Posted by: Brad Stanford | September 3, 2017

Moments

We live for moments, don’t we.

In speaking of himself, The Joker from Batman made quite the statement on humanity when he said he was like a dog chasing cars – he wouldn’t know what to do with it if he caught it. We are the same way. We fight so hard for moments not knowing how to keep them when they get here, or what to when they go away.

But we keep chasing them.

Throughout history, when people spend immeasurable energy, time, and resources on making the world a better place, what happens? The quote – “Modern World” tried to eradicate slavery, and what happened? It simply changed forms. Instead of plantation owners, we now have banks and governments. The common man in the United States itself continues to operate under the idea that it is free when it is actually a slave state in general. There is just enough freedom in every day things to distract from where slavery true hides in the banks, institutions, and the governmental systems. And it is said by many continuing to come into its borders that this is the best place to live.

But it is better said that the US is the best viewing position for moments. Like a meteor shower, beautiful moments are what we crave the most, be it art that makes us weep, or scientific discoveries that make us cheer, or – closer to home – the glance of someone who is interested in our well being. The US still holds the title for moment possibilities in the opinion of the author. But the cost is slavery, both mental and physical.

The point is that in spite of whatever obstacle or condition, humans seek moments. Good moments. Glorious moments. True moments filled with what life is made of. And after however many years of civilization, still no one knows the scientific formula for making them happen whenever we want. Even when our greatest moments happen, we try to hang onto them like Uncle Rico, never appreciating the fact that all moments come to pass.

Like a man in a home video trying to hang onto one boat while reaching for the next and ultimately falling into the water between them, so we are trying to live off the last great moment we felt, while groping in the darkness for the next. This, of course, is unnecessary if you know how to turn on the light.

But woe be to the person who tries to describe what light is like to a dark world! We have become comfortable in the dark, and light has become a terrible thing to us. How dare you tell another human being what good or evil is! Who are you to know more about light than some other person!

Unless, of course, we agree on the definition of light – be it a freedom rally or a religious book. Then suddenly we are right, and everyone else is wrong. We have the light and they don’t.

“That’s right! Tear down that statue! Show those backwards southerners what’s right by destroying property! Woohoo!”

How quickly the offended become the offenders, and they don’t even know it…when there is no light.

And while few can agree on how to turn on the light – and even more know how to turn it on but choose not to – the continual undercurrent of existence is chasing the next moment. So far, alcohol, sex, rock ’n’ roll, friendships, shopping sprees, new cars, and fancy hotels have yet to fix anything. They make make the darkness more tolerable, sure. But more often than not, our elixirs create more problems than they solve. They are simply the “newest” moments to chase, different than the ones before, offering false hope to the unsuspecting and/or inexperienced earthling.

Morality gives a people group it’s value and it’s strength. “Strength” in this instance is defined by its ability to put life in its place, rather than being tossed about by the winds of seeking moments. A moral people can put off immediate gratification for their own good, and the good of others. They will use their wealth to help others rather than increasing their own level of comfort past a reasonable level. In other words, a strong people group is characterized by how many moments they create, and how many others than moment impacts, rather than trying to find an existing moment to satiate their own desires.

Realize, too, that marches and rallies and laws are more about us feeling good that we did something, more than they are about changing the world. Just look at those who have pulled down statues and think that they’ve done something. Those states stand taller now in the hearts of the people that loved them than they did before. It was simply gas on a fire that ultimately won’t matter.

Contrast that with those who immediately mobilized to help Houston, sacrificing time and money to touch people, rather than try to change beliefs.

Pulling down statues thinking it will raise the morals of a society is a moment that felt good to those involved, but it’s gone. And the lasting effect will be the opposite of what was intended.

Saving families from death and disease affects multiple generations who will tell the story of Good Samaritans, inspiring further good for years to come. In other words, the direction of the fallout will equal the direction of the effort. These are true moments that were not chased, but created.

Are you chasing moments or creating them? (Hint: the secret of life is the latter.)

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