Saturday, June 20, 2015

Being Frank about religion and politics

After a few decades on this planet, I am surprised that I have not yet come to terms with talking about my faith, what I believe deep down inside. 
Oh, if you ask me, I can give a reason for my faith, but I don't like to talk about what I do about my faith. 
Some people are rather glib when talking about what they do at their church. I am not. 
It's not that I am ashamed of my faith or my church. Quite the opposite. I'm thankful the Lord found me and I'm thankful I found our church. 
I think it has more to do with an honest humility about who I am compared with Who God Is. 
I think we know ourselves best when we go to bed and the house is quiet and we are all alone before we go to sleep, no matter how many people are snoring under the same roof. 
I don't criticize those who discuss their religion, unless their attitude comes across as "Look what I do for God! Isn't he lucky to have me!"
In college, I had a dash magnet on my 1974 Ford Pinto (remember when dashes were still made of steel?) It read, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." I believe that more so today than back then but now I wouldn't be comfortable wearing my religion on my car dash or on my shirt sleeve.
I know a man who glued a copy of the 10 Commandments to his computer monitor so he had to see it every time he worked. People who visited his office couldn't see the list unless they walked behind his desk. The list was there for his use. He never mentioned it to anyone when I was around. 
I feel I need to be reminded of what the Bible says, too. I keep a Bible on my cell phone and one on my tablet. 
I started thinking about this after attending the 100th birthday celebration of a lady in our town. She is in a nursing home. She walked into the dining room, unaware of the surprise party the staff planned for her. 
She was mentally alert and had a good sense of humor. 
When I asked her about the future, she replied, "I'll just take it as it comes. You can't do anything about it anyway." 
No, at 100, I guess not. 
Then I thought of a gentleman in our church who tripped and fell while walking into the church a couple weeks ago. 
He is 98, will be 99 in November and I've reminded him since his 90th birthday party I wanted an invitation to his hundredth. 
"I'll be there," he said. 
It was scary when he fell but he is on the mend and I'm sure he will make it to his centennial. 
Now, I can talk about church when it's just you and me, sitting here, but even in a crowd of two or three or more, I really am not comfortable talking about anything I do for our God. Is that strange?
It just seems that the quiet people I have known over the years hold the moral compass for the rest of us while the TV preachers and the god-spouting politicians do more to hinder the faith than to pass it on.  
By their example, much more than by "preaching," the quiet people point us in the direction we should go as a nation. Like the steady drip of water on a rock over many years they make a great impression on us. 

I love the people who don't wear their religion on their shirtsleeves or in their political speeches, but who live their religion day in and day out, without calling attention to themselves.