November 9, 2016. Now what?

8 11 2016

Voting is like choosing sides. In every stadium I have ever seen, the opposing teams are separated by a playing field. Each supports their team in varying ways. Like a tug of war the fans try to make more noise that their counterparts across the field. Some cheer for their team while others root against the other. After all, there is only one winner and to choose one team is to reject the other. Cheer or jeer, it all is the same in the end, right? Not, really.

A NY Times poll says 82% of voters are disgusted  with this election. I get it. Opposing sides yell at and over one another. Social Media is an insult littered landscape. Maybe I have forgotten other election’s rhetoric, but this cycle, which seems to have gone on too long,  seems to be  meaner, more personally attacking. In short, we have decided to jeer more than  cheer. From where I sit, the strategy is , ” vote against my opponent. Because if you don’t we are in a lot of trouble.”

Well guess what, one of them is going to win. Then what?!  As a citizen of these United States and as Christian,  I will lift up  the victor because either of them has a task before them that is astronomic in difficulty but affects the entire globe.

The Bible in I Kings 3: vs 16-28 tells a story that I remember from my youth. It is told to recount Solomon’s wisdom. Two women both claiming to be the mother of an infant came before Solomon. After hearing their arguments for maternity rights, he asked for a sword so each would have half of a child. Of course,  one half of a child cannot live.

One of the women said,” Do it, better neither of has a child that she have it”! The other said, ” Spare the child because it is better for the child to live than we each have half of a dead child.”

It seems to apply,  in some measure, to where we are as citizens and voters in the US. After all is said and done, you and I will have to decide how we might choose to move forward.  In the story of Solomon, the life of the baby was more important than winning or denying another victory.

When God said he would grant Solomon one request, Solomon chose wisdom, a listening heart.  I have always thought the woman who loved the child more that winning also had wisdom, a listening heart.

I have voted. In the solitude of the voting booth, I cast my ballot. If you have not, please do. If my vote be in the minority, as it has been in the past, I will pray for and work with the victor,  for the good of the child. May I suggest we all do that.

Yes, I had to choose between candidates. I am sure I did not choose all winners. That is of secondary importance, to me. Because what I really voted for was this child named Democracy.  As civilizations go, a mere infant, this USA.  As history goes, democracy seems to have a limited shelf life. Maybe we can change that.

Blame it on sin. It seems to have no limited shelf life.

Romans 12: 18 speaks to a troubled society and Church.  It reminds us to live at peace with all, as far as it depends on us. That seems wise to remember on November 9. Well, every day. Such is the foundation for a shared future.

As a Christian, I answer to a higher power and authority than any political affiliation or nationality. I do believe that allowing each person a vote and a voice has merit both practically and from my faith perspective. So, for me it is to help nurture this baby named Democracy for our children and grandchildren and follow the baby of Bethlehem, called Jesus.  Maybe you don’t share that belief. That’s also a decision made one person at a time in one’s own personal space. Yes, a vote in solitude.

Whatever one’s ultimate motivation , the end result seems that unless we want  to find ourselves  in a place that is inhabitable, scorched and littered with the dead, we must move forward together, in peace as far as it depends on us. I believe it will help nurture this young child named Democracy and honor the Babe of Bethlehem.

Shalom.

 

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Savor the Gift

9 05 2013

I am either in the midst of my most recent diet attempt; best guess is about 6,500 or I am in a lifestyle change. It should be clear to all who can count that this is not easy for me. I am especially good at eating, I am good at it and I like it.. Just check out my Krispy Kreme blog post.

So like any other woefully incompetent person who admits their need for assistance, I implore you… enough of those desserts on Facebook. What Twiggy like pastry chef thought, ” I know, I’ll entice my girthly-challenged friends with photos of succulent dishes and desserts with chocolate oozing down the side of the forbidden fruit of dieters, err… those on life style changes?”

I’ve tried to take a sensible approach to eating before. I’ve told myself that food is fuel for the body. Such a logical approach gave me distance from the pleasures of eating. We need gas to get around in our cars and food to move our bodies. Period.

When filling up my car with gas, if I put in more than the tank will hold, it spills out on my shoes. Not to mention the waste of a limited resource..

If I over eat it spills out so I can’t see my shoes. See the correlation? Solution,  get a bigger tank. Get saddlebag tanks, tanks in the front and the rear  and a caboose to tag along. Like a tick getting its fill I just expand. Not a pretty picture.. A big one, though.

So, now I am told to eat slowly. Really! That breaks down my filling up the tank logic, which isn’t working anyway. Who fills up their car at a snail’s pace?

I want to be like a NASCAR pit crew checking the oil, tossing the trash, washing the windshield and with spinning tires merge on the speedway of life before someone gets to the finish line before me.

Forget the obvious fact that when it is all said and done, the next finish line will be followed by another and another and…then that final one none wants to cross too soon. What couple says, ” Let’s invite the Smiths over to the Texaco station for the evening?” My logic was flawed.

I am told to slow down, taste the food, savor the moment, give my internal gages time to register that I’m  filling my tank. I am told to acknowledge that I need less that I have been consuming and overfilling my tank is not good for the vehicle, my body.

Those tires, my feet need to have less pressure on them. My knees and hips, the shock absorbers will last longer if not overloaded. Then the internal engine does better when it can breathe easier, doesn’t smoke and is not revved up too high for too long in order to move at  insane speeds.. Not to mention the additives- aka meds- I am putting in my tank to compensate for the neglect of the ‘vehicle.’

Here is my dilemma, our dilemma. The culture shouts, ” faster is better than slower, more is better than less and bigger is better than smaller.” Check out recent mobile phone ads, car ads… any ads.

I have come to conclude it is a lie. The right speed is best, better is better than bigger or smaller, and enough is… well enough. Food is just one of the ways wallow in the excesses of life. I’ll bet we all might be able to identify one or two in our lives.

What if we encouraged one another to savor and taste not only meals but life itself; paused just a bit longer to let sunrise and sunsets register in our souls?

 How wonderful would it be to consider the lilies of the field and stars in the sky to find beauty and treasures. Sacred moments.

What if we slowed down to an appropriate speed on the highways and the way we live life?  What if we carried less burdens in mind, body, spirit, soul?  What if the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was right in architecture and life , “less is more”?

How would this fleeting time together be enriched if when we were together we listened to one another like one relishing the last morsel of epicurean delight, savoring the joy of  hearing with ears, eyes and heart?

And what a better time than at the next moment, meal, sunrise, sunset, star filled night, journey, relationship…? What if we might try to live this gift of life in more of a qualitative state than quantitative one; quality over quantity. Savor it.