Monday, May 22, 2017

Let's Have Sex

It rained all weekend --- hard.  Sunday evening had temperatures only in the 60’s, but it felt like the 90’s as heavy humidity weighed down the air.  But Monday was promised to be a day of sunshine.
And so, as I took to the road this morning I was surprised to see the sky cut, like a knife, into three pieces:  to the East was a line of very dark clouds, the last of yesterday’s rains, overhead was a narrow strip of blue sky --- the promise of today, but to the West lay yet another line of clouds.  Oh, no!  What would the day really bring?
As I drove West towards church the landscape seemed a dark grey color everywhere.  In my new car I listened to the Sirius Radio Sinatra station, to old songs of love and romance, and how good they were, and yearned for by everyone.  They were bright thoughts, but the dark grey of the early morning overwhelmed them.
I thought of how today’s songs no longer focus on love, or if the word is used what is usually meant is sex.  Unlike the time of Sinatra, many people no longer know what love really is --- or truly, what sex really is.  Last night on the news I heard how one state now leads in teen out-of-wedlock births, and the reported cause was the state schools’ (shocking) teaching of sexual abstinence.  That will change.  Now kids will be taught how to have wonderful sex and avoid pregnancy.  Isn’t that the responsible thing to do?  As an analyst all my life, I easily saw the problem with that type of solution.  The solution is “what I want, what I think, what is my opinion, and what I KNOW is right,” implemented without any analysis by self-proclaimed experts.  Reasoned analysis looks at a newly-discovered problem and asks: “What facts changed to cause the problem,” not “What do I think is happening.”  A rise in crime during the full moon IS NOT (!!!) caused by the full moon just because someone thinks so!  To fix a problem, you must first find the facts of its cause, and not run for more bandages.
What has changed in our schools (as I am aware of) is the forbidden mentioning of God, virtues, love, marriage, and what they are and why they exist, and how sex is only a part of the picture they paint of our culture --- a complete picture which existed and was good from the beginning, but our children are no longer allowed to be taught that.  The bigger picture is not taught.  Today history in schools is not how things were in total, but a focus on how the bad things were, and the solution to all history’s problems is to change today, a change to be found in the mirror: you, and no one else, draws the picture of your life.  And those bigger picture items of the past and even the present? --- they do not involve you, paint them out of your life:  no marriage, no commitments, no children, and certainly no religion; we will not teach those things; they are unimportant.  “Let’s have sex” is all that’s important.  It’s what you say to the mirror.
As I drove West this morning listening to the soft crooning tunes, thinking, I looked into the mirror of my life.  I recalled my sins, and yes, the word to describe them is sin, a word soon to be removed from Webster’s Dictionary, I fear, or at least one whose definition will be preceded by “arch.  I was melancholy in my thoughts; yes, I had sinned but I also had done many good things.  But then I recalled how many of those good things came about.
Ring-ring, and someone asked if I’d like to join the Jaycees, and I did.  Ring-ring, and someone asked if I could spend some time fixing houses so poor families could live in them, and I did.  Ring-ring, and the diocese asked if I would lead a support group for troubled marriages and address marriage prep classes --- and I said no.  Ring-ring, and I was asked to take over leadership of the local Catholic Charities chapter, and I said no.  I thought how many of those calls over the years were from complete strangers, but I knew who they were really from --- although at the time, perhaps stranger did define His relationship to me.  Why did He keep calling?  Why did I say no so often?  What would my life have been like if I had said yes more often?
As I was nearing the church I drove around a curve in the road --- and the scene before me caused me to gasp!  Very tall trees lined both sides of the road, but they seemed to be cut in half.  The bottom half was colored the dark grey of the early morning, but the top half was a brilliant gold color, which overwhelmed the Spring green leaves which covered the trees.  Behind me, to the East, the Sun had shown itself through a slit in the dark clouds and brightened the treetops before me.
What a blessing to see, with my eyes, and with my heart.
It was a reminder, a ringing.  Behind even the darkest day, there is God’s light.  Perhaps it will sometimes shine so brightly that we can’t not gasp, as this morning.  Or perhaps sometimes it will be a call from a stranger.  Or it may be a silent ringing in our heart.  But He does call; He does brighten our lives.  He will always call, whether we answer or not.  He promised.
You can look back at your life and perhaps only see darkness.  You can look at our culture and dark things capture your attention first.  But don’t forget:  There was Light; there is Light; there will always be Light.  And He will call you.  Listen!
And even if Webster no longer defines it that way, even the oldest of us can be taught what our country, and what the world once knew:  God, family, marriage and our culture and its history are important.  And “Let’s” means “Let us --- together,” do something, together in our plans, together in our desires, for the good of all.  Regardless of what the schools teach, what you want is not that important, for you are not alone in this world.  Creation is not meant for you, but for God.
Don’t confuse who you are seeing in the mirror.

The commandment that I write you is new, as it is
realized in Him and you, for the darkness is over,
and the real light begins to shine.
The man who claims to be in light,
hating his brother all the while,
is in darkness even now.
The man who continues in the light
is the one who loves his brother.
1Jn 2:8-10

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