Archive for January, 2019
I think it is an uncontested fact that we hate to be lied to. I think we can say with absolute agreement that when given information about a product we are purchasing, we want accuracy, clarity, and non-interpretable language. In short we want truth and not advertising. We want reality and not fiction. We even pass laws requiring ingredients be listed on products so everyone can be informed. So I have to wonder why moral and social behavior is handled so differently.
New York recently passed a law that expanded abortion rights. The state had followed the guidelines of most of the country, which allowed abortion by choice up to 24 weeks and after that only by exception. That exception was based upon a doctor determining the physical or mental health of the mother was at risk. It did not really change it’s stand on that; it simply put into rule was previously the exception. The new law specifically states that abortion is now restricted to the 24 week window or it is necessary to protect the patients life or health. It removed any checks and balances on that decision to the doctor’s opinion.
I have to admit when reading the law I found it hard not to vomit. I also must admit that it is not only the allowance of this act but the interpretable language and advertising mentality that was the problem. The law appears worded to protect the government by placing the interpretation and thereby the responsibility for the action on the doctor and patient. It starts with a comment that is abhorrent at best. It reads “Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States”. I can safely say that can only be accurate for at most 50% of the patients involved because by virtue of the “procedure” at least 50% of the living beings die.
It is hard not to notice the immediate hypocrisy of this. New York has found capital punishment to be unconstitutional as it violates the rights of the criminal but has made it constitutional to kill an unborn child with the loophole of opinion. I guess the infants rights take a back seat to the criminals rights.
For many years the arguments about abortion centered on the definition of life. Originally they claimed the fetus was not living until it left the womb. It then moved back to a point where it was determined to be viable. The arguments changed at that point to individual rights and whether the state or for that matter any being or entity should have control over a woman’s body.
I honestly believe the most sickening part about this is the rhetoric involved that obfuscates the tragedy of the action. We have gone from discussing the value of life and are now hearing arguments about rights and freedoms and the perseverance through inner turmoil on a tough decision to have an abortion. Really? I am supposed to respect a person because they chose to kill a baby? We are being encouraged to celebrate free speech when people shout their abortion. Again, really? If a person wore a t-shirt shouting they had killed a baby, it would be considered a confession and an arrest-able offense. However if the optics change because we desensitize the world through logos, ad agency lingo, and rebranding, I am supposed to accept it? I think I need to vomit again.
I am doing my best not to be glib because the real conversation is truly about life and death. At the same time, I need to understand the Christian response. Many Christians raise their voice vilifying those who have had an abortion rather than doing anything to help. We focus on political candidates who can overturn laws as if that will stop the problem. We don’t want to address the real problem, which is that we argue against from the outside without ever considering what the problem looks like from the inside.
If I am not willing to find a way to truly help, should I be vocal about the problem at all? We should be sickened by this epidemic. We should see how it cries out against God and celebrates the hubris of mankind. But anytime I have ever recognized something like that, God is not asking me to re-tweet or re-share a meme. He is asking me to get involved with the tools that I have been given. I do not believe the bible teaches us to build a Christian utopia here on earth and call it God’s Kingdom. I have read the book and it doesn’t end that way. I do believe God is calling us to minister to the broken. And this circumstance is truly broken. I am reasonably certain the world knows we do not accept or approve of abortion. We can stop over sharing that. Now lets use the gifts God has given us to find a better answer. But beware, the devil is in the details.
His last words before stepping into the darkness were “So much wasted time”. He was an actor and family man but life had not been easy for him. It is neither my place nor my desire to evaluate the validity of those words in his life but I can respect them and even resonate with them in my own. I think it probably resonates with many people.
Time is an elusive beast that somehow becomes the most dangerous when I think I have it the most controlled. It taunts me with an ever-present dread of running out, yet there are more things I want to fit in. It is ever full and never satisfied. There is something beautifully tragic in the perpetual nature of its motion yet there seems to be no way to understand the impact of it’s drive until it has run it’s course.
If I look back in earnest at the life I have lived, I cannot help but see the vigilant graceful and loving hand of the Creator guiding me to things some have never seen or felt. I have been afforded opportunities in the world that are priceless, still I feel somehow empty at times. I have seen wonders up close that even angels long to see, but I still want more. I have held life and watched it slide away and never seen the impact until it was gone. Somehow the power of the event or even the shear majesty of it is not enough to help me see the fleeting nature of its existence. Or, more realistically, I allow my stubborn nature and self-will to focus more upon the amount than the value.
There must have been a moment where I could have said “enough”. There must have been a moment when I could have called out into the ether itself, with all the rage of life’s disappointments and empty dreams, and with a word stopped the madness of my self imposed regret cycle that keeps me looking for more and yet missing what I have. There must have been a moment. Maybe it passed long ago. Or maybe, that moment is now. Maybe it is every moment. Maybe the problem isn’t in the moment itself but in what I do with it.
Is it wrong to want more? I think the obvious answer is that if wanting more causes us to waste what we have, than the answer is yes. What if it didn’t though? What if there was a way to act and to experience life to its fullest without missing opportunities or wasting moments with those around us that mean something to us? That sounds great on paper, but how do you actually do that and know the difference?
I suppose I should have more answers than questions, but I am not sure I do. More realistically I guess I don’t like the answers I have. They require I make changes to my mindset and actions. That opens a whole new problem. I have to become more responsible. That is not pleasant. I want action without responsibility. I want change without work. I want my cake and I want the car it was delivered in too. In reality, I want more, I just want it on my terms, which I guess is why I become unhappy with the outcome.
I think the eye of the storm in this conversation is satisfaction. If my choices for my life bring satisfaction then what I have wanted has led me to what I have found and therefore what I have become. Simply put, choices reveal character; character creates satisfaction; and satisfaction soothes the soul. Wasted time does not equal wasted life. Time is a measurement and life is gift. Living it well is the best way to connect to the Creator and his Son. We just need to be willing to accept that our definition of “well” may be different than his and frankly his is right. Aligning with that definition is what the actor truly needed. I know that because that is what we all need.