"There's no present like the time."
The understatement on the day.
It's courtesy of Babul,
and just a line from...
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
during my usual Sunday ritual of listening to a wave of morning preachers one after the other, one of them pointed out what seemed to be something obvious -- and yet -- it wasn't. He said that to worry is acting like a pagan, for where is thy faith if we sit and crumble under the pressure, consumed by the temporal fear of whatever is going on around us, or the things that may or may not ever be, as if God and All that God Is and All that God promises to believers, of the Life Everlasting and the Peace that Passes all Understanding, is in question.
Where is thy faith?
In the midst of a world falling apart in the every day, reflecting upon this persistent conflict of reconciling and overcoming the things we witness on the outside with the things we know and believe on the inside becomes something of an acquired talent, over time really -- a magical feat against all odds, as the Ecclesiastic seasons come and go as they please. [Of course, that would not be God's Odds, that would be human odds, complete with human limitations, and quickly parlaying into human results.]
And clearly, as it would seem to the naked eye anyway, some days are just easier than others to have this kind of certain faith, while other days, we are just plum lost.
The only way our world -- this world, the only world we have -- gets better, is upon each new day when each and every one of us awakes, we individually commit to being and doing our very best, as one human being to another.
For we all know what being and doing our best looks like and most importantly, feels like; for no doubt, this integrity within ourselves and among our fellow man produces exactly this result -- we reap what we sow. This is, in part, what our founder's called Nature's Law, and this natural, organic, systematic, charismatic, meta-physic equation of Judeo-Christian roots soon became part and parcel of the foundation upon which this Republic was made, without question. [Dare you to look into it.]
The Founder's counted upon the generations to continue to be not of little faith, but an all-encompassing, never to be separated, free-exercising public body of believers in the Divine. For a faithful lot is a happy lot; a happy lot is a happy life; a happy life is a happy community and a country who lives and works and does good things in the pursuit of happiness for all the neighborhood, if not the entire world, to witness and enjoy...albeit, happily.
From my favorite book, The 5,000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen, "Benjamin Franklin Describes the Five Fundamentals of 'All Sound Religion' " --- stating the following,
"Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion."
and thus when Alexis de Tocqueville, of France, came upon America to visit, he made the following observation:
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
Indeed. Our conduct counts, and ultimately it will be judged; but until that day, let's just agree to be good, for it makes things a whole lot easier and better and happier for the lot that is all of us.
The only Thing of this world that is Pure Good is God.
And without a faith in Something greater than ourselves, and moreover, Something that teaches us to be good, the more America will find herself lost in every way and pretty much broken.
As long as we are all good to one another (and good encapsulating many different things -- respectful, honorable, kind, honest, loving...), each and every one of us could walk around with a gun in our back pocket and have no issues whatsoever. As in none.
Just love Benjamin when he says, "[T]hat the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children."
to his other children, Benjamin says. oh and just how much love can one girl have in her heart for this fine specimen of a human being and founding father of this great country,.. oh how much love...it knows no bounds.
That the best we can be, "the most acceptable service is doing good to his other children" says it all, does it not? Which is why it is so worthy of repeating over and over again and until we get it right and it's completely understood, because clearly, it isn't. We must care for, and be good to, our fellow man, above all else, as we go about our day. This is the time to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," indeed! and thank you JFK and your inaugural address of 1961.
In summation, let's go to Sam Adams --
"The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves."
All that we are now -- in America -- is a sum of all of our moving parts, all 330 million of us. Whether we sit in the pit of worry, utterly silent, or whether we are loud and making our voices heard, marching, screaming, and telling all the world of the things that matter, or whether we chose to take the law into our own hands, all combined it is a lethal injection of a moral crime against humanity, against America herself. Combined, we kill the best of whatever is yet to come for all us. Combined it is a corruption of everything America is or ever will be, while only a virtuous society has the power to mend...with a little help from Heaven above and God's grace below.
Now this girl is moving swiftly in another direction, and my hope is that it reconnects somewhere in the heart of things, but please, bear with me as I awkwardly acknowledge Trump's running mate -- officially announced just yesterday -- Mike Pence. The announcement was delayed a day, given the news coming out of Europe, for France fell victim to another terrorist attack underneath a celebratory sky in Nice, an attack that killed 84 souls, and wounding hundreds more, if not thousands or millions even, if counting the broken hearts, My prayers are with you all.
Now, Pence is a sound pick; my congratulations to the pair, and especially to Trump, as he makes his first sound decision in the matter of becoming the next president of the United States. And in so acknowledging this new phase, it just so happens that today's sermon from Joel Osteen hit upon the message of the things God has in store for us -- On most days, we are unaware of the glory upon the horizon and just around the bend. We must soldier onward and upward by right action and by our faith realizing that if all is not well, then all is not done. God has a plan for each one of us.
Osteen then told the story of Samuel anointing David as King.
As the story goes, to be found in 1 Samuel 16, Samuel had mistaken the Lord's wishes, allowing for his rather human prerequisites for the next leader to forsake him. And finally, the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at, Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord at the heart."
For in this short verse, the yin and yang of the republican ticket completes itself; the outside and the inside form together in a more perfect union of what the republican ticket should look like, sound like, act like, and hopefully be like when finally in office. For better or worse, Trump seems to be the guy, and with great happiness, his other half will fill the requirements of the job! How wonderful is that!
In translation, Pence is my David -- the choice helps me over the Trump hump with a sense of less panic, less worry, less holy crap what on earth is happening to America right now?! Of course, I still have concerns; but concerns are healthy -- and a far cry from complete worry to the point of being stunned and unable to respond or act, frozen with fear, Far cry. and yet the tears keep coming, go figure...it's a conundrum.
Someone once said there is no present like the time.
This is that time. This is that day.
The present, when it presents itself to us in the every day, and within every minute of the day, has the power to change everything, for better or worse, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health.
Pow, pow, pow pow pow! Just like that, an Islamic extremist can plow down onlookers -- on the streets of beautiful Nice for a Bastille Day celebration -- in an horrific attack.
Poof! Just like that, Turkey can fall to an Islamic leader, possibly staging his own coup in order to justify a total, political, ideological sea change in the country.
Bang! Just like that, three more police officers have been assassinated, this time in the streets of Baton Rouge. Add that to the five others in the last ten days, in Dallas, and we have ourselves not only another hate crime, but have reached a moral decay of new lows in the ruthless attack upon our very own public servants.
And abracadabra! like magic, we can go forth to our faith, and pray -- asking for guidance, asking for how we can serve better, as one human being to another and another -- perhaps on our knees begging for mercy, healing, and forgiveness for the distance we have placed in society to the God we know and love.
today, this girl aches, sensing a pain never felt before, in all of my days...
the only thing that saves me, lifts me, makes me feel the entirety of this present moment all at once, is KNOWING, without a doubt, there is a reason for this season in America. Understanding we are being tested like never before, recognizing there is a God and this God is still in charge -- of everything, mind you -- we must go forth in faith, a certain and mighty faith, unwavering. Even when by all appearances, all may be lost -- it is not finished.
There is no present like the time.
Make it a Good Day, G