I’ve heard a lot of definitions of insanity but two stick in my mind. One is that when a person does the same thing over and over expecting a different result…they’re crazy. The other is that those who hold two opposite positions as both being true at the same time…are in chaos. Frankly, I’d prefer not to be one, nor live in the other. Of course there is also the saying that everyone is mad except thee and me….and I’m not so sure about thee…..Rather than go on and on about how crazy the world is and how you and I are probably the only sane ones left….I’d rather focus on what keeps me in touch with the very definition of sanity. I went outside today and fed cowy and her calf and then I noticed what a mess she had made so I did a little cleaning up…which involves throwing muck over the fence and then telling the boys that once we can get the queen of cows off her throne, (She loves to stand on her manure/straw pile….why? Don’t ask me….she’s a cow and I don’t see things through her eyes.) they can put the pile in the compost. Nothing goes to waste. God balances everything. Today’s dead waste is next year’s fertilizer. Nature is chalk full of quaint parables!
Then I took a walk around. The herb beds needed cleaning and the boys had thrown the weeds from the asparagus patch into a pile but “forgot” to put them into the compost bins. So, I called the boys back. The sun came out and we worked together for an hour or so. Lots of work still needs to be done and we just barely scratched the surface, but we started. Starting is half the battle. Just breathing in the fresh air and feeling the sun on my face brings clarity to my mind. I can’t help but slow down when I am working with nature. Plants don’t grow quickly….though weeds are remarkable at seeming to appear overnight, I will admit! Still, the point is well taken. God has no problem with slow speed. Notice also, even in classic story-land like in The Lord of the Rings, it is Saruman, the industrialist, who becomes quite mad while he looks down on the humble Hobbits who were very close to nature.
I look at our world today and everything is super-speed. We work fast. We play fast. We eat fast. We don’t have time for slow. And thus we have no time at all….no time to think… to appreciate… to reason….to converse….to pray… to listen. When I think of bedlam (a crazy house) I think of people complaining over and over again but doing nothing to really solve anything….repetitious actions that are sterile and meaningless. When I think of a psychopath I think of someone who gets pleasure out of someone else’s pain…..someone who has no moral compass….someone who can define love with hate. I wonder if….perhaps….when we let go of God’s hand we are sucked into a vortex of madness that speeds our minds up to the point where we no longer think and perhaps….we no longer feel. Being outside and working the soil does a great deal to pull me back from the brink. Cleaning house, playing a musical instrument, carving wood, painting a picture, talking to a child….remarkable opportunities to reacquaint ourselves with slow speed and the quiet of our inner life, jumping off the mad merry-go-around for awhile.
How many mass murders will it take us to realize that our society does not live in a vacuum. No teacher, no government, no parent can replace the sanity offered to us by God. When we lose Him we lose our minds…and our hearts. What is best in us comes from Him. We lose Him…we lose ourselves.
I don’t really think there are other gods (as I mention in the title)….but I do know that there are other powerful beings who want to be God and they will offer us anything and everything if we would just ignore God and treat everything that comes from Him as if we somehow deserved it all. They will speed us up and keep us busy with lots of stuff. The deceivers are clever….and they will reward you with much…but just remember….they are deceivers and…they are mad.