03.03.2013 - 25.03.2013
How can we glorify God? This question was raised as part of a sermon this past Sunday at a local church we attended. The pastor mentioned it in a discussion about suffering and why suffering happens in our lives. Obviously life isn’t fair. We all know that fact; however, the point he made was that it’s how we look at situations that matter. Rather than asking why did this happen to me? Ask how can I use this to glorify God? For us (and I’m guessing most people), it’s been easier to see the negative in what we’re doing. Life isn’t that simple when your living out of your car, not able to be around family and friends, trying to find a new home, and raising a sweet, but very active (and accident-prone) 9 month old toddling baby. But our goal here is not to complain about what we don’t have or what we wish would happen. Anyone can do that. We’re on this journey to find God and find the Source of Life, so a great question really is: how can we glorify God along this journey?
We can glorify God by living the way that God intended for humans to live, which we believe is with one another, with the land, and with love. Jessica’s been reading a great book called “Return to Creation” written by a Native American man, Medicine Story. He explains beautifully how people ought (and probably really desire) to be living like, and that involves community, cooperation, and love. If you ever have the chance to read any of his books (see his website here!), we’d highly suggest doing so, as they are very inspiring and uplifting to the possibilities and potential of human beings.
Anyway, before we left many people told us how brave we were to do this because they wished they could do the same, but felt stuck in one way or another in their current situation in life. Hopefully by setting out on this journey we can set an example for others to follow, wherever their path should lead them, as not everyone is meant to do the same thing. We want to show others that it is possible to find your bliss and live it. That’s really what everyone is striving for, isn’t it? To find love and happiness, and live it? Every choice we make in life is really about looking for love, happiness, and contentment; we all desire those things. Of course, sometimes we go about that in very wrong ways, like trying to make more money (because we all know that makes people happy) or lashing out at someone who we felt wronged us (that really just makes us angry too).
For our little family, we believe our bliss can be found living for God and with God, as in nature, with the Earth, and with others in community. We believe that’s how humans were made to live. There isn’t the saying “it takes a village” for no reason. We are social beings, yet this culture we live in now is trying to separate and segment our lives so that we feel isolated and dependent. For example, when Jessica was working with refugees from other countries, they could see so clearly through our culture and would make comments like “Where are all the people?” when referring all the houses and seemingly empty neighborhoods, or “We need a TV because in my country we had community, but here the people use their TV as their community.” One family from Burma told Jessica that they cried for a month straight when they arrived in America because they felt so alone here. But we can change that. We, as humans, are changing, evolving. Many are realizing that the “American dream” is not a dream; it’s actually a nightmare that just puts people in more debt and leaves a longing for something more. Many are turning to a simpler way of life for themselves and their children. Just a year ago, when we were looking at intentional communities in the US, there were very few waitlists to join these communities. Now as we search, many have waitlists, especially for families.
Clearly more and more people want to raise their children in a different world. They want a world that nurtures the family, the individual and the earth, where children are able to learn about and experience real life, not watch “reality” on TV. They desire a world that doesn’t include a commercialized, “one size fits all” education for their children. They long for a simple, yet profound world that based on love and cooperation, not fear and competition. The Hare Krishnas’ had a philosophy of “simple living, high thinking.” They believed that we should spend our days simply praising God and his Creation. We can do this in many ways, like serving others, serving the land, and coming together in love. (And by the way, no we didn’t decide to become Hare Krishna. For numerous reasons, it just wasn’t the religion/way of life for us. But nevertheless, they were some wonderful and amazing people to be around.)
So we apologize if we sound negative sometimes about the culture we live in here in America, but we just believe so firmly in our hearts that this is not the answer for us, or for anyone. This culture is consuming, commercialized, materialistic, competitive, and fearful. It leads too many people to a life of debt, destruction, and longing for more. If you can’t see that, please look objectively and wake up to the realization around you. Please stop making up excuses in your head to justify it; listen to your heart. Know that you’re not too old to change, it’s not too late, you’re not too far in debt, you’re not too entrenched in it, you’re not stuck; there is always another option. There is always hope for a better life for all of us. We live in a world of abundance and love. Just look at nature, there’s always enough for the animals and plants; it’s the same for us, we just have to have faith, not fear, in God and in the abundance all around us.
So with that said, we are heading to our actual first farm community in a week from now. We are so thankful for our friends, the Hare Krishnas and Paul and Rebecca in Florida, as we hung around there because of weather and the community didn’t have any accommodations for us until April 1st. We’ll be heading three hours north of here to Koinonia, a Christian intentional living community, located in central Georgia. It will be nice to be around other families, as Elijah is getting so much more social, and loves being around other children. He can walk now too! (not very well yet, lots of bumps on the head) We’ll let you all know how it goes and whether humans can actually live together. We are very excited and hopeful!