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One of the ideas I’ve come most to respect is that good things tend to have a high cost. This cost isn’t necessarily related to money; the most majestic views are granted to those who have climbed the mountain. It’s been a few weeks since my last hike, but the last one had a view that could never be captured by a camera (even if it is 3D…). Another example of this would be the bluetooth keyboard I just purchased for my iPad. The first one was only 29 bucks, but its bluetooth connection would cause my iPad to shut down unexpectedly. Not good when you’re trying to put together a long blog, as it would erase anything recently opened. After one too many good blogs was erased, I finally plunked down the extra money for the Apple keyboard. No more erased blogs. Perfect.

That’s one principle I’ve come to learn and appreciate. When you are aware that something has a high cost, you learn to take it seriously enough to value it. I believe every good thing should come with some sort of price that makes it hard to accept. Even salvation, the most free gift on the planet, came at great cost. Every now and then, I experience something that came at no cost, or was somehow easy to obtain, and am instantly reminded these are to be avoided. These things happen.

Tomorrow, I hop on board a plane to return to Ohio. While Ohio doesn’t feel like home to me, I am coming to the realization that I need to come home in many senses. The real question in my head is how I went from A to Z in only a short period of time. Perhaps it’s guilt at stepping away from certain environments, or shame for stepping into others.

In my life, I’ve had the uncanny ability to learn very valuable lessons in a very short period of time. It’s been this [dis]ability that has been the reason for many, many situations that normally require several years to experience. Unfortunately, it’s also embedded an internal calendar in my brain that unconsciously gives everything a ‘period’ of existence, where I try and find the lessons to be learned during that ‘time’ as I expect it to be over in the future.

Whether or not we like to admit it, we are all going to die. Each and every one of us has a future appointment with death. I seriously enjoy hearing conservatives say “Maybe” to this question, as they honestly believe Jesus Christ is going to return to earth and whisk them away from their existence here on earth. I used to believe that He was coming back. To this day, I’m not sure if I do.

There was a part of me that questioned whether or not Jesus would return in my lifespan. At that time, I was concerned primarily as to whether or not I’d be able to finish the Lord of the Rings trilogy that had yet to be fully released. I also wondered whether or not I’ve have sex before that fateful moment happened, fearful that I’d never get to experience it. It’s sad how some things that are designed to be healthy can actually create a very unhealthy life.

As a child of the church, I grew up with fear being an essential part of my life. It was hammered into my head that sin was what would separate us from G-d, and that any of these actions could damn us to hell. Every drink, piece of profanity, or premarital lay instilled the fear that I had somehow crossed the line and was now being damned to hell. Shit. Am I going to Hell now? While I could insert a whole slew of profanities after that statement, I think it proved the point just fine.

What ever happened to “Life and life more abundantly”? Isn’t this what Christ taught? Instead, I’m sitting here, questioning whether or not I should be repenting and asking for cleansing from a month of life that was quite contrary to the way I was raised. For me, the semi-scary part is that the fear nature is now gone, as I have a hard time buying into it. This essentially eliminates the natural barrier that has previously kept me far from that which is deemed as sinful. However, it also places one much closer to true love. Husbands ought to love their wives, not because they are afraid of being divorced, but because they love them. The same thing ought to apply to Christianity/religion; people should stay ‘faithful’ because they want to, not because they are fearful of being burned medium rare for all of eternity. Am I wrong? If so, I’d appreciate being corrected, since my eternal security is on the line.

Good lord, the fear..it’s everywhere. After a conversation from my mother where she insisted “the fear of the LORD is clean.” I have come to disagree with this statement. The fear of the LORD – in its actual sense, is quite different than the fear that is taught in the church. As a society, we have been taught to come quite close to fear, without actually respecting it. A friend of mine took a picture where she sat, back to back, with a massive gorilla; a creature that could rip her apart without even trying to. What separated her was a piece of glass.

We live in a glass society, where we are able to have our fear minimized down to only the things that we really shouldn’t be fearful about. Thousands of years ago, men and women lived with the fear of survival. We fear we can’t pay our mortgage bill. Even the bible is not able to be understood with clear eyes, as we can’t understand the situations men and women experienced. We truly can’t understand what it feels like to be in the valley of the shadow of death. Worse, many of us have no idea what it means to actually be delivered from anything.

I remember sitting in church, watching somebody give their testimony of how they came to be saved. This individual is the type who has never watched an R-rated movie. And I remember thinking “Saved…from what?” We read stories about the prodigal son without an understanding of what it means to come home to Father, as we’ve never really left it to begin with.

What costs nothing is worth nothing. There are two conclusions in my mind right now. The first is that I’ve come a long way from home. And the second is that I need to come back to greet my Father.

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