Friday, December 30, 2005

Thank God for Idealism--But Watch Your Ass

As believers, we are called to be practical idealists ("wise as serpents... gentle as doves"). Too often though, we forget about the idealist part. And I say that this is as true of me as it is of anyone.

So when I opened the paper this morning (something I rarely do; papers are so old school) and read about 16 year-old Farris Hassan flying by himself to Iraq having told almost no one, motivated by a desire to make a personal difference in the lives of the people there, I was stoked. Here was a young kid who was not only an idealist, but who was driven to act. Remember action, brothers and sisters? You might have read about it in church history somewhere.

Anyway, so this young man struck out on his own to Baghdad to pursue his passion to contribute personally to the new Iraq (and note that I'm not mentioning whether his motivations were for "peace" ala the left or "freedom" ala the right, because they aren't relevant here). Here's what was driving Farris, in his own words:
Life is not about money, fame, or power. Life is about combating the forces of evil in the world, promoting justice, helping the misfortunate, and improving the welfare of our fellow man. Progress requires that we commit ourselves to such goals. We are not here on Earth to hedonistically pleasure ourselves, but to serve each other and the creator. What deed is greater than sacrificing one's luxuries for the benefit of those less blessed?
Farris does not profess any particular faith, but I wonder if he will be one of those who says to Christ on Judgment Day, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?" (Matt 25)

So thanks for your idealism, Farris. Temper it just a little with some wisdom and judgment and you will be a long-standing force to be reckoned with.


At 5:23 PM, Anonymous tenacity said...

Do a little Googling. The whole world is talking about this kid, and people from Switzerland to France to French Canadia seem to have a general consensus: if more young people decided the human condition is worth more than their money, ealth, or safety, the world would be a very different place. Or, as many people have agreed, "the kid has serious stones, man." There's a LOT of film, from each point on his trip, as the AP found and covered his gig.

I'm not saying it was bright, but it was brave, and an example to the materialistic humans in this world that the truth is impossible to decipher from a distance.

He's a young man now - he's old enough to take his life and future into his own hands. People his age have been killing other people in wars for centuries - what would happen if more of them fought for peace?

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Jody said...

i had a similar reaction to this story when i heard about it. i admire his determination to act, to go with what he believed. passivity seems to be a curse of our day (definitely including my life). also agreed that wisdom is needed in combination with boldness.



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