In the first, I have started leaving small invitations on people's doorknobs in our church's community, inviting people to join us, to celebrate with us, really. Before I started out on these trips, I had imagined all sorts of dire consequences. In reality, the people I have met have been friendly and pleasant. Not once have I had a confrontation with anyone and the gregarious self within me has risen up and come to enjoy this process. I went out at first with fear and now I head out with a far more hopeful heart. I realize much of my fear was generated by social media. The various sources tend to focus negative commentary and angry rhetoric. Before long, you can start to see the world through that angry lens and expect others you meet to be as reactive and hostile as the folks online. Most people are not. It has been a blessing to be reminded of this simple truth.
The second event was far more somber. A college friend I have become reacquainted with via Facebook (yes, social media does have it's cheery advantages as well) posted an obituary for a friend we both knew from those earlier days. It is sobering to see an old friend your own age has died. It takes you right out of life's petty irritations and the endless arguments over whatever hot button issue is being peddled today. I am praying for the family and friends of our college friend of years-gone-by and fondly remembering him and the antics we got up to together back in the day.
For a little more about those college days and the friends I hung out with, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2010/08/ball-state-university-1977.html
Wishing you all positive reminders that life is sweet and we should make to most of it. Be a blessing to someone today and reconnect if you can with those friends of years past. Touch base with them again, instead of discovering their obituary.
For a different sort of reality check as the madness of the political season gears up, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2010/08/reality-check-no-demons-here.html Written in 2010, sadly, this piece is still entirely practical.