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Do the Unexpected

This past week has been tough for me. I am tired.

Tired of watching people swim about in confusion, holding positions based on personal feelings about non-vetted (and often false) “facts.”

Tired of the back-and-forth vitriol on X (Twitter).

Tired of the claims of faith that seem rooted in what one WANTS to believe on Facebook. (Whether that be faith in science, a political party, an individual, another institution, or God’s plan that is really just a person’s wishes.)

Tired of seeing evils on video posted for all to see – presumably in order to evoke strong emotions in the viewers.

Tired of seeing the “best” of everyone else – their “feel good vibes,” the product or service they are trying to convince us we need – or want, the happy birthdays, happy anniversaries, happy graduations, congratulations on accomplishments, weddings, engagements…

It's not that I don’t want people to be happy. But (1) it just seems like a large portion of the population doesn’t know that their perfect little worlds could be taken down in an instant at any moment, from any one of a number of very plausible scenarios from where I sit. (Or maybe they do know this and so they are celebrating life to the full while they still can…I don’t know…but) (2) it appears that apathy is rooted in ignorance or false beliefs or the emotions that posts on social media elicit from many, many people.

But the same could be said about the horrors in pictures and videos that seem to have no end – and the commentary that accompanies them – and the replies that follow. We live in a surreal world now.

I saw a post today that asked us to try to normalize normal kitchens. I get this. Normal kitchens are what most of us have. It’s what I have! And I feel as though all the Pintrest and Youtube videos and promoted posts are trying to make us UN-satisfied or DIS-satisfied with what we have – as we compare our normal kitchens to designer kitchens (or our normal lives and struggles to the success stories and piety of everyone else).

I’m tired of watching the defiant defense of positions that don’t (or shouldn’t) matter to ANYONE. (I don’t even want to provide examples because…THEY SHOULDN’T MATTER TO ANYONE!)

I held a private webinar Tuesday night. Four people attended. (Do not worry, my Freedom Faithful! You did not miss one – you were not invited!) Was it worth it? For four strangers? I let them direct the conversation. We talked about the war in Israel. No one there understood it. (They had a better grasp at the end – at least they said they did!) But some people are holding positions on things they do not understand. Not just war, but border security, the second amendment, socialism, Islam, welfare, taxes, inflation, national debt, alternative fuels, climate change, environmentalism, colonization, reparations, even minimum wage. Pretty much…everything.

And I am tired.

I am tired of seeing evil at every turn.

I am tired of seeing intentional blindness.

I am tired of ignorance and apathy.

And I am tired of “preaching to the choir.”

But then four strangers found new perspective and understanding. Four.

And then I hold my We the People Discussion group today…and I reveal to one participant that the solution he is looking for is already being pursued by a national group (an article V convention of states to propose an amendment requiring term limits) that he never heard of, and even though (I now remember) I did not answer a follow up question, we talked about taxes and funding the government and U.S. Congress as representatives versus statesmen and how it seems like those we elect don’t do either.

And then flatter me by saying I should run for office (which I don’t want to do), and it seemed sincere - and that made me feel good after a difficult week of being tired...

After a really difficult week of discouragement and emotional and mental exhaustion regarding the state of the world and the country, I was reminded that I still have a sphere of influence.

Four strangers walked away thinking differently. Six IRL regulars still want to hear what I have to say. I still have a platform from which to share ideas and (hopefully) get people to think.

I did not have any burning desire to speak on (write about) a particular topic this week. I still feel as though I am living in a stretched out moment, overwhelmed by too much information, too much violence, too little understanding by the masses.

So I apologize for what seems more like a journal entry this week. But I wanted to remind everyone reading this: YOU HAVE A SPHERE OF INFLUENCE TOO.

And maybe someone within that sphere needs some encouragement today. Maybe YOU do.

So I encourage you to not give up or give in. Engage with others. Challenge your own thinking. Challenge theirs. Do this with gentleness and respect!

Know that there are others out there doing the same thing. We may not be an organized movement with a tangible achievable goal (that would be too easy), but with every intentional conversation founded in principle and a search for truth through critical thinking, we might be able to weave the fabric of this country back together one conversation at a time.

It is a daunting task as said fabric seems to be unraveling at breakneck speed now…but we have a choice. We can sit back and do nothing and simply watch as the country goes over the edge into the abyss (and then mourn the loss)…or we might just be able to talk a few people away from the edge and save them from plummeting into darkness with the rest of the country as they wait for someone to tell them what to do or what to think – or for someone to come to the rescue of this nation —so they don’t have to move back from the edge themselves in order to avoid personal destruction.

Jump outside the narrative. Do the unexpected. Love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you.

But don’t forget to love your friends and to do good to those who love you as well. Sometimes we lash out at those who love us the most – whom we love the most. At least I do. Instead of giving in to that destructive force, I encourage you (as I remind myself) to try to find a way to intentionally partner with those you love (and who love you) in vision and mission – and then go do some good together.

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