From Enmity to Compassion

Enmity: A feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism

Did you know that you subscribe to a certain philosophy? Whether you know it or not, you hold a certain perspective on life that may be different than others in this world. Our dog Solomon doesn’t realize that he is classified as a Beagle breed but what is true of all dogs is that they all are of a certain breed.

So the question is, which breed are you?

Tonight I watched a great movie. My taste in movies has changed drastically over the past few years. I no longer wish to be entertained when watching a movie. Take a movie like Pirates of the Caribbean. There is little substance to it. It has visual effects and a star-studded cast but when the movie is over, I don’t sit there philosophizing about life.

The movie I watched tonight is called “The Parking Lot Movie”. It’s a pretty low budget movie I found on Netflix. It follows the lives of parking booth attendants in a college town in Virginia. It’s a documentary and is not visually striking but what it lacks in ambiance it makes up for greatly in scenes, stories, and real life interactions of the real world as we are all familiar with.

But my intent in this post is not to write up a synopsis of the movie. What you see in this movie is young men of low socioeconomic status dealing with a wide variety of people. Through their 3 x 3, dilapidated tollbooth window they interact with a variety of people who, on skin’s surface are different, but at the core are the same person. In fact, the tollbooth workers are the same as well yet they don’t even know it.

In a small universe that is a corner parking lot, drivers come through in their vehicles and treat these tollbooth workers with utter disrespect. In turn, what this does is it creates enmity between the tollbooth worker and the drivers who come through. The tollbooth workers develop a hatred for everyone that comes through. Day after day, vehicle after vehicle, they see the middle aged man who won’t give you the time of day, or the sorority girls who think that they can “cute” their way out of paying the 40 cent toll. Then there are the drunk partiers who vandalize the tollbooth. The list goes on.

The young, usually highly educated men who work at this tollbooth are typically men who are trying to figure out what to do in their life. They are, for the most part, existentialists who are desperately fighting despair as they try to find out what the point of life is; something to live and die for. The sad thing is that they either never find it, or worse, find some other purpose that they fight passionately for but can do nothing to fill the void in their life.

It’s a very spiritual world that we live in. I am not sure if many would argue against that fact when they really take a deep look at the world they are living in.

Our family subscribes to a certain philosophy of life, just like any other person does. To be self-aware of your worldview is a powerful thing. But even more powerful is when you subscribe to a view of the world that is able to answer all of life’s large philosophical questions. What’s my purpose? Why do people act the way they do? How did the world begin? Is there such thing as absolute morality? Christianity sufficiently answers all of these questions. Some may think that Christianity is a set of ignorant beliefs that people have to adhere to. But what I believe a true Christian to be is one who seeks truth at all costs. Truth is the greatest treasure that an individual can obtain but for some reason, many flee from it.

Christianity is founded on truth. It isn’t a religion that one man came up with while meditating alone one day. The power of fulfilled prophesy, archaeological evidence, historical evidence, philosophical coherency, and eye witness accounts places Christianity on a solid foundation that is different than other religions. It is a religion with evidence. It’s free to everyone, no matter who you are, but it’s also exclusive. No other philosophy or belief system will make you right with God. Jesus said that Himself.

One of the great things that Christianity has shown us, and is a powerful testament to its authenticity, is that the enmity that all mankind has toward each other can be taken away. When you see the world through the eyes of Christ, enmity turns to compassion. Compassion changes one’s actions and gives them a sense of purpose, something to live and die for.