Many times, I find myself insufficiently interested enough in the headlines of the day or even the hidden stories requiring discovery to write about them. That makes for what is sometimes called writer’s block. But that’s not what it really is. In reality, it is the failure to pick up the pen and begin to write or the failure to open a blank word-processing document and start pushing buttons.
Yes, I’m having one of those days today, but you’re seeing the results of one of tried-and-true methods of executing a sensible missive.
I get this way because, for a while, I’ve had a low-level sense that we should be concentrating on more than the outrages of the day, even those that imperil our republic. And, yes, I realize that this sense comes through in many of my posts.
But, as is so with every human being, some event in my personal life has had the effect of cold water on my thinking. The thing which will usually do this to an individual is death and that is true of me. It was someone I used to be very close to and we never mended our breach. The good thing is that, over the years, I prayed for him frequently.
Since the revelation, I’ve been thinking of the concept of eternal life and I’ve concluded that most people, even Christians, only give lip-service to the concept until someone we love dies – especially if that person dies young. Or maybe I’m the one who was just giving it lip-service. (I’ve had loved ones pass away before, but they were of great age.)
Anyway, my grief has altered what I think is important — or, perhaps, it has amplified what I already knew. Where we are headed in the next portion of life (aka the afterlife), how we treat others in this portion of life are higher up there now. Fired FBI dude McCabe losing his pension, for example, not so high.
Here’s how I would label this altered state: the latest way that God has blessed me. Hopeful, readers will not wait for God to bless them in like manner.
But His grace is sufficient for me.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.
Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!
This morning I posted two statuses on my Facebook page that received a lot of reaction. The one I want to discuss is this one.
There are two types which are the opposing sides of the same coin: “Trump-worshippers” and “Trump AntiChristers[i].” The first group is much more vocal than the last one (coined by me), but they have the same MO. One group says that you will go to Hell if you didn’t vote for Donald Trump; the other says that you will go to Hell if you did. And both groups can take scripture and twist it into something unrecognizable to prove their respective conclusions.
Prophets[ii], all–according to them–and for such people, there is no middle ground.
Both types are rooted in denial of the sovereignty of God, to put it mildly. They invert this admonition.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
This type of thinking is the result of an erosion of our civic education and the resultant erosion of the separation of powers. Because the executive and judicial branches have become so powerful and the legislative branch so craven, we accept that power imbalance without thinking it over too much or at all.
Thus, we unconsciously inculcate the presidency with God-like authority—an authority which it was never meant to have. Many think that the abdication of legislative powers started when Barack Obama became President, but that’s very wrong.
The erosion of biblical education has run parallel to that of civics. Trump worshippers have called Donald Trump the New Nebuchadnezzar or the New Cyrus—both biblical foreign kings who held ancient Judah in captivity after the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Israel and the first sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple.
Is Trump foreign? Is he a monarch? Has America been razed and all Americans been carried off into a foreign land? Has Washington, DC been sacked? Does America have a singular Temple/Church building? You get the point.
As for Trump AntiChristers, they say, because of his political flip-floppery and his moral flaws, that anyone who votes for him is damned by God—not just the worshippers. Anyone.
I recall one criteria for human beings to be eternally saved and two commandments from my Lord and Savior; none of them have anything to do with voting. And I don’t even believe that Christians who voted for Clinton will be damned. Corrected by listening to God, but not damned.
So, it is that many are driven emotionally—driven by fear of things other than God–when presidential elections come around. They view their candidate as the savior from the last ruler, the like-minded as fellow believers, the opposing candidate(s) as the Devil, and skeptics/political opponents as unbelievers/heretics. Corresponding reactions follow.
It’s always about God. When He’s missing in the soul of anyone, that person will allow something or someone else to fill the void and they will call it “God.” And that goes also for many who say they are Christians.
The weekend posts at Ace of Spades HQ are, for the most part, interest-specific. The guns, food, gardening threads, and my favorite, the Sunday Book Thread, are posted by Ace’s co-bloggers, giving the proprietor the weekend off. Usually.
Today, however, there’s a people story posted by one of the co-bloggers, WeirdDave; it’s a recount of a possible attempted grift/robbery. Or, perhaps it was merely a cavalcade of incompetence from an observer’s viewpoint; Dave isn’t sure. Go read it; then come back.
In the comments, many are lamenting the decline of competence–that old can-do spirit–among Americans born later than the Baby Boomer Generation and I agree. I’m a late-born Boomer–1961–but I can’t point the finger too much, however, without pointing at myself. I’m a city girl and a bit of a BAP. However, there are many things that I learned to do in my middle age or had to do because of perceived lack of resources.
A small example: I sell items on the usual websites know for selling and when I went shopping for packing materials, I was appalled at the prices. So, I went online looking for DIY packing materials. When I found them, my response was, “of course.” I made virtually free packing materials using things I would normally put in the recycle bin: balled-up circulars–which perennially clog my mailbox–and shredded paper stuffed and stapled into brown paper lunch bags. (The bags did cost $2 for two hundred.) I was proud of myself for finding the information, but, in hindsight, it seemed so obvious. And, therein lies another revelation.
You can do what you have to do when you are determined to do what you want to do. And, more often than not, your solution(s) will be right in front of you if you are looking for them. It’s a feature of God’s grace.
And I think that’sthe issue which Dave and the commenters are observing: lack of desire to learn new skills , lack of desire to acquire new abilities, lack of desire to improvise, to adapt, and to overcome. It’s a dearth of vision and of faith.
We have become so used to convenience that, when faced with inconvenience and/or adversity, many of us panic or become angry–as if our rights have been violated. We have forgotten that this is a world of Murphy’s Law–if we ever actually learned it in the first place—and, therefore, we fail to make contingency plans for feces to happen. And when feces does happen, we give up—or throw a fit, which amounts to the same thing.
Determination is the missing element in much of 2014’s American population, and I predict that determination’s presence will be the key element of survival in the tougher times to come.
The good thing about determination, though, is this: it’s free…like God’s grace.