“You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!”
There are two ubiquitous and transient elements on this planet that fascinate me. The first is water.
Have you ever just taken the time to feel water? It’s a viscous like, shifting force. Not only is it malleable, it also seems to have a mind of it’s own. Yet, water is the strangest out of all the elements. It is the ultimate exception. When an element turns from liquid to solid, it compacts and shrinks. Water does not. In fact, it does the opposite. Some elements when in liquid form do not conduct. Water does.
There is more.
Unlike every other element, water has an insane surface tension. Enough to allow cool things to happen, like insects that walk on water with Jesus.
Water is 70% of our bodies. It covers 71% of the earth. It is so necessary that you cannot live and function properly without drinking some form of water at least once in a day. You will die without water in three days.
The second element that I find fascinating is fire. I am not going to lie, I am a little bit of a pyromaniac. I have been known to light sticks on fire when camping and stare at them for hours. Yup. That bad. So it’s no surprise that my favorite mythical creature is this guy:
Fire is the same as water in some ways. Although, if you try to ‘feel’ fire you will probably end up in a lot of pain. But the element itself is the ultimate exception to all of our rules. It does not stabilize, even if you manage to contain it. Fire literally feeds off the air, no other force on earth can do that, all except one: living organisms. Similar to water, fire seems to have a mind of it’s own. It can heal, bring heat, create comfort in the winter. Yet it can rage and destroy anything it touches.
The reason I bring up these two elements is this: there are some things in life that are absolutely necessary, but that you can never hold onto. You can never get a grip on water. Although you would die by going without it, if you do not take it seriously it can pound you to the ocean floor and destroy you.
You cannot hold fire. You need it for life and for function and heat, but try to touch it and it burns.
I think this analogy is fascinating because it applies to so many things. Relationships, careers, kids, love, hope, contentment, you name it. Many of the things we value, people, morals, religion, etcetera, are things that we can never truly ‘hold’.
It’s all in the concept. An ideal is something you recognize, something you see and feel, yet it is something that can never be perfectly realized. Maybe that is why we are all so obsessed with ideals.
Did you know that, here in America, getting braces is normal? Having straight teeth is a desired trait and people pay a lot of money and spend a lot of time trying to get better teeth.
But if you were to move to Great Britain, you would notice that almost no one will ever get braces. Why? Well, for one, in Great Britain, braces is completely covered by health care. No one has to pay anything to get better teeth. Yet no one will do it. Isn’t that odd? The second that there is nothing to pay, people lose value and interest in that concept.
Fire and water. Opposites, something we must have to survive, but completely different, like lemon and lime.
Life is ruled by opposites. Light and dark, hot and cold, frantic and chill, fast and slow, bright and dull. The world we live in runs off the idea that because you are one opposite, you are therefore not the other. That is simple logic. If you are A then you are not B. B and A are separate entities. I only become confused when people say something and do something else. It is one thing to say that you believe a particular philosophy, but an entirely different thing to live out that philosophy.
Today, a teacher of mine made a great point, you know those people who are very inconsistent? The ones who say one thing, then change their mind, then are in a wacky mood, then they totally shift what they said? We all know people like that. You never know if they are going to be angry, happy, sad, depressed, if they think you are cool or if they dislike you.
When you are inconsistent, people get confused. Not only that, no one knows what you actually believe. For some reason, our society has been trying to convince the world that if you are A, you can also be B. It’s not possible. You cannot agree with everyone. I once read this awesome quote:
Gotta love Aristotle. Always fall back on the classics whenever you are in doubt. To better rephrase what I am trying to say,
If you cannot defend what you believe and why you believe it, you don’t really believe it.
There is a second part to this as well, the rule of opposites teaches us a lot, so this is the opposite:
If you want to agree with everyone, you will never agree with yourself.
The second we get into the inconsistent world of malleable values is the moment we begin tolerated everything and responding apathetically to actions that are morally wrong. Especially today, stand for something. I understand that there are a ton opinions on everything. It’s ok not to know about all of it, and it’s ok not to have a rock steady argument on every front. What you do need to figure out is how to stand for things you value without compromising in relationships.
Maybe it’s time for us to be out of our comfort zone. Maybe not everything that we want to be is who we really are. God made us to be something and we do not have to change anything about ourselves to be accepted or loved.
Be blessed today.