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

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Does the Ostrich Feel Safe Up To the moment That He Feels the Teeth of the Lion on His Rump?

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.



Angela said...

Wonderful post. I have been thinking along a similar vein today. I am addicted to information. I have to know what's going on in the world. I'm not sure why except maybe the vague idea that it helps me make decisions.

I feel like the battle is truly raging and a lot of people I know are still pretending things are fine. I could be wrong, maybe they're like me and don't want to bring up the controversial subject of politics. It's possible that they are wearing the Armor of God already but don't see the enemy yet and when they do they will be ready. But I still worry about some of my family members. I feel like most people still think of Satan as a vague threat. Merely trying to get kids to do drugs or men and women not to do their home and visiting teaching. But it's so much bigger than that. He is building his empire and it's only a matter of time before it crumbles under the feet of Christ. I just hope everyone I love is on the right side before that happens.

Perhaps that's a tad over-dramatic but it's frustrating to see what's happening and know that there are so many who don't see it yet.

Hope that wasn't too long. Again, thanks for the post, it fit right in with my mood today.

rocslinger said...

Angela, I know, I feel just as frustrated but for most people I think what we're seeing is a survival mechanism. Not everyone can think on the negatives and continue dealing with the routine in their life. I have drugs to help me, oh and prayer.

Love your comments and you can go as long as you like.

Have you read the Screwtape Letters By C.S. Lewis if not I highly recommend it. Lewis is very good at detailing some of the atacks Satin uses.

Angela said...

I haven't read it yet, but I really want to. I tried to get it at the library but it was checked out. Maybe I'll have to get my own copy.

Kerri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerri said...

I messed up, so I deleted my comment. But what I tried to say was:
I'm one of those who can't take in all the negative info and still manage. But then I'm married to psyco-boy and he keeps me informed. And tries my patience daily. Right, Hon?

goddessdivine said...

For me, politics are like a bad accident: I can't NOT look. I swear I'm the only one I know that watches Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly religiously, and keeps the FoxNews channel on while I'm doing things around the house. It's good to be informed; we just can't let it depress us.....which really, is where God comes in. I too can't imagine life w/o the gospel; it helps me see the bigger picture. This too shall pass.

And yes, this country is so screwed up right now; it's really hard to stomach it.

rocslinger said...

An apt analogy Miss. Devine. When comming upon an accident my sister made it a point to look away but I couldn't, I had to know what happened. I guess some of us are just wired that way.

rocslinger said...

Angela, I heard it on tape back when I was a truck driver. The reader was John Cleese, talk about a treat. Try finding it on tape.

rocslinger said...

Or cd, did I just show my age?

Becky said...

While I'm not sure that you and I would see eye-to-eye politically, I like the message here. We CAN'T just let it go. We need to be informed, however frustrating that may be at times. Government for the people, by the people, right? How does that work if the people turn a blind eye?

The world is a scary place right now, and like you, I'm not sure how I'd be taking it if I didn't know that He was in charge.

rocslinger said...

Becky, We agree on what is important, that "He is in charge" and that Yes is the best rock band EVER.

Thank you for your comments and stop in again soon.

The Atomic Mom said...

I also deal with depression...and I find that I have to take a Glenn Beck brake sometimes. I love Beck, but he really gets me down sometimes. Usually by Sept I am in better spirits and can turn him back on again.

rocslinger said...

Atomic Mom,
As much as I love Glenn Beck I always hope that he's wrong when it comes to his prognostication (that was a big word I hope I spelled it right). I hear you, sometimes a person really needs a break. Just remember that our families are our refuge in this world.