They’re quite popular in Europe you know.
First Nations People
In Canada what they call themselves keeps evolving.
Europeans are caught up in the romance of our aboriginals. A man from one of our daughter’s home Reserve is working,
as an “Indian,”
dressed like an “Indian”
riding a horse like an “Indian,”
for Euro Disney in some Wild West Show. He made a literal fortune (he flies back and forth on a regular basis), and married a Swedish beauty queen. Even when she came over here, walked into the squalor of his First Nation abode, and met the woman and children that he abandoned to pursue his dream in Europe, the beauty queen’s dream of being part of a real Indians’s life did not diminish her excitement. His alcoholism and domestic violence drove her away, but he quickly attracted and married another beauty. This one from the Netherlands. They’re living on the reserve even as I type. Our daughter is trying to teach her English.
Ain’t life something?
So what’s this got to do with anything? Well, I’ve said in the past that moving through life with Jesus as my guide has allowed me to “step into life’s sorrows, tragedies and loss with eyes wide open and chest bared to the blast.” When I say “chest bared to the blast,” I have a picture of an North American Indian on his horse, facing into a storm with stoic ferocity, unbent, unafraid.
I’ve also said before that we humans spend so much time trying to squirm out of our problems that we miss any and all learning that was meant for us to receive while spending time in our problems. Because of Jesus, because of His reality in our lives, because of His power and presence, we can stand fast, not with the strength of a stoic (Christianity is the opposite of stoicism) but with the power of the living and risen Christ.
We can refuse to run away; to escape to some worldly safe-haven of alcohol or whatever. Instead we can physically, emotionally and spiritually engage the wildness and unpredictability of life. We can accept the pain, absorb the loss, look tragedy squarely in the eye, for “we do not grieve as those who have no hope.”
We can do this because we are not alone. And as we do this Jesus works within life’s difficulties to make us fuller, richer, stronger followers whose character, little by little begins to resemble His own. Who we are becomes more than we’d ever dreamt we’d be.
There is a saying, “When great trials are avoided, great deeds remain undone.” I would add that when great trials are avoided, our souls growth into Christlikeness is diminished or even aborted.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control - the result of God’s Spirit dwelling richly in us comes only by stepping into life’s sorrows, tragedies and loss with eyes wide open and chest bared to the blast.