"Christianity is not true because it works, Christianity works because it is true."

Alistair Begg

i love listening to him

#mylife

 

i don’t do the whole twitter thing; to be fair, i do indeed have a twitter account, but only because i read somewhere that “people my age” are supposed to, and when looking for a job, it is suspicious to be completely absent from the social media scene. i literally sat on the floor in our house and created a linked in, twitter, and facebook page that night; years of my wife and friends trying to convince me meant nothing, but being told i was being profiled against when seeking employment was reason enough. that’s not to say i don’t use hashtags; you know, #, the thing we used to call the pound sign or number sign. i have a blog where i write and post pictures and whatnot. well again, one day i was reading about how to increase your readers for your blog, and it mentioned the importance of proper hashtagging, so since then i try and make one or two hashtags for every post. i know, it’s a pathetic trend really that i tend to only do things if i read it somewhere; but that’s not why we’re here. we’re not going to talk about my insane fascination with the written word; we’re going to talk about #mylife. eventually. i never cut to the chase.

hashtags are a curious part of internet life. they really came on the scene because of the influence twitter has had on the digital world, evolving over the past 6 years or so into the official way to find out anything about everything. just do a quick search on the internet, type in the thing you wanna know about, leave out the spaces, and put a # in front, and see what you get. sure, there is a lot of information that this will miss, namely anything at all official, academic, older than 2009, in print only, or otherwise “adult” in nature, but then, you shouldn’t be using the internet for the pursuit of “factual knowledge” without knowing these things are hard to come by in any world, virtual or otherwise. this ease of access leads people to start causes, like #helpmegrowmyhairreallylong or #wannagooutforadate. this has also led to businesses trying to exploit this for marketing like #ilovehamburgers or #eatatjoes but to no avail; funnily enough, most businesses that start hashtag campaigns soon find their hashtag is inundated with connections to complaints and disgust. pretty much, for corporate america anyways, hashtags are only a means of observation, not direction. a recent attempt by the NYPD is sign enough; check out #myNYPD and see how an attempt at a positive presence in the media turned into an outpouring of disgust and anger.

ok, i promise i have a point. sometimes when writing i forget it, and others i didn’t actually have one when i started, hence my rambling; but whatever the case, by the end of my writing, there is a point to be found. somewhere. eventually.

my life is complicated. to be fair, this is true for everyone, and for quite a number of people out there, my life isn’t complicated at all by comparison. one of the more convoluted properties of being an adult is keeping up with all the changes. kids are always growing, bills coming and going, cars having issues, the news just updated, job searches, groceries, random parties and get togethers with friends and family, don’t forget homework, did you finish that project… one of the real difficulties is just in trying to keep everything straight. in the hashtag world, you can set up a feed similar to a news channel. instead of tuning into CNN every day to know what is happening around the world, you could just check in with #Philippines and be up to date on what is going on in the pacific asian country with little to no difficulty. ok, get ready. i’m finally going to make my point here! i need a hashtag for my life, a way to be up to date at all times with my own life; a way to know where i’m at and what i’m doing, what’s important and what’s a waste, who i am and who i should be. sure, there are technology aids that can do some of this for me, but that’s not what i’m talking about. the Bible is my daily news feed, tuned into #k.a.w.-richée; or maybe, even more accurately, it is tuned in to #God with a k.a.w.-richée filter. either way, it is a concrete, universal means by which i can know what is really going on in my life. because that’s what hashtagging really is all about, usable information at an up to date speed. and there’s nothing in life more usable, more worthwhile, more relevant and to date than the Word God has for His people, His creation, His world. His message is timeless, His advice always sound, His updates are so current, their downright prescient!

there are evenings when i sit on the couch, scrolling through headlines as my wife and i talk about our days. i am catching up on life, on the world, on what has, is, and will be happening; many mornings even begin with this same ritual. my days are filled with endless perusing, digging, looking at what is going on. well, to be fair, not every day. the really good days are the days i’m too busy to “check in,” too busy to see what’s going on, as those are often times days spent not only being present in the moment with my wife and kids, but also being conscious in my walk in Christ, commutes listening to sermons, or better still, family car rides with all of us singing His praises. it is at these moments when i am tuned in to #God that complications fall away, and a thorough knowledge settles in; i know what’s trending, i know what’s going on. i need this. maybe you don’t get overwhelmed with a desire for knowledge, or the desire for at least an allusion of security in a world with so many unknowns, but i do. that’s why i need to hashtag my life; that’s why i need to check in all the time to see just what’s trending in the Word of God.

there are days in my life when my marriage feels like a war of attrition, the while day spent with a back and forth potty party. “woe is me!” “no, woe us me!” back and forth until we eventually seek slumber, lying next to each other, but not with one another. sometimes entire days feel like marriage is a heated armistice, guns drawn and aimed true until neither side can see in the darkness all around. some days my marriage drags on, an endless journey through conflict.

my fan club

“mr. kamarr i have a loose tooth.”
“well i’m happy to hear your tooth will finally be escaping from your face.”
“but mr. kamarr, it hurts.”
“well tell your dad and maybe he’ll pull it out for you; dad’s are good at that sort of thing.”
“but i don’t ever see my dad.”
“well have your grandpa, or uncle, or older brother, or cousin- some man you can trust do it.”
“we don’t have any men in our lives.”
“you mean there are no men in your life you can trust and look up to? not even at church?”
“why do you think we come here everyday.”
i’m tired of being a medical doctor working as the assistant to a middle school nurse, running around like i’m crazy to barely make enough money to cover our bills and a little fun every so often. i want a career so badly, a job that i can just focus on and turn into a part of the greater narrative of my life as i grow in Christ and raise a family. i pray for this constantly, a new job, a new place to live, some sort of change that takes me from where i am to a place somewhat more like where i would much rather be. but then i have conversations like the one above, and i’m left shaking my head, wishing with every fiber of my being that i wasn’t saying the prayer that i actually am, the prayer that says: “thank You God for having me here, and putting me where i am truly needed.” the aforementioned conversation took place today during lunch time as 4 girls ranging from 10-13 in age looked over my shoulder at some of the pictures from what my family did this summer. every since i first started working at this school i have had a “fan club” of girls, and some boys too, who stop by 4 days a week (“no visitors on Fridays; i’m too busy”) during their lunch break to just talk, watch me work, bug me. my first year i felt like maybe it was more of a “girls with crushes” thing, but as the years rolled by, it became increasingly obvious that this was not the case; these girls weren’t drawn to me because they found me attractive, they were drawn to me because there was a blank space in their life they needed filled. some of the girls would talk to me because i reminded them of their father but cooler, saying the same things but with a handlebar mustache so it was more palatable; some of the ladies hated the men in their life, and enjoyed knowing a man they could respect and be respected by. but as the girls so plainly stated today, some of them come to my office because i am the only male figure in their life worth coming to. how sad is that? how sad is it that there are little girls, future mothers and wives, who are so desperate for a worthwhile relationship with a man that they will spend what little free time they have huddled in a health office with a guy they barely know? i told the girls that this fact made me sad, that it didn’t ruin my day or anything, but that i was so sorry to hear that they had no other men in their life. they had to leave, and i had to get some work done, but they will be back tomorrow, to bug me again, and i will certainly let them.
there are forces in the world that will have you believe that kids don’t need two parents in the home, or a mom and a dad, but if you asked the kids, not the jaded adults pretending that they are tougher than they really are, less scarred from traumas and memories than they really are, if you asked the kids they would freely acknowledge what having a mom and a dad means to them. like the young man who came by every day when his dad was stationed in Iraq, and still comes now because i’m like his “school uncle” or something, kids need a man in their life, not just somewhere in the universe; no matter how loving and caring a man he is, his physical presence is irreplaceable and totally necessary. there is so much i want to do in this life, so many things i want for myself and for my family, but at moments like these i must admit that the work God is using me for seems infinitely greater than the work i dream of doing. maybe these ladies will grow to walk the streets sleeping with men for money; maybe they will marry the first boy who says “i love you;” maybe they get knocked up the year after they leave here or end up on the streets, or on drugs; maybe they go to college and invent some new technology or eventually become president of the United States. whatever they end up doing with their lives, if even just one of them grows up to know what a man is supposed to be because of a few minutes a day, four days a weak spent bugging me in my office, then all these years of struggle and ego crushing failure have been more than worth it.

"The future of this nation depends on the Christian training of our youth."

George Washington

"the demand is for a family likeness: God’s son (the nation in the Old Testament, Exod. 4:22; the individual Christian in the New Testament, Roma. 8:14) must stive, just because he is God’s son, to be like his Father. this is what the call to holiness means; and the noun (in the New Testament, hagiasmos, sometimes redered “sanctification” I the English versions) denotes the state of being dissociated from the practice of sin and devoted to the life of Godlikeness."

J.I. Packer, “18 Words”, on Holiness and Sanctification
before reading this, never knew that holy and sanctify were actually the same word in the original Hebrew and Greek languages. at one point he jokes that “holify” and “sanct” are such ugly sounding words that it makes since to have separate words for the noun and verb forms; either way, it is driving home the importance of the pursuit of holiness in the life of the saint, as the process of “holifying” unfolds in the life of the believer.