Flying doesn’t make me as tired as it should. I’m home, and I’m still amazed at how that strikes me. I’m 24.99999; I’m not supposed to appreciate my hometown yet.

Anyway, I do. My parents’ office desk is covered with their life as it always has been, but add in this thick stack of multi-colored post-it notes (not post-it brand, curiously) and a new purple stapler. Big purchases happen when you’re gone. People buy purple staplers. The keyboard here requires more effort than my laptop.

They say that life isn’t rainbows and butterflies, or sunshine, that the world isn’t fair. And check, check, check, check: it isn’t. But I wonder what the difference makes? If you believe in things like that, I mean. Does pessimism protect you?

I don’t think that anything earthly can really protect you from the bad in the world, definitely no effort of your own. My guard doesn’t keep people from hurting me emotionally any more than my driving safely guarantees my life being spared on the road. “Well,” you say, “you drive safely though, don’t you?”

Most of the time. But I don’t drive safely because I’m under the delusion that I am saving my own life. I do it because it seems like the right thing to do. So along that vein, I do things with my heart that I feel are the right thing to do, and with all due respect to those of you who think that I should protect it, “No.”

I don’t think it’s worth it, to hold back, to fear for yourself. Aren’t people already doing that for me? If a tenth of the people who I love love me back, I have more than enough people desiring my good. If none of them desire my good? Well, my Father does. And He’s enough for me. He has this world in His hands.

What am I saying, what am I saying…I’m saying that it seems silly to the world to think that money doesn’t matter, that forgiveness is always the answer, that humility is {really though] better than self-confidence, that love isn’t love if it ends, that God is REAL, and so much more real than our desperate attempts to describe Him make Him seem, that this world is unworthy of our biggest dreams, that there is more than this.

And then they think I don’t love the pretty things here? Because I say that? On the contrary. I believe that God shines through in art, in human imagination, especially in the magic that is nature. That feeling you get, in the grass or on the beach when the sun is out and you’re listening to a song that makes your shoulders creep up and your toes curl under – when your eyes are forced closed and gravity loses some of its pull on you – I feel that, too. And that’s what I believe in, even when I see the bad things of the world, even as I acknowledge their existence, that’s what I believe in.

Politics? I don’t know. Was Jesus elected? Nope. The world has a heart problem, folks. You can’t legislate that away. Making it easier to be a Christian in America doesn’t make America more Christian. What are we really trying to do, here? What can government really do that’s good that we couldn’t do as hands and feet if we took the time to do it? WHAT ARE WE DOING? Talking? Or doing? Are we loving in word or in deed and in truth?

I just think that we could use more sunshine and rainbows – not in order to hush away the hurt that truly exists, but to display the honest truth that the other side exists, too. That peace exists, too. And that we can be that is what I think is being forgotten. Can you put down your phone and look people in the eye? Can you be conscientious enough to know when someone needs you to listen or to speak? If they need your money or your time? Could you forget yourself long enough to be what everyone around you needs, even at the expense of yourself?

This life is almost comically short. Decades. Just decades, and we’re gone. Gone. No photo or beautiful memory or experience or vacation or accomplishment leaves this world. We are thrust, quickly, into an eternity that is unimaginable, either wonderfully or horribly so. And we’re worried about bills? Career? Popularity? If Donald Trump will be president? People are dying and going to hell TODAY. A preacher said that at a Bible conference probably a decade ago and I can’t get it out of my head. And I worry about a test? Sometimes I think we all need to wake up and focus on the only thing that lasts – souls – before we come to the feet of Jesus and the best we have to offer Him is a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, some well-bred kids, a profitable simple IRA, a good education, an award here and there, and a successful career. God, I hope I never get any of that if it distracts me from what matters.

I believe that the lofty things will last – goodness, hope, mercy, grace. I’m not going to wait until heaven to try and live by them because they are “unrealistic.” I’m not going to glorify the bad things because they are, “human.” *because frankly, my dear, that’s a cop out. And I’m mostly tired of pretending that I’m doing enough to do the most important thing that Jesus has asked me to do: tell people how real He really is.