Friday, May 8, 2015

Innocent Intentions (PB&J Banana Oatmeal Recipe)

Peanut Butter and Jelly. What a childhood comfort. A familiar taste that links to warm fuzzy memories of an innocent time.

I've taken the manifestation in the most healthful, delicious form of oats, and I'd like you to enjoy them. Read on for the recipe.

You know how when you grew up, everything started becoming less innocent? Everyone started having other faces, people started possessing ulterior motives. Actions started having depth to read. Emotions started to tangle with expectations. There was a new expansion of wavelength to ponder, and life started to have too many connections and branches to keep up with. Since when did such exacerbated complications come up?

Along with the fact that now every aspect of life had a double meaning, life now is more of a competition. The competition to be on either end of the spectrum, the farthest away from the neutral. The poorest take pride in their poverty. The most fashionable brag about their never ending wardrobe. The unintelligent are defensive with other tactics. It's always about being the one at the end across a line that no one else can measure up to.
And that drive to be "better" than others has become a determining life motive.

Our motives for actions are anything but pure by now. On a wide scale, we are all propelled by others. Not by ourselves, not by anything but others. We are materialistic to impress with our possessions. We train ourselves to adopt the kind of being, the kind of life, admirable in the eyes of others. We draw from what is adored, and adorn what is drawn by society. We are lost in the pointlessness of others.

So the childhood innocence has been lost. Gone were the days of playing with the next door neighbor, blind to race, gender, personality, or intelligence. Amiss is the compassion that comes with the sharing of afternoon snacks and the application of Band-Aids. Aloof we are from the unjudgmental, forgiving, accepting people we were... Before we were taught to adjust to anything different.

What I find saddest about the process of growing up: the loss of pure intention. We no longer do good deeds for the right purpose. We no longer tithe out of the conviction of our heart, but rather because the pastor has informed us it's what a proper Christian should do. We no longer smile and sit next to the new girl at school because we know she needs a friend, we do so to save face amidst the teachers who are silently grading your character. Why do you stop and dig in your pockets for the Salvation Army buckets, buy a few Girl Scout cookies, invest in a non-profit raffle? We do so to feel good about ourselves. We have been taught to do "the right thing" or "be the wrong person."
The worst?
When we do good to build a reputation.

And sure, it may seem like a loathsome art of passive aggression... A way to stick it to any unsuspecting person of the actual kindness in our heart with empathic pictures of your past mission trip pasted on a Facebook wall. But I loved Matthew 6 quite recently. It was terribly convicting. (Matthew 6:1-4)

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

I love that. In a world where intentions are screwed with, actions are weighed against reputation, and hypocrisy is a way of life... We forget to remember that nothing is hidden, masked, or blinded against our Father. He sees all, and He sees all we try to edit in life. Don't put on airs because you donate yourself. And don't give yourself for the praise of being upright.
Learn again to connect with your heart, telling only God about it.

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