be trapped by the very thing I presumed to control?

The scale is never even. For while Steven was bleeding he looked to God knowing that the Kingdom was in season.

54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Hunting for a change, this autonomous world stones the very idea they morally deem. The right thing to do. Jesus standing at the right hand of God. The heavens opened and there was Jesus. One who gave up ultimate freedom in deity to die for the freedom of the likes who stoned Steven.

I’m so tired of being right. I’m so tired of doing a good turn daily. I’m so done with doing good. A pastor of my hood said to “do good” whenever he ended a point of communication. When we do good, I see now, we are looking to the right hand of God and saying,

“Mercy!”

And me, oh please God forgive me.

Forgive them . . . for they know not what is good. Forgive me for I love partially.

So much mercy, so much freedom, and so much autonomy that we gave up doing good. But I suppose we always would. The illusion of choice. Doing good is often misunderstood.

“Mercy!”

For me. Oh please God give me one more week. He who is merciful does good even when he is misunderstood. God did the only good that could bring us out of the Stranger Things‘ woods. He does good even when he is stoned by the very people who want his bling.

I think my phone just rang.

 

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