Humanity and Its Insanity

Sometimes I wonder why humans are the way we are, and how such small, insignificant creatures can do the incredible (albeit often horrendous) things we’ve done. Many of us aren’t even the weight of an average black bear, but how much more have we done to the planet? Black bears don’t build palaces or nuclear weapons, and they don’t have religious services or bake cookies or keep pets or write blogs. I think of all the crazy, amazing things humans do, and it seems insane that we’re capable of doing them, let alone that we do them every single day and barely ever think twice.

This is one reason I believe in a God. I simply find it impossible to believe that humans are yet another animal on a self-created planet. And this is not arrogance about how great the human race is; humans are horrible. We traffic each other and shoot each other and chop down the trees that we depend on for oxygen and melt plastics that destroy the atmosphere and abuse the beautiful, intricate animals that surround us. But we are certainly different from those animals. And it seems to me we must have been created from some different, higher pattern than gorillas were. A pattern, such as the image of God.

Christianity is the only place where I find a compelling explanation for humanity, with both its beauty and complexity and its stupidity and evil. If you think about the way we’ve been able to use the resources in this universe for the things we’ve done–like, I’m pressing down pieces of plastic (my laptop keys) with my fingers, and at the same time I’m translating complete thoughts into a written language that will show up on the light display of another piece of plastic (your own laptop), and you will be able to read it and understand my thoughts in exactly the way I thought them, maybe from some entirely different part of the world–human intelligence is nothing to sneeze at. But at the same time, we have wreaked an insane amount of havoc on this world and each other. Every human relationship I find is broken in some way; our wasteful manufacturing processes and pesticide use are broken; our treatment of animals is broken; and in many ways it seems like the world would be better off without us.

So, that’s one reason I believe in a God who made us “a little lower than the heavenly beings” (Psalm 8:5) and in a man and a woman who, though they were made with everything they needed, rebelled and broke God’s order and beauty. Humans are kind of insane things. No use denying that.

Slightly Overwhelmed. Like a Little.

I’ve been feeling like I’m stuck in a large, swirling, rather nebulous cloud of resources lately; it isn’t really writer’s block, since (I’m told) that’s a place where you hit a wall and there is no way out. It’s more like hitting a wall and having a hundred ways out. I am at the center of a labyrinth, and all the stone-faced tunnels around me are threatening to drive me insane.

This has been the marketing process: a thousand rabbit trails, a thousand potential venues for advertising myself, a thousand things I would rather not do. Frankly, it’s exhausting; my parents told me to just do the next thing, just do the next thing, it’s all in God’s hands, but figuring out what the next thing is seems to be a bigger problem than actually doing it. Should I write an email? A blog post? A Facebook post? Is it more important to get my church involved with a book signing or to recruit my relatives onto my email list? Where does the actual editing of my book fit into all of this?

The last week has consisted of me asking these questions, then reading my emails and finding more options and asking more questions, then doing several hours of research online to try and find some sort of resolution–and then not actually having time to do the things the research is telling me to do. This has happened almost every day. I have a full-time job at a Chick-fil-A in the mornings, but I feel like I am also working a full-time job in the evenings, and my morning work is–how can it even be?–a break. I’m telling you: writing a book is HARD.

However, I stumbled upon some food for thought in 1 Corinthians the other day, and it’s made me wonder if all of this craziness is okay. 1:27-29 says, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” My foolishness in regards to the publishing world–the idea that I could possibly ever market a book in less than a month, the effort I’m putting into avoiding the I’m-great-read-me speech that so many use (to maddening effect!)–might have some fruit, even if it goes against everything all the experts say. I don’t mean I’m trying to be stupid or expecting God to cook my dinner for me. I just mean, even if I do things in my arduous, confusing, and overwhelmed way, God can use me. We’ll have to see how He does it, but I’m confident He is able.

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