The other day I was riding in the car with Dad, and we passed one of those “Gentlemen’s club” signs. I commented to Dad that I thought it was sad they called it a “gentlemen’s” club as if it were in any way respectable.
Then I tried to imagine a person and a mindset that would view it as gentlemanly. I tried to put myself in someone else. I was surprised. I came up with this [This is not really what I think or believe, so please don’t think these words are my real opinions or thoughts; I was simply trying to understand people’s rationalization.]: A middle-aged man – think fairly well of myself – feel somewhat listless or drained, when not there and when there – feel some pleasure in it – I have some reasons I think it may be ok – yeah really, I’ve thought about it, nothing’s 100%, but – it pulls me, not in an Edmund-and-Turkish-delight sense – I don’t feel it’s wrong like Edmund-and-Turkish-delight – also, this is quality – those thoughts are minimal – I see the pleasure – it’s here – I’m somewhat tired – I choose “not to let the rest of my life feel bogged down” – I think it works – I have some times of joy in life – I do – I’m worn out – life’s a lot of work – I think it works – yeah really, I do.
Were you able to step into that at all? I’m not sure I really expressed my thoughts correctly. It was more like a single thought for me and wasn’t nearly as word-based.
Then I saw I was really kind of similar in some ways. The thought surprised me. I’ll share one example of a way I’ve been similar. There are several, and I’m not happy with any of them. I have a lot of work, and I get tired of it. When this thought hit me, I realized I’d been irresponsible in regards to the college application process. I’ve kind of let Mom be the driving motivation, and I’ve just executed what had to be done. The process wore at Mom. I did what I needed to but didn’t show hardly any initiative. I was too [I’m not sure what] to notice in any meaningful way, in any accepting way. And, of course, it wasn’t like in the stories where you know the character is blinded, because I was the character. The oblivious don’t see their oblivion – self-imposed or not. I’m trying to change.
Hopefully this post is helpful to someone. Maybe some things will be broken. I believe we need to pray and believe God will reveal these shortcomings to us. He does. There is hope for today. His smile is powerful – like, really powerful.
Perhaps the most effective, strengthening way to avoid these issues is to be around God, especially repeatedly/prolongedly.