The past decade or so I’ve read a few books that have touched on the idea of following your heart, professional choices, changing careers, all that, (although, not the ones alluded to in the title, but their titles are rather clever.) Since I work in a middle school, I also see similar encouragements for the kids. I love that, because I think it’s just so very important for that age group to start evaluating and exploring and looking at life and the future in those terms, and how their choices now effect their horizons later.
From where I stand, 58 years down my own path, I guess I should know…
I don’t recall ever having those kinds of tests or questions or books to read back in the 70’s. The reason I chose nursing was (at least in part) because it looked exciting on TV and I thought Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy was pretty cool. So there it is. Such a well informed decision of a 17-year-old would surely have nothing but successful results.
No, that was not a reference to any political affiliation, but any true Trekkie would recognize that phrase as the warning signal on the Starship Enterprise, which might be followed by such notable quotes as “shields at full” or “fire proton torpedoes”.
However, the term is a good illustration of a deep-seated anxiety plaguing our American society right now, one of many in fact. The election of 2016 is being touted as one-of-a-kind, and to some degree rightly so. On the other hand, the angst and rancor are nothing new, but a fine old American tradition dating back at least to Rutherford vs. Tilden of 1876.*
Of course, the political climate is only one example of the generalized apprehension that is so much a part of our culture. It’s unfortunate that, as a Christian, a purported follower of the Creator of the Universe, I have a tendency to acquiesce to some of the same anxieties. I say unfortunate because a) I should know better, b) I know WHY I should know better, and c) I have been given sufficient Power to act on that knowledge.
In reality, these fearsome “what ifs” are the 64-color crayon box version of worries, complete with the sharpener on the back, just in case the particular color of the day becomes a bit dull in our Enemy’s hand as he tries to scribble on my world. And my Enemy is not the government, the boss, or even the neighbor next door.
There’s the rub, the real point. The apostle Paul wrote that we “war not against flesh and blood, but against the unseen powers of darkness”, and when it came to supernatural antagonists, if anyone knew what he was talking about, it was Paul. I have an Enemy far more seditiously subtle than anything I may read or hear on the news. And if I get wise to one of his colors, he’s got plenty of others to choose from, unless…
As I write this, I am at a nursing conference. Here is a piece of scientific wisdom from Dr. David Schramm’s session:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
That doesn’t mean I ignore all the bad news in favor of the good. But it does matter what I choose to focus and reflect on, since it helps determine what my responses will be to all things, both good and bad…
…no matter what color the next “alert” is. (And there WILL be more.)
Bob and I like stargazing. I know that sounds romantic, and I suppose it is, until you consider that we get up in the wee pre-dawn hours to drive (further) out into the country (only about 10 minutes) to an isolated farm-access gravel road between a corn patch and a cow field. In August are the Perseids, an annual meteorological lightshow that is worth craning your neck to see, unless you like to just stretch out on top of the car’s hood, like me.
Staring into the galaxy beyond the fireballs that are “up close and personal”, you know, like Proxima Centauri which is a mere 4.2 light years away, you can see why our spiral in the universe is called the “Milky Way”. How many stars can I actually see out here? One estimate I read was less than 0.000003%. It’s beyond what my depth Continue reading “Star Trek, from my car”