Take It Personally

In the year of our Lord, 2023 many people would like for “normal” to return.

beach blur clouds dawn

“And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:35-38)

In the year of our Lord, 2023 many people would like for “normal” to return. Yet we seem to be living in the year(s) of the storms. After our world was turned upside down with the lockdowns and all sorts of jabs at our physical and mental acuity I’m not sure anyone remembers exactly what normal was or is.

Here it is the third month of a new year and where are we? Like the meme of the pigs saying “What do we want, and when do we want it,” we are looking for the impossible dream to be fulfilled.

There are as many answers to the question of what do you want as there are respondents. One of my favorites is “to be thinner” with the answer to when being “by Friday.” Or what do you want? A million dollars… when? By Friday.

It is the impossible dream offered first and the impossible time frame offered second. And surely no one believes it could happen.

The sunshine today makes it look normal in a day-to-day way, but for some reason the words “Going where no man has ever gone before.” is the reality of where we are today.

The quote by Selma Lagerlof—“Nothing on earth can make up for the loss of one who has loved you.” seems to fit the times we are living in, even though I haven’t technically lost anyone lately. And even though we are doing normal things in what looks like the same world if I were a science fiction writer I might describe it as a shiver as if there is a shift in time or space.

For years the worst thing a person could be was a believer in something called conspiracy theories. These were unnamed theories mostly just whispered or laughed at with a wink and a nod.

In the last few years, people have grown more bold until there were written lists, and weirdos were called conspiracy theory believers. As often happens the conspiracy theories came true, the weirdos were right and now we need new conspiracy theories.

So, what or who have we lost this year? Many people have perished—Most of them not close to me, but some of the “loved ones” I have lost weren’t people—they were things that I cherished. Ideals that left my sphere that I can’t seem to retrieve.

“The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know it will tell you.” Carl Jung

Humans are the only beings on this earth that ask the question, who am I, and what is my purpose here? Animals have an idea of purpose although WE may not understand what their purpose is.

We had an Arabian filly once. She did not like a work harness, and if she were ridden past her liking point she would lie down, saddle, rider and all, but she could run like the wind when allowed to do so. We had a Morgan horse that would do almost anything asked of him… well, he didn’t sing and dance but maybe that was our fault.

Animals just know their purpose. Chickens scratch in the dirt looking for sustenance, laying eggs, and reproducing chicks. Cows graze in the grass and raise their calves. Yesterday was the first day of spring and summer birds are arriving to make their summer homes and raise their babies.

Cats are sure they are royalty. Their duty is to lay around, producing litters of kittens, catching mice and such like, and harassing our bird population. A propensity I would like to ping them for, but alas they are beyond my range of pinging.

One of our favorite dogs was a model for the cartoon interaction of the dog and in our case squirrel episodes. Our pooch would lay in my flower bed until we drove in from church of a Sunday then he would suddenly jump to his feet and run off looking for squirrels to chase, pretending he’d been on duty all morning—and not really laying in my flower bed. He understood his purpose.

There’s a famous line from the movie Secondhand Lions from the speech that one of the old uncles tells all young men entering into adult manhood. The line starts with “Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most.”

The uncle’s speech is inspiring and he hits several nails on the head. But there are several things we must keep in mind. God’s Word is truth. What God has revealed is true and that word and his law are what civilization needs and what we need to believe in the most. What we have today is a group of people who want to reshape truth into their own image.

As the storm rages around us there are many people who want to sit this dance out. I don’t know what most of us can do, but I would like to be similar to the summer birds—Making our summer homes, raising our little people, or in Old Fuzzy and my world watching good things happen…

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

(Mark 4:39-41)

I have believed for many years that we Christians are supposed to work as if all depends on us but to pray, knowing that the battle belongs to the Lord. And so we must watch and pray…

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…”  (Ephesians 6:10-14)