My 750 entry for today. Actually a bit longer. Woo. Adam likes the anonymity, but to misquote Prof. Harold Hill, "there's always an audience, kid." (Not calling Adam a kid so much as I like how the real line's delivered by Robert Preston.)
Call it a self-esteem thing or something, but I constantly crave validation. I'd like to know that the thing I'm doing is the right thing, I'd like to think that people agree with me, I want to be going with the flow. However, many times it's the case where I feel like this isn't true.
Now, don't get me wrong. I can believe in something firmly, I can know something, without someone needing to tell me I'm right. Plus, I can stand against the status quo, but sometimes it bugs me. One of those places is Facebook. I'm sure if I did that survey thing again, it would tell me that a large majority of my friends are liberal. And that's just not a train I can get on. Do I unfriend them all and surround myself with people who think just like me? That would be a bit too drastic, but at times, the current against me is a bit frustrating. Does it make me want to change my view? No, not necessarily. Because in many ways, there are plenty of things I am not too fond of with the conservative point of view as well. To be completely honest, I'm a bit of a centrist. And the world doesn't have a place for centrists. Either you're squarely in one camp or you're squarely in the other and there's no place for someone who things that you should conserve states' rights and the environment. That both abortions and guns kill people. That we do need to provide a safety net for people, but that the government should dictate the terms, not try to take it on themselves where it will be much more expensive than it needs to be and fraught with problems, loopholes and fraud. Some would say privatization would have the same effect, but that's because the system isn't set-up to make things work well, the system is made to allow provide pork barrel. And that's why I rarely talk politics. But it goes hand in hand with what's been bugging me lately.
I think I lost a friend recently because I told them I was hopeful that someday they'd decide accept Christianity. Not in a pressuring way, but just in that's one of the things I was hopeful about. They said that they could have taken offense to such a statement, and that they were hopeful that I would someday decide Christianity wasn't for me.
And I admitted struggling with how that would be offensive. I struggle with how I would respond to that if it were posed straight to me. I know so very deep in my being that what I believe is true, so in some ways, I would struggle not to be dismissive or derisive, but I would not be offended. If someone so strongly believes something to be true, then what should they be, if not hopeful, that the people they care about would come to share their beliefs? Especially if it is something that theoretically has eternity implications?
And it all centers around one little word... Hope. Without it, what do we have? Why are we here? Is there a future? Why does anything we do matter? Hope is what makes it all possible. Hope for that future. Hope for tomorrow. Hope for our children. Hope for love.
President Obama marketed hope brilliantly. And people bought it. As well they should. In my opinion, it was magnificent. I was pretty close to buying it myself. I really struggled. I believed what he was selling. Just a few small planks in the Democratic platform I couldn't reconcile with.
Of course, not sure how well our President has been able to deliver on that hope. But since the Christian church seems to have abdicated the absolute best selling-point they have: a confident hope in the eternal future, it was wide-open and it was what people really needed to hear after the Cheney dictatorship.
But that's really not the point. The point is that we all need hope.
And for me, I find that hope in my Christian belief - my belief that Jesus Christ was so he said he was: God and man. Can I explain it all? No. Am I one-hundred percent positive? No. But I'm pretty darn close. And if at the end of it, I'm wrong, well, I've live a life that I'm fully confident in. Well, I have my skeletons in my closet, I am a sinner, but that's not the point. I have the hope that in the end, if there is an accounting for our lives (and I believe there will be), that confidence I have in Jesus means that my sins are paid for. And in the meantime, motivated by that faith, I strive to live a life that reflect those values and leave the earth a better place than I found it.
And it's that confidence, that faith, that brings me peace. I'm patient, this isn't a position I would push on anyone or preach about. If it's something someone wants, they choose it for themselves.
But in the end, who wouldn't hope their friends could find that peace and confidence?