04 August 2009


I was reading some blogs the other day and I found myself aggravated about a point of view that differed from my own. It bothers me when I am easily frustrated by an opposing point of view. It doesn't make sense that an idea can open an emotional worm hole that sends me into a fit of internal rage. Most of the time it is a political issue, and occasionally it has something to do with religious beliefs. I thought I would take a moment to vent about it if that's OK?

I wouldn't consider myself a Republican, or a democrat. I guess you could say that I am a moderate, politically speaking. This brings various difficulties, especially when you consider the line of work that I do(ministry, for those who don't know). So my dilemma is in how to balance my faith and relationships with my beliefs and political views. I find myself getting frustrated with people who are adamantly opposed to President Obama and the decisions he makes. On the other side, I find myself getting equally as frustrated with those who adamantly support him. My dilemma isn't with opposing views, but more with the reason for those views. It's one thing to have an informed and thought out view on a topic. It's something completely different to have the a view based on what an article says or what somebody else thinks. I think my biggest problem is with those who don't take the time to read, consider, and learn both sides of an important issue before voicing an opinion. I know we may have good intentions with our
sporadic and emotional response to things we read about, but the truth is that most often we don't take time to research what we are hearing before we take a stand against it. This is a dangerous way to live our lives. I'll use myself as an example: One of my goals is to find an issue I believe strongly in and take part in a protest supporting that issue. I want to experience what it is like to protest. I don't want to pick some little issue or something I don't know much about, but something that I know about and feel strongly toward. People tell me that I should just pick an issue and go protest it. What's the point in that? The truth is that I very well could end up in jail if the protest were to get out of hand. Who wants to go to jail for protesting? Not me, especially if it's not even an issue that I feel strongly about. So why is it that many times we are willing to take a stand for something when we don't know all that is involved, and in doing so put our relationships with friends and family at stake?

I had a kid in my youth group in Mississippi that would argue something with so much energy and compassion and later find out that what he was arguing about wasn't even the truth. How rediculous is that? I'm telling you, he would bet his own life that he was right only to find out he wasn't. I'm not saying that we don't know anything about the issue, but what I am saying is that maybe we don't know enough about what we are most passionate about. Don't you want to know what you are putting your neck out for before you put it out?

The truth is that we all have things we are passionate about. Some things we are so passionate about that we would be willing to die for them, and others not so much, and I understand that. What I am trying to understand is how we choose the things we are most passionate about. What causes us to have this need to get fired up over key topics like abortion and gay rights, and yet over look issues like world poverty and hunger. At what point do we stop being activists talking about the problems and start getting actively involved in becoming a solution to those problems? It's a whole lot like being a Monday morning quarterback, seeing only what should have been better. It's a completely other thing to be THE quarterback on Sunday morning and having to make decisions as things fly by. Judging a decision from a tv screen with different angles, zoom, and instant replay is easy, it's making them while in the heat of the game that is difficult. A player is not only great because of their talent, but also in how they make last second decisions to use it.

I want to encourage you to stop talking about what you would do and start doing it. There are three steps that will help you move forwrd, 1) get informed- do your research, 2) find a way that you can help, and 3) DO SOMETHING! That's right, I said it- DO SOETHING! It's one thing to talk, it's somehting completely different to walk. Walk today, you never know what you can accomplish until you get in the game. Fans on the side lines don't make it happen and they don't get the checks, the players do. Make a difference and be a player today!

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