Two Czars Is Bizarre

There really hasn’t been much going on lately. The semester (and the year) is ending, a lot of people are already gone, and I’m kind of confused by how quickly college is finishing. I’m halfway through. And it kind of freaks me out, so I thought I’d use the handy text box I have here to (re)think a few things about life.


First things first. What is it that I’m headed for? Now, I’m not normally what you would call a cynic, but if you’ll permit me (which you will, because there is currently no one in the room to stop me) I’d like to enter “death” into this first blank. I know, I know, I have decades to live, good times to have, dreams to fulfill, but, by and large, I’m heading for a medium sized coffin buried beside lots of other dead people (and perhaps a much loved family pet). And it’s not that I’m trying to be depressing- honestly, I’m not. After all, there are worse things than finding out you’re going to die someday.

But there we have it. We’re heading for that shiny coffin, and what we’re doing at the moment (what people like to call “living”) is simply the subway ride. So that brings me to my next (re)question, the one I want to pose to all these subway living people.

What exactly are we doing on the train? Or, to put it another way, are we not doing something we might need to be doing?

Say, for instance, that you are headed to visit your old Aunt Sally. You board the plane, you find your seat, you settle in–depending on the position of the sun, it could be anywhere from nap time to time to pray towards the East. But, being the devoted nephew (or niece) you are, you remember your dear old Aunt’s fetish for “people pictures.” Not just any type of pictures, but close ups of the person’s face, every line and wrinkle captured lifesize for your Aunt’s fading eyesight to see. “Bring me twenty of those,” she offered you last Christmas, “and I promise you the Corvette- no strings attached (Author Side Note: Rich Aunt Sally. Didn’t I say that?). Come empty handed,” she added with a peculiar smile, “And you not might get in.”

Obviously these pictures are a bit awkward to take, but let’s say you have your camera with you as you remember these words. Now you’re faced with a couple of choices. It’s true- you can take the nap you’ve been waiting for ever since they confiscated your shampoo at the airport’s x-ray machine (national security is, after all, very important), or you can go paparazzi on twenty unsuspecting fellow passengers. While it’s also true that you could show up at Auntie’s house with 20 pictures of yourself in different facial positions, in desperate hopes of her eyesight being as bad as they say, chances are you’re losing your dignity and taking the photos.

So let’s look at this from a different angle (actually, being the same people, we’ll still have the same “angle,” per se- but let’s cross our eyes and hope for the best, yes?). If we’re really so sure that Aunt Sally means what she says (after all, all of our older cousins are suspiciously driving their corvettes everywhere), we’re going to take the pictures. And that’s really really important. Nobody’s going to do something incredibly pride-squashing unless 1)They’re stupid or 2) They know good and well that the other side of this bargain is going to be upheld. But supposing you don’t take the pictures? You write your other cousins’ vehicles off to good fortune, you lay your head on the pillow, and you sleep like a baby. What does that say? Once again, a couple of things: 1) You’re even stupider than our other option, or 2) You don’t trust Aunt Sally.

Now if you’re on the ball, you might have caught my corny religious analogy before I even started it. But I’d like to revisit all of us on that “life” train ride, if we could. Actually, I don’t even want to visit all of us– just the ones who have an idea of where we’ll be after we make that stop beside all the other creepy dead people. And here’s where I ask the question that started all of this in my head:
If we really believe that we’ll be rewarded after we leave our crappy train bodies behind- why aren’t we doing those things now? Face pictures? Yeah, I’ll take face pictures for a corvette. Give to those who have nothing? Feed the hungry? Clothe the naked? We’ve been promised a reward if heaven for following Christ, for imitating Christ. But I’m looking at people in my train car, and all I’m seeing are pillows and a whole lot of shut eyes.

So is it apathy? Distrust? Do we simply not believe that God will come through like He says He will? (Which, disturbingly, might put a damper on that whole salvation thing) Do we not care? Our ticket is punched, we know we’ll get in, let’s shut our eyes and wait?

So I’m still unsure on this. Maybe it’s not just distrust- maybe it’s simply our eyes being clouded. Society has told us how to use the seventy-odd years we’re given, the stages we’re to enter and the benchmarks we’re to meet. Maybe we’ve accepted that as humanity’s default, and charity is simply something to fit into the tax write-off compartment of our schedules.

But maybe we can change.
Maybe we can start taking face pictures again.
Maybe we can choose to pick up our heads, look around our train car, and do what we boarded it to do.

Maybe we can fix the world.

1 Response to “Two Czars Is Bizarre”

  1. 1 Dominique May 4th, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Wonderful post! I loved your analytical story. I could really “feel” everything happening and see things taking place. Jen and I are reading Anna right now, and it reminded of all the train and carriage rides they take.

    Anyways, It disheartens me when so may people (Christians) take what they are given, go to church every Sunday, then just live their everyday lives like nothing happened. No ones knows they are even a Christian because they don’t show it. And to run with your analogy, some of them are half-sleeping Christians. They do tasks, but only to gain personal glory, and they don’t do it with love for those people at all. It’s just fake heroism.

    Then there are the ones who actually do something, they live everyday with a purpose, and take every opportunity given to them to expand God’s kingdom, and help others, no matter how small the deed is. These are the heroes of today, and everyone looks up to them… What happened to those kids that wanted to be heroes when they were young? Those that carried groceries for old ladies in the parking of the grocery store, did they just become old and in this world -that constantly runs optimists into the ground- and did they just let it take over their mind set? Did they think “Oh well, I’ll never make it. I’ll just get knocked down again. I’m tired and it’s not worth it.”

    Ok, this could get super long… so I will stop here, but I whole-heartedly agree with you. And I hope that people do see a heroine when they see me- not in a prideful way, but that they see Christ in everything I (and you) do, and desire to have that same relationship with Him that would give them the desire to further His kingdom, and put a smile on the face of a dirty little kid sitting in the street. Mark 16:15 says He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” And, I’ve heard it added: “and use words when needed.” Hope you have a wonderful week!

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