Gideon in the bible was asked by God to free the people of Israel and condemn their idol worshipping. He was called "a mighty man of fearless courage," and yet, before he'd venture off to battle, he asked God to prove Himself not once, but twice. I guess one miracle was a fluke, but two was a sure sign of God's existence. Anyway, I've been thinking quite a bit today, not about Gideon, but about the description "a mighty man of fearless courage."
In light of the deal reached by the President and leaders of Congress, I am at a loss for ways to express my disappointment. Paul Krugman put it best when he called it "extortion." And so, absent the President of the United States, I am looking for a mighty man of fearless courage, and as far as I can tell, he is nowhere to be found.
When I do that first thing that pops into your mind kind of thing, all I come up with is Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Seal Team 6. Okay, Gandhi and maybe the guy who was held captive by pirates on that ship a while back. But I'm looking for people today who are mighty, and fearless, and courageous. So I'm wondering what it takes to be that, and if we all couldn't cultivate just enough of it to right this awfully wrong course we're on.
The people in the bible that are used for miraculous things are always flawed. And so I wonder what miraculous things we could do - once we're done griping about the fact that we're called to do anything.
I'm not exactly sure why our representatives do not understand that the health of our country depends on the health of our country!! Healthy bodies, healthy minds, healthy souls. You can't have a future without those. You can't deny education to the people you are counting on to fix the mess we've made. You can't expect a healthy workforce without regulating the food we put in our bodies, the air we breathe, and the water we drink.
And what of those who have had the good fortune to reach old age? I hate the term "entitlement programs," because it makes it sound like the elderly are spoiled children, demanding something that is not rightfully theirs, when in fact, they are citizens, many of whom have served this country, and who rely on the money that they paid into all the years they were working, to sustain their barest of necessities now, if that.
I frequently joke about winning the lottery. I imagine what it would be like to have that unthinkable amount of money, the kind that you couldn't spend in any foreseeable generation's lifetime. And I can assure you that nowhere in my musings do I ever feel slighted because I will have to pay a huge chunk of it - millions perhaps - in taxes. It wouldn't dawn on me to feel anything other than blessed. And it would dawn on me to do something for people who weren't so blessed.
I think the real sense of entitlement lies with the people who wouldn't even feel the pain of higher taxes, but will fight to the death of our country not to pay them. I think the word "entitlement" should be reserved for those who will never have to worry about food on their table, or a doctor's visit, or what kind of education their children will get. Let me be clear. It is not wealth that is the evil here. It is the greedy desire for more of it at the expense of human lives that is the evil. And that is not an overexaggeration of the state we're in at the moment.
Yes, I could go on complaining about our sorry state, or we could all take baby steps outside of our comfort zone to do one thing, our small part, if you will, to both help someone along the way and demand of our representatives that they represent us. For all the lobbyists, and big business campaign contributors, on Election Day it comes down to you and me in a voting booth. But our job is not done as citizens on only one day a year. If nothing else, our current situation should teach us that. We are called upon as citizens of this great country to discuss, debate, respectfully disagree, and make known our wishes and make heard our voices. These are times where each of us is sacrificing personally, but what we are willing to do now is solely dependent upon what we do not want to lose later. This is no joke, though I could use one about now.
So I wish for each of us to write, to call, to run for, to elect, to attend a Town Hall meeting we never have before, to volunteer at a school for whatever they need, to be emboldened, empowered, energized, and relentless in our determination to make something better. In short, I hope and declare by faith for us all to be mighty people of fearless courage.
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