Change, it is coming. I’m enjoying this turnabout for August, as normally I might develop a “dog-days of summer” feeling right about now. Instead of that sense of wearing down and fatigue brought on by the sameness of sunshine and heat, I get to have some weather changing it up and bringing clouds to our insistently sunny skies. Change is good, it keeps us from the sense of prolonged sameness and staleness. Sometimes we dread change, but it is only with change that we experience relief from our states of constancy. And those states of routine and regularity are what drain us of our real power to face challenges, to develop new muscles and to grow stronger. Like the waves in the ocean, our power to face life comes upon those continual waves of uncertain life change – in circumstance, in situation, in ability, in temperament and in our challenges. Waves of change are the signals which to us mean we should grow, learn, develop and even confront. Change comes on waves of uncertainty with all its newness and potential for growth. To remain forever stagnant in the calmness of an unchallenging life or in familiar states of certainty is to lock oneself in places of total safety and limited growth for the sake of fear, intimidation or love of ease. We’re not here to be unchallenged or always at our ease . . we’re here to grow more masterful of this life by living it, changes and all! I’m learning to relish changes; as without them, I would always be the same and so would my life.
When you’re confident and have developed your self-worth from within, based not on anything external such as looks, current position, what others tell you, what society tells you, what clothing you wear or by other material or external measures – you can walk through this world with humility, but also with an insulation that others are lacking. Confidence is the awareness and assurance that you’re just fine as is, you don’t need validation, approval or acceptance of who or what you are by way of anyone or anything external! And it’s the most attractive quality you emit each new day, because it confirms to the world outside of you that you are absolutely fine with and comfortable as you are. And if you love and accept yourself, why wouldn’t they too love and accept you? And if they don’t, so be it! Self-confidence prevails when accepting responsibility for ourselves, and for all we do well or in all which we err; and by realizing others don’t define us. Beware the trap we humans often make of placing the burden for our self-appraisal in the hands of others or at the feet of other means of measure. It doesn’t work that way!
Psalm 139:13-14 . .
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Somehow a few years ago, being seen as counter-culture became the equivalent of being cool, hip or just desirable. So many of our society’s malcontents and some actual convicted criminals were all of a sudden thrust into the spotlight of applause and hero-status, when in fact they’re just malcontents and criminals. Many now have celebrity status in our culture, or at least hold honorable positions as instructors to our children, professors to our emerging citizenry, esteemed office-holders within our cities and nation . . even though they once were just ignoble – and often convicted criminals – bombers, murderers or thieves. It is one thing to see the truly oppressed rise up, conquering their oppressors heroically; it’s entirely something else to take an ignoble and deceitful history, turning it into something it is not. And that is what has happened in our nation in many instances.
We’ve seen the rise of the counter-culture, revolutionary in not the best regards; grow up and become the educators, politicians and revered in our nation. Change is not always negative, and that is not why I’m trying to confer. And people who once were one thing can and do grow up and become better. But this change which has brought to a lauded staged, those who felt so strongly in their own immoral beliefs so as to kill, mutilate, bomb and destroy through deceitful pursuits other innocent people is negative! How sad! I wish we as a society recognized the attributes of those who were just normal and boring for their virtue, character and belief in justice, civility and conventional perspectives. But we relegate them to the new criminal status of our culture by vilifying that in which we should be giving praise and thanks! Suddenly, those with conservative or moral beliefs are the culprits for all of our societal wrongs. All too often those who act in accord with their civil and sworn duty are painted as terrorists. And now even, the very structure of our national fabric, faith, family and stability is cursed and loathed rather than just given its space to “co-exist”. Hmm. I’d say those counter-culture criminals and malcontents are truly smart, for they managed by virtue of their celebrity status and positions of honor to change a nation’s view of itself, based on nothing more than a series of endeavors to undermine what held it together in the first place. We’ve flipped our perspective as a nation, a culture and as people . . what was counter now seems cool and what is conventional is now portrayed as evil. So now, without the very glue which once held us together, we slowly and steadily erode. I am now, and will always remain, firmly and perhaps boringly affixed to my conventional belief in God and follow His rules for my life. I’m of the belief that humans might not have it all figured out in their own best interests, and my nation these days is proof . . usually humans, when left to their own ego-centered pursuits, just do whatever they want without any fear of repercussion. And so chaos and mayhem ensue.