Built on Different Soil
Today’s headline in the New York Times reads, “Obama Cites Limits of U.S. Role in Libya.” Now most everyone knows there are trying events occurring around the world today, some in Libya and some in Japan. But frankly, every continent on the globe is facing some level of adversity, and hopefully some level of prosperity.
Several years ago I aspired to become a politician. In high school I was in the Republican’s Club. But oh how things can change. Today, I’d classify myself as a “Moderate Conservative.” I’m not one for labels, per se, but I do think it’s beneficial to know what you believe and not be afraid to admit it. Scrutiny can only make it stronger.
I have grown drastically in my political views over the last several years; partially due to life experience and partially due to cultural influences, but I’d like to think the majority of my growth is a result of my inner transforming self. It is my belief that as people, more specially as children of God, are on a mission (sometimes even subconsciously) to discover our place in the world. What we were created to do, how we are meant to help, and what impact we are meant to leave behind are all noble quests of the common sojourner. But the more I discover about my role on this earth, the more clearly my mind seems to operate.
It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular. It is why he does it. (A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God)
I have a friend whom I love and respect very deeply, but on the outside we are very different. She was raised Catholic and democratic, I was raised Baptist and republican. Yet over the many diverse discussions we have shared, fundamentally we believe very much the same. We have come to the conclusion that if you were to mix all four opposing components in blender, you would come out with something a little like us. Her beliefs are based on fairness, mine on absolute truth. There are some topics where she obviously would lean a little more liberal, where I might lean a little more conservative, but all and all our political views are not dictated by labels or cultural pressure. Although our foundations may have been built on different soil, our houses make for great neighbors.
Can the Big Bang Theory and Biblical Creation co-exist? Scientists and theologians generally agree that the universe had a starting point, the question that separates the two is, what caused it? The one aspect of the “co-exist theory” that I do support is the idea of respecting one another enough to listen and discuss ideas in an honorable manner. One of the most profound thoughts that has transformed the way I look at politics was written centuries ago by none other than my man, Aristotle.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)
Back to my New York Times headline. Keyword is “Obama.” Here down South, deep in the heart of Texas, that name has a rather negative connotation for the large majority. Personally, I did not vote for our current President, but my country did. (Deal with it people!) And no matter who holds the seat of Commander-in-Chief, I will pray for him just the same, “May God use him as an instrument of His righteousness.” Certainly Obama’s beliefs were built on different soil than my own, but we’re still neighbors.
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43-44)
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)