Far Better Irrelevant for Now than Unserious Forever
Events can make us feel powerless, because we are, in fact, fairly powerless. Even in a Republic, my vote, my opinion is just one of many. That is as it should be, but means that I must not worry or stress when I cannot control outcomes I do not like.
This is as hard as not being stressed when heading to the dentist. I know what I should feel, yet mental assent to the truth is not enough. There is a deep lie that many of us believe: we are central, the masters of our fate, the captain that can sail away in whatever direction he wishes.
God is in Heaven making right in the world. The Republic is in Washington and our state capitals are built on the votes of millions. In the light of the Omnipotent or even the mere millions, I am small.
This is as it must be. Each of us is one of many and none of us should wish to be a tyrant, even if we could be. We cannot be tyrants due to a lack of talent and that is worth remembering. There are few things more foolish than pining after a sin we are not capable of committing.
Our simple natures, our lack of power, saves us from many evils. I am not up to the job of being a tyrant of the nation, thank God. If the nation needs such a corrupt man, they will turn to someone else. This is good news, but good news that stings.
So the nation does not hang on our vote or our opinion. Why then bother to write an opinion?
Why not just be quiet?
Our minds can be awake. We can side with justice (best we can when so beset with confusion) for a short time, but not for eternity. In the light of eternity, hidden in our hearts, we need a longer view.
Take the Long View
Are we winning or losing?
This is the wrong question unless we ask: “Are we wining or losing when it comes to the abiding judgment of the God of history?”
What seems good now, might seem bad later. Hell is full of short term winners. Heaven is has room for people who take the eternal view.
Ask Theodosius. Today he made Christianity the favored religion in the dying Roman Empire. The result was one thousand years more civilization and the salvation of centuries of classical and pagan intellectual work. His nation studied a multitude of ideas for almost the entire history of the nation and so much was saved that would otherwise have been forgotten.
Be like Theodosius, at least this way: choosing long term winning over short term success.
People, at least people like I am, bet on the immediate too often. We know that we should not, but the snack machine has sort of yummy snacks now and retirement is still years away, so we spend money we should save on a small pleasure and forgo greater goods to come.
God help us.
Instead of a short term win, we should try triumphing forever.