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Friday, May 30, 2008

Finding Center

I've come to realize that I can't just meander through life. Granted, I'm thirty-four, married, and have four kids, so it's been a tad late coming, but I'm here. One tends to lose focus sometimes in life, at least I do. I think we all do. How else can you explain the whining and unhappiness of an immensely blessed people?

As a Christian, I have no call to be less than jubilant, ever. If my faith is true, nothing in this temporal world should be able to get me down. Jesus lives, and he saved me. He won't ever abandon me; only I can abandon Him. How is it that in a Christian nation, as eighty-plus percent of us claim we are, there can be as much animosity and dissatisfaction as we see and hear? I've come to realize that by embracing faith as the basis of my mindframe, I will always be happy. Am I there yet? Not quite, but each step improves me, and through me, the world around me.

Think about it... Why are prisons such terrible places? Aside from the bars, you are given food, ample opportunity for recreation, reading materials, clothing, a place to sleep, free cable television, and many other luxuries others around the world are denied. Is it, then, the place or the mindframe of those inside that makes it so awful? Imagine the same physical facility filled with peaceful and spiritual people and you'd have a monastery. The difference is astounding yet simple: change the heart and you change everything.

I've heard it said that the world seeks to improve the individual by changing his surroundings, but Christ changes the individual, who then improves his own surroundings. I want to be like that. The world I live in, that we all live in, is what we make of it, a reflection of who we are collectively and individually. Do I want my inner neighborhood to be a ghetto or a safe haven? As goes the inner, so too the outer.

This is the fundamental difference between Conservatism and Liberalism. Liberal methods will never solve social ills, no matter how well intentioned, because they treat the symptoms of the disease and not the disease itself. Conservatives realize that the only lasting solution to our problems comes by healing the inner man. If we can heal hearts and families, the rest will take care of itself.

I need, we all need, to remember that despite whatever evils exist in the world, on the whole it is a wonderful place. Let us not give up hope. Hope, after all, is the basis of faith, and with faith, and the effort required to realize that faith, we can accomplish anything.

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