The life and world as we have known it - at least for MY life - will be changing. And it may be ending. I don't remember who said it, but I remember a very profound quote: "We are living in a nation where the belief in God and heaven and hell has ended. I can't think of anything more hopeless than to live believing that there is nothing left for us after this life."
And this is the crisis we face. Our nation is filled with hopeless people.
Hopelessness is a lack of faith. Faith in one's God, one's self, others. Faith in life itself.
If we don't have faith, don't believe in anything or anyone, then there is no reason to work, to play, to grow, to experience, to encourage, to live.
We are becoming a nation of wimps. We are so dadgummed afraid to offend someone, that we will intimidate into silence those who speak the truth. We are so accustomed to coddling those who will not take responsibility for their actions, that we bail them out of every jam they get themselves into. We are so convinced that those have who never provided for themselves can't, so we prop them up and arrange the world around them, perpetuating the cycle. We give birth to children and never allow them to mature and become adults; adults who support themselves and do not rely on government agencies or charities to save their tails. We teach them that the phrase "government of the people, by the people and for the people" means that government is there to take care of them. To provide for them.
What happened to us?
We have gone from the Greatest Generation to Flower Children to Generation X. Did the Greatest Generation not pass on to their descendents the traits that allowed them to overcome so many difficulties, conquer such evil, create vast industry, and witness incredible progress? Did us, as those who stride in the shadows of that age that overcame so much, rely upon their accomplishments and become lazy?
Or did we reach that point of diminishing returns? Did we build and spend and borrow until we created an excess that offends even our own selfish, spoiled sensibilities?
I am well aware of the complexities of the economic issues that our nation and the world face. I am not arrogant enough to claim to grasp even a small portion of it. It is greater than I.
Yet my Lord is greater than any financial, housing, mortgage or military crisis that we face today or tomorrow. I have confidence in knowing that this world is not all there is. I have faith that when my heart stops beating and my lungs stop breathing, my soul will leave my body and this Earth and go to another place. This other place is where I will meet my Lord. This other place is where I will account for the things I have done in this life.
I know these things. I believe these things. I have faith.
A sad fact is that even if others don't believe as I do, they will still face the same accounting. Believing in God is not a requirement for his existence. Denying Him does not eliminate Him.
I have decided that many in our country who rely upon others, when they are capable of doing for themselves, do not have faith in themselves. They lack this faith because they never saw it lived out before them. They lack this faith because we have told they are "underprivileged" and "disadvantaged" and "discriminated against."
I am not saying that discrimination has ended. It has not.
I'm saying that discrimination has been the excuse of choice. I'm saying that we should stop making excuses for others. I'm saying that they should stop accepting those excuses. I'm saying that ALL of us should stop making excuses for why we haven't achieved the things of which we are truly capable. There is no excuse for not doing what we can do.
As long as you hold on to excuses, you can't begin to believe in yourself. Why should you? You're underprivileged, disadvantaged and discriminated against. If you can't believe in yourself, then faith will forever elude you. And without faith, you will have no hope.
We can talk about change. We can talk about believing. We can talk about hope. But until we have hope in the Right Thing, hope in the Truth, we will always be looking for something more. We will always be looking for some magical change to make things easier, better, nicer. We will believe lies.
My perspective on all things political and economic right now centers on faith. We, as a nation, have placed our faith in things that are temporal. We have failed to remember Who allows each breath and to worship Him for that and the endless list of other gifts. I honestly believe that God is teaching a lesson to those of us who will learn. He is reminding us that this world is His creation, and He, alone, controls it. He is letting us see the flaws in the systems that we have planned and the programs we have in place. He is allowing us to fail so that we can learn from our mistakes.
There are those who will disagree with me. That's fine. This is my blog, and I'll say what I want. I've been pretty quiet lately. I haven't had anything on my mind that I felt was even remotely interesting or memorable to share. But this - our Crisis of Faith - has been nagging at me for days. I don't know that I have shared it effectively. I've simply let my thoughts flow out my fingers.
Just remember that we are in this together. If we spend money we don't have, then what must we sacrifice to afford it and repay it? Are we not doing the same with our federal spending that we criticize in those who borrowed more than they could afford to repay? Are we not in effect "maxing out our credit cards?" Who will preside over the federal government's bankruptcy? China? Saudi Arabia? Some other wealthy country whose ideals and beliefs are not compatible with ours? In an effort to appease those who can't pay their bills (many through no fault of their own), are we signing a promissary note that will haunt our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the rest of their lives?
I don't know the answers. But I am honestly concerned that there are people making decisions about our money - YOUR MONEY and MINE - that have no real understanding of what they are doing.
What part of increasing our deficit don't they understand?
Thankyouverymuch. (stepping off soapbox. smiling sheepishly.)
And if you have stuck with me this long, you deserve a "reward" of some kind. Here's some silliness I captured around our house lately.
I have no explanation for this...
He is convinced he is Cookie Monster when he wears this. And Cookie Monster sounds a lot like a horse.