Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Abi's Problem With Politics

Small rant ahead....

Today I was wondering why I am so frustrated with the whole idea of politics. And I'm not just talking Democrats and Republicans and Presidential Elections, although that's what got me started this morning. I'm talking any politics -- church, family, school.

It seems to me that the basic reason we have problems with any and all of our decision-making procedures is two-fold: truth and change. Let me explain some.

Let's start with Truth.

I believe there is Truth and that it is found in God -- embodied in Jesus! Whatever God says is truth. But whatever people say, if they are not quoting God (and in proper context ;^) ), is really just their opinion. I'm sure it's based on lots of other folk's opinions; but number of folks with similar opinions does not equate to truth. Not that this is not what passes for truth these days -- and don't get me started on global warming or evolution or economics or immigration reform or entitlement programs, please.

The search for truth involves something I've ranted about before: clear, deep thinking. If you're not going to wrestle with actually digging for the truth, well don't be surprised if what you end up with is simplistic truth -- stuff that folks want to be true, but just isn't.

No one person or group of people, for that matter, is able to know the whole truth about much of anything. They'll know their perceptions of the truth, which is what I believe is called reality. But human perceptions are not the same as truth. We could talk about this a long time (the conversation has been going on for a long time already :^) ) and not necessarily come to complete agreement ... and that's really the whole point I'm making here.

And then there's change.

Change is going on in and around us all the time. There are things that change that are completely out of our control and other things that change because of things we have intentionally initiated. There are things that change because they are just following the laws of nature and other things that change as a consequence of human activity. All change is tied up, at some level, with cause and effect.

Some changes we perceive clearly, some we are oblivious to, and some we have to really grapple with because, well, change is just difficult. How we cope with change depends on the cause and the effect, basically. Which takes me to why I'm ranting about change today.

On the surface it looks like folks think changing one's mind is a bad thing. As if one is to hold to an idea forever, even if one comes to learn to think differently. This, of course, presupposes that someone thinks effectively and changes something because they are convinced that they have a better understanding of truth or come to have a different perception of reality.

What we get when we don't think clearly and deeply are opinions that are not well thought out, profound, convictions. When this is the case (and it is too often the case, IMHO), we are standing on sinking sand. The thing about sinking sand is that, once you realize you're sinking, you do whatever you need to do to get out ... and sometimes you end up in mud, or tar, or -- you pick your quagmire!

How can we truly expect that folks, if they are truly listening to others and pondering what they're hearing and trying to learn the truth, won't change their minds over time?

Now, the challenge is that some folks do change every few months, like the seasons. And the reasons for their change are, shall we say, less than genuine.... These are the ones that can be rightfully labeled "flip floppers."

So what I'm looking for are honest companions on this journey we call life, who are willing to ask the hard questions, listen hard and long so as to see out of the "other's" eyes, walk a mile in their shoes, and seek to love God and love others without being willing to sacrifice folks for truth or truth for folks.

I'm asking for a lot, it seems. But this Sacred love has a firm grip on me. It reminds me that Papa is awfully fond of me. It also reminds me that Papa has no favorites -- he's awfully fond of each and every one of his cracked Eikons. And in the end, it reminds me that Papa is counting of loving others through me.

And this must be the source of my methods for decision-making and problem-solving.

Leaning on Papa's solid Rock.

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