I’ve been a native Texan my whole life, going on twenty-five years now, so you think that I would be used to the heat. But every Summer, like clock work, I’m surprised at how hot it gets in the Lone Star state. And I know I’m not the only one, because I hear it from all over when I’m out and about. Temporary friendships are made in Texas all the time from two strangers commenting to each other on just how hot it is, and how the heat compares to years prior. A bond forged in fire, often lasting only a conversation.
But do we honestly forget how hot it gets?
Short Reflections on Small-Mindedness
I’ve been a native sinner my whole life, or, for those of you non-Christians out there, I’ve been no stranger to making bad decisions from jump street. I didn’t have to be taught how to say “no”, how to not share things, and how to be a jerk in general. To this day, it’s sometimes second nature to be a bit of a crap head to people, to not have grace to those around me, be impatient, or perhaps judge someone unfairly. Why do I fall back on these habits and tendencies? Is it that I have a short-term memory, forgetting either why I shouldn’t treat people that way, or forgetting the undesirable outcomes? Perhaps, it’s because there’s a part of me that doesn’t actually care. The will of the flesh easily trumps the will of the spirit, or to put it another way, it’s easy to care about yourself over anyone else.
There’s a line in a Kendrick Lamar song that vaguely correlates, and since I love Kendrick Lamar I’m going to share it.
“Cold as December but never remember what Winter did,”"Pride" - Kendrick Lamar
I have two brothers, one who is four-years older than me, and another who is six-years older than me. As it stands today, we have a great relationship. They are two of the best men I know, and I count them as my best and closest friends. However, a short trip back in time to the days of my late teen years, I had a fairly tumultuous relationship with Chase, the middle child. We would get into fights regularly, and the fights always had echoes of the previous fight, and the fight before that. It was a cycle, one that I could see plainly. In fact, in my supreme self-righteous ignorance at the time, I would tell him why we were fighting, and why we would eventually get into another fight just like it. I was smart enough to see the pattern, to know the words and actions I would take that lead to the fight, and then throw it in his face as a way to resign myself to our relationship. “Yes, I love you, brother, but this is the same crap we keep going through, and I’m tired of it. Let’s agree to stop fighting for the day, until we inevitably go through it all over again.”
Well, if I could foresee our fights, doesn’t that rule out forgetfulness? Yes, because I didn’t forget. Instead, I refused to acknowledge my own pride, and didn’t want to accept that my contribution to our fights could be mitigated by a simple heart check, and swallowing said pride. And eventually, I did. It wasn’t easy, and it’s something that I have to remind myself of, lest I forget how easy it is to fall back on my pride. I still make poor decisions, and I still have that second nature to be a crap head. It’s a daily ritual of deciding to push aside as much of myself as possible, trusting that good will come of it.
Is There A Point?
I wouldn’t want to waste your time with ruminations on the weather or a personal story of pride without hopefully leaving you with something. And I pray (or “intentionally think” if you aren’t into prayer) that that’s already happened. But at the danger of not sticking the landing, allow me to leave you with this:
I don’t actually forget how hot it gets in the Summer. And I don’t easily forget what kind of person I should be, it’s simply easier to be the person my flesh wants me to be, moment to moment.
I don’t truly believe I’ll ever get used to the Summer heat… and I think that’s a good thing.
Thanks for giving me your time, friends. I’ll see y’all down the road soon.