Our world at any second stands on the brink of destruction, we set poised to face annihilation by people who stand as abject rulers to either prosper a period of peace or anarchy such as those despots of the early 20th century. We are awash in seas of supposition, where one opinion is as common as the other and everyone has the answer and no one has an answer. Our streets are overridden with crime, our jails are overcrowded with the criminal. Our society is a paradox within itself, we castigate those who would commit a crime (especially against us) and yet we purport the need for timeless chances of opportunity especially for the most egregious of sins. Our politicians rank at an all-time low in the confidence department, and yet we tell them to vote their conscious on whatever vote they participate in. Our media is so egregious in their decisions to tell a subjective truth, our cynicism reaches new lows of perception when we understand their points of view are based solely on the need to make money. Christian churches are on the decline in attendance, largely because there is a growing sentiment of exclusion, of boredom with what is perceived as antiquated, because culture has demanded religions of thousands of years conform to ideologies existing for less than a decade. Finally, our family foundations are eroding faster than we can comprehend, our society has written a new definition of what should be considered a family and why it should be considered a family, and culture’s need for inclusiveness has embraced these changes as though they were the goose which laid the golden egg, and in some projective manner they can see their fortune’s star rising. Although, belief in the devil isn’t a popular one anymore, it doesn’t mean he isn’t set on the destruction of each and every one of us. Look at the most basic forms of our society and see how they are in shambles and torn from the very fabric of the love we desire.
The love we seek in life is as basic to us as breathing. Look at anyone who was forced to live a life seeking love but never finding it. The history books are replete with examples of tyrants who turned away from love and even our society at large now has an attraction to those who would seek personal gain over altruistic unselfishness. This machine is so large, I would imagine, like myself, most of us don’t have a solution to stop it. Like shouting into the storm, our voice won’t ever be heard, our common sense understanding of the problem will become lost in the myriad of other problems we will face in a single day or week. We can’t slowdown of course, because slowing down is like stopping and stopping means our attempt to get ahead in this life has now become defunct, and for anyone who’s ever lost a job or been on the rough end of a job search, this is an awful place to be. Bills pile up, stresses increase, our own self-identity is questioned leaving our self-esteem in tatters. Stopping must never be allowed, a rest is all we can give ourselves, and even then it’s more like a nap. We work in jobs we don’t necessarily like, we create paradigms of justification for poor decision-making, and above all we risk losing those things which have the potential to give us the most joy in life. Our family.
Our families are there to support us, to guide us through those tough times we choose to endure. Our families seek to prevent us from making monumental mistakes and hurting ourselves as well as others, but what our families should do above all else is love us. They love us with unconditional responses binding us in eternity. Those family members wither when we choose to turn away from them, when we castigate them for not thinking everything we say and do is of a solid gold nature, and yet we deride them for not following us like lambs to the slaughter. We punish them through our passive aggressive natures and diminish their self-worth by blaming them for failing to love us the way we envisioned, rather than the unconditional means with which they offered us. Their willingness to stand by our side at any level of a storm, indicates their love, our willingness to push them away for failing to know what we are thinking or to have the courage to tell us “no” is like abandoning a child on a cold night to fight the devil alone.
Here is where our society has diminished itself to, a ripping apart of the fabric within our families and culture, to give us a perception of no hope. As if we hang by a string, above a chasm of uncertainty and despair, knowing within ourselves, one false slip will send us into the abyss never to return. Nothing could be farther from the truth, nothing could be more false, and as a great deception many believe the lies told on behalf of the devil.
Where then do we go, if where we are at is so bad? First of all, slow down, stop, and look down. Recognize, the power to move the mountain is in the faith you have in God. The ability to realize a joy and a peace at the very center of your being, at the very nature of our soul, is the embrace of knowing God is there within us. God sees what is happening to each and every one of us, and the culture we create. Compassion is what is needed, the love of all people is warranted, and the ability for us in our love and compassion to say “no” to each sin we encountered is a must. I know people who are hurt, who are alone, who are dismayed, and who are just plain angry in life. I was each of these at one point or another, and I can say with experience, there is a light, there is a truth, and there is a love seeking us all if only we would look up from the shadows and recognize what it is. All cannot be made to fit our desires, but we can all be made to recognize the purpose needed in a single step we take every day.
Our society seems to be bound for hell in a handbasket at any second, but is this really true? Look at the details, where the devil is in them, there is also a second and more venerating portion. The portion of God, who is the very nature of being itself (as Thomas Aquinas makes in Summa Theologica), the portion of the tragedy we face as the blessings we are given as a result. From the most simplistic desire to help, to a point of truth which won’t fade or be destroyed, regardless of the attempts to do so. So is our world actually on a wobble, yes and no. It stands to wobble and destroy all, concerning those who seek truth within themselves, but for those who find God in all things, the wobble is an effect of a faithless rabble hoping to upend those truths set forth for each and every one of us. Take for instance, the vast number of vocal Christian beginning to stand up for their faith, the movement is inspiring, the number of people willing to stand up and resist the media machine bound for destruction grows by the day. Look at the programs which minister to the down—trodden or to the incarcerated, they grow as the believers of Christ dig in for a spiritual fight against an unseen enemy.
Some say, we should turn away from a modern age and become centered on the principles we know. St. Francis of Assisi, considered by some to be the finest example of a Saint, renounced what he was promised for a life of struggle and poverty. Even when Jesus is asked by the rich man what he still lacked, Jesus instructed him, in order to be perfect he must give away all his possessions (Matt 19:21) undoubtedly scripture inspiring a young St. Francis. So, is this the answer? Maybe for some, maybe for those who seek a life, embracing these very understandings is what they need. For those of us with families, what do we do? We can’t very well give away all our possessions and quit our jobs? No, this would be most irresponsible and foolish. Taking a story literally can sometimes be the best medicine, but looking into the essence of what was being conveyed carries with it the ability for all of us to become “fishers of men” as Simon/Peter was beckoned with by Jesus on the shore of the Galilee. (Matt 4:19) Our desire to stop this machine, this massive wheel of society which turns unforgivingly towards, what seems an impending destruction, requires every person, on a singular scale to walk in the footsteps of Christ. This is to say, to embrace what he was doing on this earth, to understand the Lord of all made himself small that we might understand his love for us, and even unto death we watched in agony, and knew his life is what we must go towards in all we do.
In all we do, in all we see, we must put God at the very top. This instructs us to place God as the focal point of our lives, especially the role of the family as it pertains to all we do as we interact with those who are so willing to unconditionally support our lives and decisions. From this most basic level of understanding, from the singular actions we take each day, an up swell begins to occur. The hedonistic life/lie begins to erode itself, because a lie is nothing more than a movement of the shadows to fool us into believing a truth cannot exist. On the day when our earthly life ceases to exist, we are alone with our creator, we are looking into the face of God, and we are subject to his love. We, through our life and the choice made, have determined if we embrace who loves us, or we beg for entry into a pit of ice and despair which seeks to burn us in our solidarity and sinful desire to put self above others especially God.
When we can begin to make decisions which suit us and our lives with a purpose larger than life itself, love, then we can begin to order our lives in just such a way as to lay a foundation of principled decisions. This will manifest itself in such things as elections, what money is spent on what entertainment is provided, and the influences our culture embraces. When enough people are willing to just stop watching, voting, and participating in a lifestyle full of poor choices, we will find even the most hardened of businesses will have no choice but to capitulate. The people, the consumers, the voters, the every person has the power to change what is happening, but without the presence of God in our lives, without resting our weary hearts in God’s goodness, we will follow the machine to perdition.
It took me sometime to realize just what I had standing before me, a life full of love, if I was just willing to accept my own arrogance as the hindrance preventing me from realizing the depths to which I must go in order to fully know a joy so warming and kind as to be a spiritual nurturing like none other. A truth which is so resolute, I can know no other truth, and a reality so sobering, I cannot turn my head to anything else no matter how hard I try. It wasn’t until I understood what was standing before me, did I realize, how disjointed I’d become in my pursuits of self. An alignment of painful realities set my focus to stand before what I know to be truth, and to shout it from the roof tops if possible. Since I’m a very private person, my blog was one of the first steps in this process, exposing a truth of sin in my life and a dereliction to faith was the only way I knew I could, through action, represent a redeeming quality of love. This isn’t to say, I’ve mastered anything yet, I see the path I must walk, and I find it difficult to stay on the path most days. However, when my foot steps onto the gravely pebble laden path, I sense a rightness and centeredness to my life, which makes my heart leap at just the thought.
This Christmas season, starting the 25th of December ushers in another wonderful time in our lives, a rebirth of our lives after a winter of darkness and cold. God is light and in him there is no darkness (John 1:5), in the light there is warmth and in this warmth we find a loving desire to fulfill those life choices which help to purify us, that we may walk in Heaven, during the cool of the evening, with God. Many programs on television seek to tell us to be kinder, more helpful, and generous to those who need these loving behaviors, but most often they don’t say why. For many, being compelled to do one thing or another, should have a sense of purpose not just an idle command from people we neither know nor would trust to do anything in our best interests. So in this instant, they are right to try and help guide us towards a sense of compassion and charity for all, but the reason is Christ. The reason is the will of God is something so wonderful, as we should never stop ceasing to seek the pathway to God’s goodness. There is nothing which is as pejorative as a person who might have the power to affect a loving change in the life of a single person and chooses not to out of a sense of self-reliance. So, if faced with a situation where giving your last dollar, your lunch, or your time give it for God nothing more and nothing less. Don’t let a fear of the unknown debilitate your sense of right. If you’re already doing this, then please pray for those who need your action and guidance, that they may find your kindness by direct or indirect action.
For unto us a child is born, (Isiah 9:6-7), our world isn’t wobbling, it is where we placed it. With every action you take, seek to put this world in a direction more suitable to love in Christ, more suitable to seeking the objective truth in everything you seek, and more suitable to embracing those who seek and embrace but are too afraid to say it aloud. May God bless you and your family this wonderful Christmas season!!!
God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!!!