I am still afraid, but after taking a step back, I decided that I simply need to focus on becoming a better, more spiritual, tolerant and wholesome person and not succumb to the hatred and division that is making Satan rejoice. But then I think of my children and the anger and panic come back. How do I raise these people to adhere to a moral code that society does not? How do I drive home the point that just because something is legal, doesn't make it right? And how do I do it without creating pompous, self righteous judges in the process? Why does this have to be SO HARD?
My 13 year old loves Instagram. If you don't know what that is, look it up. Too lazy to explain. Anyway, I follow him and the other day I was looking at the things he was posting. A lot of them were political poster pictures poking fun of President Obama. I immediately called him in and told him he needed to remove them and that he could not do that.
"Why? I'm just standing up for what I believe."
"No you aren't. You are being callous and disrespectful and you cannot do that. Respect the office, Will. It doesn't mean to have to like what he stands for, but if you are going to be stupid with social media, you cannot be on it anymore."
Ok, I'd better admit that I immediately wanted to go back and delete my angry post election entry should he see it. While I want my kids to adhere to a moral code different from that of our government, there is definitely a way NOT to do it. I am trying very hard not to be a "Do as I say, not as I do..." parent. Because any idiot knows that kids do what they see you do (even if they tell you that you are not cool and not funny).
So how do I go forward as a parent and as a Christian and as a runner (I just needed to throw running in there to make this mesh with the blog)?
There were a series of events that got me thinking about how to go about this. I am going to tell you, and I am really not proud of this, but on Wednesday I could not really bring myself to pray. I know, I know, never a good thing to give God the silent treatment. I was so mad at everything and everyone. I knew I needed to stop and just say some prayers, but I was busy being ticked. So I ignored that ever present voice inside my head telling me to hit my knees. But that God is so clever and does not like to be ignored. He simply will draw your attention to things, that if you are aware of His constant presence, show you what He wants you to do.
The first was a greeting card I received on Monday from a dear friend with a beautiful and sweet message. As I was shuffling some papers on my desk, the card I had already read, caught my eye (this was on Wednesday). I opened it up again and read it again. One of the sentences said something about being awed by my "deep commitment to love unconditionally." Immediately I stopped what I was doing. All day my mind had been filled with resentment and anger. That one line suddenly made me feel like a fraud. I was anything but "loving unconditionally" that day.
The next was my creeping on Will's Instagram account (poor kid hates that I follow him... too bad he has no choice :) Doing this made me realize what a hypocrite I was by telling him to essentially "hate the sin, love the sinner." Didn't I love the idea of "outbreeding those bastards"?
On Thursday morning, I was driving home from dropping the kids off at school. I was listening to 93.3, which now is featuring Christmas music. No judging... I could listen to Christmas music all year long and sometimes do. Anyway, the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" came on. I love that song, but have never really listened to the words. Thursday I did and boy, it's meaning could move a boulder to tears.
Finally, while I was ironing table cloths for Thanksgiving (stop being jealous of my exciting life and instead be proud that I am two weeks ahead on that task...), I got a text from my sister Maggie. And I hope you don't mind, Mag, but I am sharing it because it was very powerful.
"Well, I've resigned myself to implore the help of St. Paul, who like Obama, hated Christians, and yet he was converted. Converting the thug in chief is our only hope for the next 4 years...(icons with little sad faces)."
So maybe Maggie wasn't ENTIRELY Christian in her text, but her message was awesome. Suddenly things kind of clicked and I think I actually said out loud, "Ok. I hear you."
Hate breeds hate. Division and anger is just as big a threat to our country as its immoral laws. It is our duty to pray for one another. That is how change is made. That is the only way this great nation will stay great. This incredibly powerful message was coming at me from every direction, as evidenced by the things I just talked about.
So that is how I will go forward. I will pray for our president, our Senate, House and Supreme Court justices. I will pray that the decisions they make are in the best interest of the country and that whatever they are, they align with the will of God. If we all do this, miraculous things will happen. That is our only hope for change.