With all the societal issues that we've witnessed in our country over the last twelve years, one would think we'd be used to the chaos, the unrest, the injustices plaguing our cities. It's more than just political jargon. More than just social injustices against one group of people. Our country, the Land of the Free, has decided we don't need to be the leading country in the 'free world' that it's okay to NOT get it right.
In my life, I personally have witnessed a shift in our fundamental beliefs. When I was a child, we started our day with Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry and then the Flintstones as we were readying ourselves to go to school. Once we arrived, we stood and recited the pledge, with our hands over our hearts and NO ONE protested it because we were taught from the cradle that the freedoms we were able to have as a society didn't come to us FREELY. That for every thing we could do--things that other kids in other countries couldn't do--there was equal if not more people who sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears to ensure we had those rights, had those freedoms. You respected the flag and what it represented, because it was more than just a flag, it was the visual representation of every family member who had left home to fight for our country... some of whom didn't come home.
The teachers who taught us every day weren't there just to babysit us, they were there to ensure that we understood where we come from and where we could go. We might not have liked the assignments, but we respected those who taught them, and if we did cut up at school, it was almost guaranteed that we would be in trouble the moment we walked into our homes that afternoon. Yes, they were underpaid back then, but they felt that their job was important enough to do it anyway, because they were helping shape the future generation.
I was the lucky generation that got to experience life before the world wide web, but also life after it. It was awesome and limited at first. Hangman was our favorite computer game, and the Atari joystick was finicky, but you had to take care of it if you wanted to be able to make Donkey Kong jump those barrels, or Pitfall Harry to swing over those tarpits. If we broke the controllers, our parents didn't rush right out to buy us new ones. They simply unhooked the game system and sent us to our rooms or outside to play. We had call waiting, something that's almost never used anymore, and I don't remember having caller ID until I was in high school. We didn't spend all day looking at our phones or computers or tablets.
Back then, it was important that News Reporters portrayed the news quickly and accurately. They didn't piggyback off each other as you see various media outlets doing now. There wasn't a copying of false information, and if for some reason there was a false statement made, it was immediately corrected. Back then, we recognized the need for accurate information, and they were essential to us receiving it. The same goes for the radio stations, news papers and yes, even the internet.
For anyone over 35, this isn't news. We know and have watched--and even helped--a mostly normal society spiral into chaos! Why? It's simple, really. We let the idea that WE were better than "those people" in the other country... and it doesn't matter what country we compared ourselves to. Those people in the early colonies had this idea that they were better than Britain, so they went out in search of a place to show off. They were better than the Native Americans who were indigenous to this area, so they pushed them back across the Mississippi. Our scientists were smarter than the others, so we had to walk on the moon first. I could continue, but you get the idea. There was an ego that the American people adopted that has led us to this point.
Now, you're probably wondering why I've chosen to go into such detail about our cultural changes in our country. I know that most of what I've said so far is common knowledge, but its something we tend to overlook. Especially those in the younger generations, because they only know what its like to live in the age of technology, where everything you could ever want to learn is at the tips of your fingers. If I wanted to learn something about Russia, I had to break out an encyclopedia. My kids only have to ask Siri.
The need to be bigger, better, smarter... all those things are still a part of our psyche here in America. We, the citizens of this country now have a better understanding of what our Government's role is on a global scale. We were on top for a long time. In a lot of ways, we still are, though not because of our elected officials. We are still on top because of THOSE PEOPLE who refuse to let our fundamental beliefs that were established over the last two hundred and forty five years be tossed aside as inconsequential. Those same people understand that our country was founded by a group of Christian men and women, who looked to the Bible as their source for guidance in their daily lives. I could quote many of the founding fathers, where they have pointedly stated that without God this country will fail.
Is it any wonder then, that we are finding our country breaking at the seams? Because in my lifetime, I've seen us do away with Christians being able to pray before school. The name of God has been removed from government buildings. They still swear on the Holy Bible, but you can't have the Ten Commandments standing out front because THAT might offend someone. My children would get into trouble if they left the classroom to pray for someone, but a Muslim child is allowed to go as often as their religion dictates. Why? Because people fear what THOSE PEOPLE could potentially do if we tell them no.
Our country, who prides itself on inclusivity, social justice for those who can't help themselves, and who is willing to fight for basic human rights for anyone--whether they were born here or not--so long as they are on our soil... has over half a million of it's own citizens living on the street! HOMELESS, in one of the wealthiest countries in the modern world. How? Why?
We've paid a heavy price for being the best, that's why. That's how. We've bartered and traded and loaned money we didn't have to countries who didn't need it, in order to maintain our status of being the best. We, simply put, forgot who we were. We forgot the guiding principles that the founding fathers lived by. We have forgotten that there is evil in this world, and it can be camouflaged in the nicest clothing, driving the most expensive cars, and living in the best houses. "The love of money," according to 1 Timothy 6:10-11, "is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the truth faith, and pierced themselves with many sorrows."
You see, we can't let money dictate how we live our lives any more. We can't let the government's greed cause us to forget who WE THE PEOPLE are and have always been. Have we always gotten it right? Absolutely not. We've failed countless times... Slavery comes the forefront of my mind... but why did those Americans need slaves to begin with? What was their purpose? Labor so that they could make more MONEY!! Money, that was why they didn't want to view people of color as PEOPLE. We've allowed it to corrupt our minds and hearts, and the only way our country will be spared, is if we acknowledge this and stop letting it!
God placed it on my heart at the end of 2019, that He had plans for me to teach. It wasn't teaching in a classroom. It was teaching HIS WORD to THOSE PEOPLE... Those people, the ones who would never dare step foot inside a church because they'd seen what happens when sinners go to church. THOSE PEOPLE who most pass by on the street corners, assuming that they chose to be homeless and that they only want money for drugs. I'm not saying that's not a motivation for some, but regardless of whether that's true or not, GOD STILL WANTS THO
SE PEOPLE! Those are HIS PEOPLE, just like every pastor, deacon and born again Christian. I remind people often that Jesus didn't come to the earth for the Saints, the do-gooders, the people living right. Jesus came to the earth so that THOSE PEOPLE could be saved and be called Children of God.
I could continue on, and I plan to have more blog posts about how we can change our minds about THOSE PEOPLE, but I want to leave you with this thought. If the Son of God cared enough for those people, what should our response to them be?
If we want to fix the issues in our country, we must understand that we need to shift our focus away from US and back onto JESUS. We must stop worrying about what we want, what we desire, what we would like to see happen... and start opening our bibles to see what GOD wants from us. Do our desires align with his? Can we actually change the course of our society without those politicians in Washington? I think we can... if we stop focusing on those people in power, and start looking at the people who Jesus came to save, and giving them our time and effort.
This is just the first in many posts, and I can promise going forward, they won't all be this long, nor will they take so lo
ng to get to the point... If you've read this entire post, and you're here, do yourself a favor this week... Turn off social media. Turn off the TV. Go walk down the street and say hello to the neighbors you run into. Ask them how they are doing, because I can promise you, there's someone that needs a friendly smile and a 'how's it going?' You might be the only person they see that is willing to ask... be one of THOSE PEOPLE. Stop and offer to say prayer, if nothing else, for the guy on the street corner. Maybe he is a junkie, but maybe--just maybe--you're stopping to pray for him will be the one thing that lets him know there's someone out there bigger than all of us who cares... The one of THOSE PEOPLE. We need more of THOSE PEOPLE!