Cultural Defeatism

I recently had a conversation about American culture with an acquaintance. It was an interesting  to listen to this person, with a different perspective that I, lament about the problems they see in American today.

As I listened, I couldn’t help but hear the overwhelming defeatist attitude. “That’s just the way our culture is going,” I heard over and over again. “Nothing we can do to change it.”

I refuse to have this mindset. I refuse to sit back and let the culture I love and the country I (mostly) love decay away. Now, I’m far from idealistic. (Some might even say I’m too pessimistic)  I think America can change. I I don’t think these changes will come overnight. I don’t think these changes will be easy. (Is any change easy)  If I’m honest, I might not even live to see these changes happen. The American culture may very well continue to decay on its path with no end in sight.

But, what I am optimistic about is that all things are being redeemed and will be redeemed in time. I might not see it now, but I can see glimpses of this truth everywhere and I have faith to know this is true.

I know I am not doing my part. I am not bold enough when I need to be. I can no longer sit idly by. I need to be effecting our culture in all of the ways I live my life. I need to think about what this looks like in my life and I need to pursue it voraciously.

I will not be defeated because Christ will not be defeated.

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Tiny Apartment

Today, I  am thankful for my tiny apartment. It isn’t a McMansion (nor would I want it to be) or even a modest sized home. It’s a simple one bedroom apartment and while it’s smaller than my last apartment and more expensive to boot, it is a great home.

I’m thankful for its usual quietness. I’m thankful for the location and the amenities. I’m thankful for the ability to leverage every bit of space I have to help others and to be hospitable. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve already had to do this in the months I’ve lived here and I plan to orchestrate more opportunities in the coming months.

Sometimes, I can sense myself becoming jealous by those who have a whole home to themselves. I imagine all the good I could do with that space. However, I catch myself. Caught up in a lie that I need a larger space to do more. I do not. I need to be even bolder in leveraging what I’ve been given. I need to be even more thankful –  realizing that so many in the world have so much less. I need to attend to my tiny apartment with purpose – being grateful for it, seeking to use it and adorn it in ways that flow out of the beliefs that surround the rest of my life.

 

 

The Energy to Keep Going

These thoughts are all jumbled in my head. I never know what to say these days. Some times during the day I have a genius idea to blog about something or I see a Facebook rant about politics that I want to pick apart on my venting platform away from most scrutiny, but most days I just don’t have the energy.

My days are emotionally draining in ways I never knew possible. At the end of the day I don’t even usually have the strength to process much verbally and I’m more likely than not sobbing with tears of anger and frustration on my commute home. It’s tough.

Just because my days are long and tough doesn’t mean that I don’t like them. I find value in them in ways I don’t think I could have five years ago or even one year ago. So much has had to change within me to be able to see the good and to see the hope and love in all things. With every emotionally draining day, I find myself becoming stronger in my weakness. Knowing I have nothing to give and knowing I’ve been given everything.

It’s there that I find the energy to keep going.