Round and about, we hear colloquial expressions that we don’t tend to think too much about, mostly because as humans we become inured to things that we hear often.

(I apologize in advance if this entry is a bit more graphic that my usual)

Consider where we get the phrase “drink the kool-aid” from.

In 1978, at the direction of their charismatic leader Jim Jones, 909 members of the People’s Temple died in the jungle in Guyana, all but two from apparent poisoning from drinking a mixture of powdered juice and cyanide. They included over 200 murdered children. I remember the TIME magazine cover that showed the vat of poisoned kool-aid surrounded by bodies. It was horrific. A lot of us watched the subsequent documentaries surrounding the incident.

In the months and years to follow, the lessons learned from that time have not dimmed for me. First, everyone is human, fallible and just as prone to being wrong as I am. No one has a corner on the truth, and while I can listen to and admire good teachers, I follow Jesus, not so-and-so over there. Second, every teaching I hear needs to line up with the Word of God, and the Spirit of truth that He has given me. He gave me discernment and a brain; I am not a feather, floating along on the next warm breeze. Jesus spelled it out pretty simply, love others as you love yourself, and that no one can love God who he has not seen, if he cannot love his brother whom he has seen. So, it’s about walking that kind of talk.

Right now, I am working on submitting my desire to take on people who say “drink the kool-aid” and educate them. Writing it out here is part of that process. Instead, I will pray for a spirit of discernment to come over them and for a deeper understanding of God and His purpose in leading us in love and life.

I don’t drink anyone’s kool-aid, nor do I want to. God made me in His image, and expects me to be thoughtful, intentional and grace-filled. The steps teach us how to deal with our internal workings so that walking out the intentional spirit-filled life is not a burden, neither is it mindless. It is an expression of an omniscient God’s intention that we should shine His great light in this weary, broken and harassed world.

Much love and grace my precious friends.

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;

accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.