hi, god

Hi, God.

I should probably apologize and ask forgiveness before I do anything else. I’ve not noticed you like I should. I’m sorry. I’ve probably missed the point of a million pretty things and a thousand precious moments along the way. And I’m quite confident I’ve enjoyed a lot of goodies at your bidding without even considering how kind you are. I really am sorry – and thanks.

I wonder sometimes what kind of an influence I am. I wonder what my coworkers and my friends and especially my kids and the others I love think about you because of me. As much as I want to represent and mimic you and your approach to things, I think I do it wrong a lot. I probably owe them all an apology for being such a mishmashed example sometimes, and one to you for misrepresenting your heart. Saying out loud that I’m a Christian probably carries a whole lot more responsibility than I’ve been giving it.

I've been meaning to thank you for the cheaper car insurance. Better coverage too! Thanks!!

I’ve been a bad Republican. I don’t know if that requires a confession or not. But I mention it just in case. I’m having trouble figuring out the wealthy/needy equation. People with lots and people with little living so close to each other… I get mixed up on whose side Jesus is on. I do think though that some of your people are kinda getting distracted - making hay for horses that ain’t hungry. Not that I'd be a better Democrat. I don’t know for sure what a Tea Partier is. I'll beg your indulgence on that one.

I felt really bad the other day at church. The guy sitting about three seats down was bouncing his leg like a pogo stick. I think he was nervous. But the whole row shook and it got on my nerves. I could’a been a better worshipper, but I was being jostled. No doubt, the sermon was spot on, but I was distracted. I probably shouldn’t have, but I stared at him till he stopped – for a while. I think I made him more uncomfortable. I hope he comes back this Sunday. I'll do better. Nudge him if you will.

I said the word fool back on April first. Mom always said we shouldn’t. Wanted you to know.

Speaking of bad words, I cursed the gas prices this week. Well, it really wasn’t a curse word. But it was one I wouldn’t want Mom to hear passing my lips. I don’t know what the point was anyway. It’s not like numbers have souls. I certainly didn’t mean it as a curse on the people who rob, er’ decide what we pay. I don’t want anyone to go to hell. I don’t think anyone heard me, but when the pump stopped and the total jumped out on me like that chainsaw guy at the end of the haunted forest, I just blurted it out. I really am sorry.

I’ve had a lot of meals lately without thanking you for the bounty. So I thank you now with incredible and sincere appreciation.

I plan to wake up tomorrow. Thanks in advance for the fun, and my apologies for the mess.


god or not

"I prefer to help people of my own accord following God's individual direction rather than forced charity through the government. Those who invoke religious motives when attempting to justify the immoral redsitrabution [sic] of wealth are using the lazyiest [sic] possible argument [sic]"

I found this quote the other day on Leland's Facebook page. It was his response to a liberal friend who was trying to appeal to his religious convictions. One of them was talking, I think, about God's charity; the other about God's government.

I've been debating in my own head these same conflicting and frustrating arguments for a while now. I’ve moved a great deal from where I was, but I'm still not solidly settled on a position. There are reasons that I agree and disagree with Leland.

I can't not admit that I'm a hypocrite when it comes to personal denial. I've enjoyed nice vacations knowing there is a kid somewhere who could make a year's worth of necessities out of my week of extravagance. A mom who works the hard soil with bare feet would wince at my shoe stash. A lot of nice coats hang in my warm closet on cold, cold nights.

I've earned most of what I have. In the morning, when the alarm goes off, I get out of bed, feeling it or not, and get myself to the place that pays me to be productive. I work for my stuff, and I feel I deserve my stuff. But I also feel compelled to give as generously as I can to help meet the needs of others. I think that's the point my friend Leland was making, and it makes great sense.

There seems to be something missing though in Leland’s spirit. I absolutely do not question his commitment or relationship with God. I don’t qualify to even sit on that jury. I want to ask though, in the Scripture, which was more evidently important to Jesus Christ, caring for the poor and making sure that the hungry get to eat even a little, or protecting the wealthy and ensuring that they always have more than enough? Where did Jesus stand on political power? What was his position on keeping the government under control or in the control of the right people? Jesus Christ didn’t seem too interested in patriotic motivation or conditional compassion.

There is also the issue of the long range premise of Leland’s words. There are lots of very conservative Christians in the United States who are working incredibly hard to make sure that their idea of the teachings of the Holy Bible is the law of the land. Lawmakers who promote “family values” admit they are influenced by Judeo-Christian ideas. But if religion is no good reason for a government to be morally compassionate, then is religion a good reason for a government to be morally judicious?

"I prefer to live my life of my own accord, following God's individual direction, rather than forced morality through the government. Those who invoke religious motives when attempting to legislate moral 'family values' are using the laziest possible argument."