Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reflections of a Nation

This is one of those entries where some of you might question my patriotism. Some might read this and think I am out right anti American. Please understand I am eternally grateful for the country God has planted me in. I have an amazingly deep respect and appreciation of the men and women all around the world who have, will and are sacrificing, even with their lives, for my freedom and right to spout off.

This has been a historic week in the life of this great nation. Something many never thought possible has happened, the Oval office has welcomed the first African-American, ironically still housed in the White House. Whether one thought George Bush was good as president or not, the truth which raises to the top is, it was time for change. The time for change is in more than just our political system. It is time for a fundamental shift in how we function as Americans.

While on Wednesday morning we greeted the new day with diversity in leadership, our country really has the same challenges. Having an African-American president does not mean all of a sudden we are done with racism in America. Having a new president of any ethnic or racial background does not automatically set right that which infects our country. Greed and arrogance rule the day. Some might say just by my writing of this proves arrogance is still alive and well. Understand my writing comes from concern not pride or arrogance. It could be easy for us to enter into a time of great delusionment, where we think things have changed.

The words of Gandhi hold true, we must be the change we want to see. To truly change the course of this nation will mean each individual will have to choose to live differently. Consume less, conserve more. Horde less, give a way more. All around the world there are people who hate this country of ours, and I do mean hate. I have heard it said they are just jealous of our country. I have heard it said they are just too lazy to create a country as great as ours. Others have informed me of the great benevolence of America to the world. From where I sit, the people who hate America do not do so out of wanting what we have, they are far from lazy, and there is not an experience of a benevolent America. From where I sit, granted it is a limited view, I can see how America would come off as arrogant, the international bully. There are all kinds of statistics which prove our track record with benevolence is not what we think it is.

It is in fact time to celebrate the fact that America is the greatest nation going. Not with military might, and not with political maneuvering, but with how each of us as individuals live our daily lives. I wonder what would happen if we as a nation moved from %.2 of our Gross Domestic product given to benevolence around the world, to a tithe. Not for gain, simply for showing the graciousness we have been shown over the years. What would happen if we the people consumed less. What would happen if we the people began to put the interests of others ahead of our own. What would happen if we the people fundamentally changed how we live our lives. By the way, that is the true call of Christ.

Change in leadership has come to our country. Now it is time for us the citizens to begin our work and responsibility to change.

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