I’ve been telling you a lot about the importance of your family, so I thought I take a few minutes to explain what I’m talking about.
Look, it’s like this: God isn’t all-powerful. God does whatever God can to help you out, and one of the nicest things he does is surround you with people that mean something to you, and who you mean something to. A lot of times, these are your kinfolk, you blood relations. But, a lot of times, those are other people in your life– your friends and such. There’s that old saying, “You can’t choose your family.” That’s totally wrong. You can’t choose your relatives, but you certainly damn well can decide who your family is.
There’s a lot of hippy talk about tribes and clans and whatnot in some countercultures, but that’s not what I’m talking about. What I mean by family is, like I said, who are the people who you’d want to say goodbye to if you knew you were gonna die? Here’s another way to think of your family: who are the people who you don’t limit based on spacetime? In other words, there are some people who you are so close to, that you could be a thousand miles away and see each other every ten years, but every time you get together it’s like you just saw one another yesterday.
There’s another fantastic thing about your family. Remember how I’m talking about God, and how God needs our help to experience this place we’re in? Well, your family is what primarily shapes your experience, which means that your family is really a church. Seriously! God’s house isn’t some building with a steeple and some guys in black, it’s all the most important people in your life who you interact with. That’s how God lives and works and does miracles, through the church of people in your life. That’s the way God gets valid experience.
This sounds all trite and such, I know, but I’m not talking about ‘love thy neighbor, Zuzu’s petals, blah blah blah.’ I’m talking about a better way of interacting with people, a better way of helping one another live responsibly, a better way of thinking about the value of your relationships. Think of it this way: you’re already the member of this amazing invisible church, totally transparent to the authorities, who can help one another, be there for one another when shit goes down. What you do with that family is sacred, even more sacred than going into a place of worship and saying a prayer. Even the simplest acts that make you happy are Holy when you do them with your family members. When you have an awesome barbecue with your family, and drink cheap beer and shoot the shit for a few hours, that is a Holy Sacrament.
And another thing: there’s this “family of humankind” thing a lot of people talk about. That’s nice. But your FAMILY family comes first. It’s good to help the poor and disadvantaged, but a lot of you are the poor and disadvantaged. So helping your family is helping the poor and disadvantaged. You think you can really ‘take care of the poor, help those in need?’ Great, go for it. But don’t do it at the expense of your family.
Now, you might have two or more families. Some people in your family might not know other people in your family. You may even have only one additional family member. Numbers ain’t important– like I said, everybody gets to decide just what ‘family’ means, but it’s important to realize these things, especially since times are changing and it’s getting hotter and colder and might get harder to come by some things.
So what do you do? So far, a lot of people know this kind of thing informally. You’ve got pals who you say, “you’re like my brother/sister/cousin.” You get together every now and again, eat meals together, watch a movie. But it’s informal. Now, though, it’s time to make it formal. Everybody TELL people. Say, “You’re in my family. You need something, I’m here, no questions asked. You need somebody to vouch for you, I’ll do it. You’re a member of my church, and you and I together are making the world better for one another, and for the rest of our family members.” Nobody really in your family is gonna balk at the idea– they’re gonna agree that it’s a fine thing to have a bunch of people who always help each other out like family members do, and that this is one of the best ways God works in the world.
I know this whole ‘social media’ thing gets a lot of flak these days, but one of the nifty things about it is how it makes it easier for you to keep in touch with your family. It’s a good tool to use!
I’ll have more to say about your family, but if you’re with me, you pretty much already know what I’m talking about. Now it’s just time to say it out loud.
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