The Bare Soul - August 12, 2007
The Vanity of Sanity

I vividly remember one day a year or so ago when I was out barefoot running. I was in prayer and meditation as I often am during my runs. On this particular day, I was praying out loud (when I thought I was alone) and I didn't notice a lady walking close to me. I heard her say under her breath ... "He IS crazy after all!" Hah! I guess she had first come to the conclusion I must be nuts since I was running barefoot. This was confirmed in her thinking because it appeared as if I was talking to myself! I remember laughing out loud when I heard her say this which must have doubly reinforced her surmising.

What may LOOK like craziness to one person may make total sense to the one doing it. These days, with ear buds and hands free telecommunications, it is sometimes hard to tell who might be dialoguing with themselves or in conversation with another. What I find is that most people are pretty wrapped up in their own lives and really don't have a lot of energy to worry about what I, or others, are up to. However, as a barefoot runner, I quit worrying about what people thought of me years ago for my seemingly insane behavior of running in all types of weather and temperatures in my bare footsies. It just hasn't mattered to me too much, I suppose, when someone yells from their passing auto, "Hey, get some shoes on!" or "Do you know how stupid you look?" For me, rude remarks are like the proverbial water off a duck's back. I just don't care what others may think regarding barefoot running. It works for me and that's all I really care about.

I prefer the supposed craziness or "insanity" that I partake in to the rather disturbing statement as outlined in the following scripture:

The hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. -  (Ecclesiastes 9:3)

This is a tough statement made by King Solomon around 3,000 years ago! Certainly doesn't lend a lot of hope toward the human condition. In fairness to the context of this verse, and many others of seeming hopelessness in the book of Ecclesiastes, it is noteworthy to point out the author's disposition. Solomon as a new king (and many years before writing Ecclesiastes) prayed to the Lord for wisdom to rule the kingdom of Israel. The Lord was pleased that Solomon had not asked for great riches and wealth, but instead to be a wise ruler. In answer to his prayer, the Lord gave him both great wisdom and wealth. In many ways, Solomon ruled with great wisdom and clarity, making peace with all his neighbors and setting the country on a path of prosperity it had never seen. However, I have often wondered about the wisdom of Solomon when reading how he took 700 wives and 300 concubines (e.g. maid servants or prostitutes)! Oy Vay! The sad fact to this point of judgment by Solomon is that his foreign wives eventually led him away from the Lord, which he goes into detail cataloguing these misadventures in the early chapters of Ecclesiastes. Solomon comes to the conclusion after much pain and personal research that "all is vanity" in comparison to knowing and serving God. He concludes that the best thing a man can do is to fear God and follow His commandments, because all men will stand before God to give an account.

Solomon spoke of the dilemma of humankind throughout their lives, as they stumble along without God. Humans will grope through life from one misadventure to another, always grasping, never obtaining, until they either die without Christ and continue their never-ending grasping and groping throughout eternity, or they will surrender to the love of God through His son, Jesus Christ, and rest in the eternal love that He gave us by his shed blood. God does not desire any of us to continue in the evil and the insanity, my friends. He has given us a remedy, for both mental and spiritual sanity. Oh, that the MOST any of us would have to experience is the muttering of a stranger that we might be nuts if we are talking to God under our breaths. The true insanity, and horror, will be the day when those who have shunned His grace and mercy stand before the Father of Light and are driven into darkness. There will be much muttering on that fateful day! These will have truly given up their body, soul, and spirit to the insanity of their own selfish desire to hold onto a life that was never really theirs in the first place.

It was once explained to me that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If the results of a self-controlled life driven by willpower are a constant disappointment, then it may be time to let God take control. Those who would seek a different outcome to a life filled with turmoil need only look as far as Jesus. He alone is the one who can stop the insanity. Sanity truly is a relative and vain pursuit without Jesus Christ. Only He can restore us to a life of sanity minus the vanity of human perception. Only He can restore us to true godly spiritual and mental health.

Your Humble Barefoot Servant!

Barefoot Rick

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