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A bit funny, “resilience” is a common theme at graduations and especially so this year, and yes, those who have crawled their way through this tunnel of covid chaos to complete their education, are certainly resilient.

However, I’m on a completely different life path, on another journey all together, as I should be at my age. I am also a defiant, so you know this word “resilient” must now be picked apart and strewn across the lawn, all that dirty laundry hanging out for the neighbors to see.

“Resilience” is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. I am chuckling here, resilience has never been an issue for me, whereas too much resilience certainly has been. I am tough as nails.

Seriously, the Lord has been dealing with my resilience for a long, long time! I’m so darn resilient, I don’t even need Him, which for a Christian can be really problematic. We all need Him, just on account of how, “in Him I have my breath and being.” So right off the bat, we are already on life support. His life support.

I dare you to try being “resilient” without any breath to work with.

“Life” is this strange paradox between really tough and persistent, and ridiculously fragile. Unlike many bugs, we don’t even get an exoskeleton! We actually get spiritual armor instead, or at least we do if we come to Christ and read the Bible. We need spiritual armor mostly on account of the fact that we are not bugs. It is not so much our physical bodies that are in danger, but rather our souls.

Addiction, mental illnesses, suicide, the state of our politics, gas prices, an uncertain future, these are the things that try men’s souls. These are not “mental health” issues, these are spiritual problems! We are always in constant danger of “soul rot” which tends to destroy us from the inside out. A lot of people are busy arming themselves to the teeth in this country right now, seemingly unaware that the greatest danger you or your loved ones will ever face is probably going to be from within.

Arm yourself to your heart’s content, I’m just saying that somewhere in between all the spam and ammo buying, we should also probably be asking ourselves if we have actually gotten right with the Lord.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” is a saying, an idiom, and also a book. It does not necessarily meme what you think it memes. It does not mean, all is well with my soul. It is more like a sharp and snarky, “I’m fine, everything is just fine,” when clearly nothing is “fine” at all. The book is actually about soldiers at war, experiencing extreme emotional and physical distress. “All quiet on the Western front” means complete stagnation in hell, nothing has gotten better, but we haven’t yet been blown to smithereens.

Sometimes I think what is wrong with us people in the Western world is that we simply adapt too well to circumstances and situations that should never be adapted to. We’re bloody stoics. We are far too resilient, far too busy priding ourselves on “toughening” it out. We need to stop bandaging up our wounds, stop pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, and just spend more time bleeding out all over the place.

Now you can fully understand why no one has ever asked me to speak at a graduation ceremony…..

When covid first hit one of the most discouraging things for me to bear witness to, besides the blind, unconditional obedience, were all these you-tubes and tik toks about how to just make the best of it. You can learn how to bake bread, start playing a musical instrument, start a podcast, serenade one another across the balconies! It’s so awesome, we love irrational lockdowns, constant political ideology, the erosion of our basic rights, the suspension of actual science, and the camaraderie of forever chanting, “better together.” Look guys, let’s all celebrate how adaptable we are!

There is this really fine line between, “the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events” and, “the ability to just keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” One is the definition of “resilience” and the other is the definition of “insanity.” For obvious reasons, it’s important to know the difference, and yes, there can be some frequent overlap between the two which blurs those lines even more.

What does it mean to “bleed out all over the place?” It means to stop being so resilient, to share your pain with others, and to lament, wail, and question the narrative.

In the US especially, we people tend to just stuff everything, our faces, our feelings, our struggles, and then to wash it all down with some drugs and alcohol.

I am one of those people who just cannot abide secrets, the tension in a room where everything is “fine,” but clearly it is not. You’ll have to forgive me, but I have endured far more of that kind of thing over the past couple of years then anyone should ever have to.

It’s not “fine,” nothing is “fine.”

It is well with my soul, I am just saying, the economy is not booming, we did not “get this country back on track,” gas prices are actually through the roof, and I’ve had quite enough of people peeing on my leg and trying to tell me it’s just raining.