Just Keep Livin
There are many reasons why I love living in Austin, Texas.
It's the live music capital of the world.
The BBQ is insanely good. So are the breakfast tacos. And the regular tacos.
The breweries are ridiculously amazing.
So are the wineries.
And the coffee shops.
There are ridiculous nature trails right in the middle of the city.
The heart of the Hill Country is just a ten minute drive from my house.
Austin is weird, creative, cosmopolitan, a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.
It's like I was destined to live here.
But right this minute I would have to say that the main reason why I love living in Austin, Texas is because it means I live in the same city as Oscar winning actor, and amazing human Matthew McConaughey.
Matthew McConaughey is kind of the patron saint of Austin. There's no bigger Texas Longhorns fan than Matthew. There's probably no one that loves Austin more, I'm thinking. Matthew and his wife quietly do a lot of charity work in and around the city.
But they are also doing some interesting things on a national level.
Yesterday I saw a PSA video that Matthew commissioned through his Just Keep Livin Foundation--an inspirational message that he created to keep people focused on defeating COVID-09, and to warn against the divisions that keep us from doing just that. Here's the video:
The music in the video is from Christian artists Anthem Lights, by the way.
I know what some of you might be saying. "Sure, some celebrity does something and you're making a big deal out of it. What about all of the regular people out there making a difference? Where's your Devo about them?"
Actually, this Devo is about them... only there is no "them." There is only "us."
McConaughey said the reason why he created the PSA was simple:
"Hey it's about us, as in the USA. We have to stay together, this is a human thing. Don't be divided. We don't need two wars. We have one, against the virus."What McConaughey has been constantly highlighting through all of his recent tweets, instagram posts, interviews, charity efforts and the like is that even though the world has changed---goodness, grace and peace haven't.
I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what has been lost as a result of the pandemic. It's overwhelming when you dwell on it, so I'm trying to think new thoughts.
But I also realize that no matter what new thoughts, new dreams, new ideas I might have---if I haven't changed, if I haven't been transformed and made better than nothing really changes. Fr. Richard Rohr once wrote:
A new idea held by the old self is never really a new idea, whereas even an old idea held by a new self will soon become fresh and refreshing.Maybe some of the old ideas about truth, beauty, goodness, kindness and what it means to be real community... maybe some of those old ideas will have new life in the transformed hearts of people who refuse to be gaslighted into thinking that we need to just go back to the way things were.
Jesus had something to say about this, too:
Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
There is new wine being made all around us from some old, and life-giving truths. We need to be open to the kind of transformation that will make us into new wineskins, ready to hold it.
May you find a new openness to the new things being born in the world around you. May you lean into the future with hope and expectation. May you be transformed and made new.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.