“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning” – Albert Camus
It’s that time of year again – the beginning. This is the time when we traditionally make bold proclamations about how this year is going to be different, this year is going to be better. Who knows – maybe it will. As Camus notes above, great things appear ridiculous at their beginning.
As a first step, let us remember the vision, the goals, the “big things,” – the reason we do what we do. I started blogging better than a year ago because I felt I needed to get my views on matters of religion and politics down on paper (or in bits as is the case here). I am a Christian. I am ardently, unashamedly Christian. I am carried away with the hope that is in Jesus Christ, with faith in His mercy and goodness, and with the unconditional love of the Father. My heart is a flutter (you heard me).
Most people, upon hearing this, have some level of preconception about where I might stand politically. I have found that they are often wrong (perhaps just a shade off, and perhaps off in rationale but not result – but not quite on the button). So, it behooved me to put my views out for the world to see.
I believe that in a democracy, where the government is the people, the proper role of said government is to defend human rights and nothing more. When governments move beyond this, they presume an authority over the personage of men that is the realm of conquerors and kings – not neighbors. This is anathema to my Christian views of the way we (the Christians) ought to live. Thus, I bristle at the notion of Christians supporting government intrusion into the affairs of men – other than defense of rights (e.g., life, liberty, property, enforcement of contracts, etc…). When the government moves beyond this to do “good” they end up trampling what is fundamental and sacred, abrogating any good they hoped to achieve.
Now for resolutions. Last year at this time, I resolved to “blog more often.” We had 216 posts in 2010; that’s better than one every other day. Not terrible for a busy guy like myself (full time job, three kids, etc…). Personally, I’d like to get that up over 250 this year. A modest gain, but a gain nonetheless. (I also have goals for number of reader “views” in 2011, but I’ll keep those to myself … lest I divulge how many people don’t read this blog.)
We may actually try to branch out beyond just blogging. Haven’t really laid any concrete plans on this, but I’m looking for other outlets for the material. The country is casting about looking for the right direction in troubled times – what better time to get the word out? What better time for Christians to be “salt and light” in the world?
Speaking of the world …
As I’ve read news and opinion articles over the last few days, I see a number of people pushing optimism in 2011. This is not untoward or unusual for the new year. We all want to believe that the next year will be better, more prosperous, more peaceful, than the one before. I’m optimistic too, but for different reasons.
Economically, we’ve got some serious, serious pain to work through. Municipalities will probably start dropping into bankruptcy or default at a greater pace; retired public workers will face losses of pensions (and therefore livelihoods); and sooner or later the bills for all of our borrowed money will have to be paid. “This makes you optimistic?” – yes. I believe that free people, given a challenge (and maintaining their freedom) can accomplish great things. We humans have an indomitable spirit. If we just get to addressing the fundamental issues (and breaking the eggs that must be broken) we can find our way out of this mess.
I also caught an article just the other day about a wide range of military conflicts brewing across the world that could escalate to wars this year. “This makes you optimistic?” – sort of. War is a painful thing. But, there are oppressed people across the world who are starting to see no benefit to themselves of staying under thumb. I’d naturally prefer peaceful resolution, but if fighting is the way to end the oppression of the masses, then fighting it may well be. For instance, we could see an end to the North Korean genocide this year. The mere thought of it is mesmerizing – millions of people could taste freedom. (Perhaps we should lay aside some cabbage to send aid when the wall comes down.)
In general, the world is still a fallen place, with fallen and broken people harming and hurting one another. “This makes you optimistic” – no, but what comes next does. The Christians expect nothing more form the world than brokenness and pain; it is fallen. However, there are good people out there working to bring freedom, deliverance, hope, and love to the victims. This is a good thing, and I am hopeful that their mission will meet with (continued) success. As for resolution – I hope to be more helpful to those causes this year; to put more effort, more money, more focus into building up the efforts that are truly impacting the world, one rescued person at a time.
Live each day like it counts – it does. You never know whose life you might just change today.