There are two things you should know about me. One: I am a political junkie. Two: I have depression. The political junkie thing you have probably figured out in the first five minutes of reading my blog. I hope my depression has not shown through in my writing as easily as my political addiction has. When I say I have depression I don't mean I get a little weepy when watching sad movies. I'm talking about a debilitating disease that occasionally makes me want to pull the covers over my head and not come out. Ever Again. I'm writing this not to gain sympathy (feel for my wife and daughter, if anyone), but so you will understand the advice I was just recently given and why it may be sound advice.
Most of the time I'm fine. Through medication and support, I am generally a happy person. But at times, because of circumstances or if I forget to take my medication, I find myself in a funk. A few weeks ago, just such an incident happened. I won't go into detail but let's just say it was bad enough that it got the attention of my bishop. After the incident, my wife and I met with him. After some discussion of career moves and possible training that I might pursue, the subject of talk radio came up. My bishop's advice was that I should stop listening to talk radio for a time. It's good advice and if the roles were reversed, I might give that same advice. But I don't think I can follow it.
At any other time, I would be happy to pull out my Yes CDs or a little Toad the Wet Sprocket, or listen to a little jazz or just set my radio to only music, but right now, our nation is soon to go through perhaps one of the worst times that it has ever gone through and I cannot avert my attention. You might think that I'm exaggerating the dangers that we are facing, but let me ask you some questions. How do we pay a debt that is half a million dollars per person and growing? And what happens if we don't pay it? What happens if radical Muslims get hold of a nuclear device? And what is our federal government doing to protect us, other than suing the State of Arizona for trying to do the job that they refuse to do (ie: defending our border)? Who is going to protect us from a government that insists on what kind of light bulb we have in our lamps, how much water pressure we have in our showers, how well our toilets don't flush or what products or services we must buy, including our health insurance?
With everything that is happening in our world today, I cannot just ignore it and bury my head in the sand. Someone, well meaning, said to me, "There is nothing you can do about the evil that is happening in Washington DC or the rest or the world, so just let it go". The whole purpose of this noble experiment we call the USA is for us to have self determination. We, the people, have been asleep at the switch. But it is not too late to change that and that is one of the reasons for my blog. In order to write my blog or to take part in the political process, I need to be informed.
As you can imagine, current events and depression do not mix well and, of course, I can not just look away and pretend that I and mine will be okay. For one thing, our economy is in shambles. I think purposely. And I am now making half the income that I used to make due to a loss of career. The last two years have been the hardest of my life and to pile on, I have just found out that our mortgage lender has approved our loan modification for, get this, three dollars less a month than what we were paying previously. So you can see that the bishop's advice would be good for me to follow. What he doesn't understand is that my psyche (I said psyche not psycho) is just not wired to look away and pretend that everything will be okay. Just because our country has come back from the brink before doesn't mean it will again.
Okay so much for the bad news. Now let's concentrate on what there is that we, as the people of the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the earth, can do. The first thing is to recognize who the true enemy is. As a conservative, it is easy for me to point my finger at liberals and the current democratic leadership. Obama and the leaders in Congress are not without fault and let us not forget the excessive spending and the betrayal of President Bush and the Republicans in office two years ago. As much of the blame as we can place on politicians, they are not the true enemy. In Paul's epistle to the church in Ephesus, he spelled out who the true enemy is and what is needed to defeat them.
Ephesians 6: 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
If you are a fan of Glenn Beck you may recognize this approach. For truly (yea verily in Bible lingo), if this nation is to come back from the brink, it will be the changes in us that will make the difference as stated in the Old Testament.
2 Chr. 7: 14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
I would not be able to deal with what is transpiring today if it were not for my faith in God and the belief that what happens is because of his love for me. I may not, and often do not, understand why I have to go through the troubles that I have, but I will believe in what Paul and other witnesses of the Christ have written. I would not want to live in today's climate without my faith in a loving God.
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
- de Tocqueville 1831
- de Tocqueville 1831