Monday, August 29, 2016
Heavy Heart Syndrome...
For the last several weeks I have been suffering from 'heavy heart' syndrome.
A previously-healthy, sweet friend of mine is in the hospital struggling to regain her health, and her family and friends are concerned for her condition. I hear the prayer list at church and so many of our older members are struggling with health problems or dealing with spouses who have memory issues as well as those affecting their overall health, and they are tired and worn out.
On top of that are job losses, issues with finances and personal troubles - like a string - enough to go around one or two times and still tie a bow. I feel busier than ever, yet I'm less active in political matters than I have been in the last five or more years.
Seeing the results of recent primary elections have provided pangs of guilt because some very good candidates lost their elections and I fear I could have/should have done more to help. On top of that, results of several elections have made it clearer to me that our state is quickly rolling down the same hill as that of our nation, toward a Godless, self-centered, bully culture which will continue to erode free speech and the practice of Bible-based Christianity.
Though candidates and legislators bandy about the terms "Republican" and "Conservative" as though actually aware of their definitions, they promise to sponsor - or actively sponsor - legislation to bring more and more government into the lives of citizens, increasing tax burdens and reducing the freedom of individuals to direct their lives as they see fit.
More and more people (including our youth) are becoming technologically addle-brained; knowing how to operate their iPhone, but possessing neither the wisdom nor the understanding of how to parse political or religious rhetoric for truth.
Growing steadily is also the segment of our population who have no idea how to order their lives to prevent drug addiction, failed relationships, poverty and violence. Single-family homes and welfare roles continue to rise as the church continues to abandon its position of caring for others, gladly willing to allow the government to step in and take over the job.
How do those of us enlightened to these travails not become crushed under a mighty spiritual weight?
As a rule, I try and keep a running conversation with God in my head. When I do, I tend to feel calmer. Recently, I have instead become discomfited in this practice because, though I normally find myself jumping from one person to another and one situation to another as they come to mind throughout the day, there seems to be so much to pray for, about and against, that I become overwhelmed and lack the ability to find even the ideas to create the words for the thoughts I wish to express in prayer.
I'm not the soul who believes, nor will I ever practice, the idea that "God has it all", so I can relax. Yes, as we sang in Sunday School, "He's got the whole world in his hands", but if we're not intended to do something about the situations in which we find ourselves what exactly is the point of our address? Why would God have even created humans in the first place? For His amusement? Doubtful - that's what penguins are for.
Luke 19:10 through 19:28 tells a wonderful story.
Many of us know the story of Zaccheus, but many of us forget what Jesus told the crowd after he spoke with this little man. He told the crowd a parable about a man who needed to leave town, but before he left, "he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come."
The parable goes on to say that two of them made a return on their investment, but one hid the money and presented it to his master as it had been given, without a return of any kind. The first two were lauded, while the last was called "wicked".
Jesus is clear. Whatever we can do - whatever is in our power to do according to the gifts He has given us - we must do until He returns. We must donate time and/or money to the political candidates we feel best represent our Christian values - and then VOTE. We must help the poor. We must raise our children to follow Him.
We ALL have jobs to do - some more than others as they are called and is their season - but none of these is NOTHING. So, today, I will try hard to concentrate on those things I can do to 'occupy' for my Master, and let the others go. I will try hard to calm myself with the knowledge that I can only do what I can do, but I am at least expected to do that.
This brings to mind a thought...if we ALL remembered to simply do what we CAN, how much better place would the world be today?