The following is my response to that email. The original email featured quotes from N D Wilson's "Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl" and Scott's commentary on the importance of these words. The main point of the conversation can best be sumarized with this quote:
"The world is rated 'R' and no one is checking I.D.'s. Do not try making it 'G' by imagining the shadows away. Do not try to hide your children from the world forever, but do not pretend there is no danger. Train them. Give them sharp eyes and bellies full of laughter. Make them dangerous. Make them yeast, and when they've grown, they will pollute the shadows (of this dark world with God's light)."His last paragraph dealt with politics. Without getting into that any further than I already do, please see my response below.
Thank you for sharing this Scott. I am glad you felt moved to do so.
Your commentary on child rearing hit a chord with me. Too often we do shelter our children far too much, a trend that has been increasing at break neck pace in the past decade or two.
The other example, of our political system, fits right in with the way we are raising our kids. It is as if some people feel they need some authority figure to take care of them, from the cradle to the grave. Once mommy and daddy have done their part, then it's the duty of a large federal government to take the reins. It is all based on the same flawed thinking, a false sense of security, and a victim mentality.
On the flip side. Others have a radically different flawed view of both. WE typically refer to these people as cynics. Their cynical views on everything cloud their reasoning. They are the ones you will hear, when speaking of child raising, say things like, "It's a cold cruel world out there, and the sooner he learns that the better he'll be". These are often the same tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists that spawn radicals the likes of Timothy McVay. Oddly enough, the victim mentality is prevalent here as well.
The way I see it, it all boils down to where your focus lies. The ones who are focused on safety and security on one side, and the ones who focus on the negatives of the system on the other. Either way, their primary focus is on worldly matters, and here-in lies the problem. They both feel they are victims. One feels victimized by the cruel world around them, and seeks comfort in the federal government, and the other feels victimized by the very same government the others are turning to.
The lessons you point out, and the quotes from Wilson, stand in stark contrast to these two belief systems.
Victim vs. Conqueror
Fearful vs. Fearless
ONLY by lifting our focus off these worldly events, and turning our focus to God can true transformation take place. Oh sure, these victim's groups may have their momentary triumphs, but what is accomplished in the long term. They will still go back to being the same fearful creatures they were in a short time.
I choose to live my life, knowing that danger exists, but refusing to fear it. Let danger fear ME. There are dangers from all around. The two previously mentioned groups have plenty of fears, and enough evidence can be found to justify them if a person so chooses. These fears are not based in some wild fantasy, but rather in experiences. Therefore, we know such fearful situations do exist, but does that mean we have to live our lives in fear? The term "What if" should be stricken from the English language. Who cares? What if the government decided to over tax us (as if they are not already...lol). So what that there are criminals out there who wish to steal from us or cause us harm? Fearing these makes as much sense as being afraid of being shark bit while walking down the street. If God is with me, then who can stand against me?
"...I shall fear no evil, for the Lord is with me."
We have all read and heard these words hundreds of times, but has it really sunk in? Is it a frame of mind, or simply words you say? The Lord has given us the gift of a mind that is far more powerful than we can yet even imagine. If you were to repeat these words to yourself 10, 20, 50 or more times a day, you could actually speak it into existence. With the Lord's help, after all they are His words, you can reprogram your brain to erase fear. It can be done, trust me. I have read and even written a good deal on the topic of the power of the mind. While it has mostly been in a more secular setting, as with all truths, it is based in His truth. God IS truth.
So, I say to you, let no your heart be troubled. Fear is a waste of time and energy. Being fearful of something will do no good, and in fact, can actually cause harm to befall you. Focus on fear, be it fear of bodily harm, fear of loss, fear of abandonment, or fear of poverty, and fear is what you will get. You will attract things that make you fearful.
Fear, worry, regret.... all wasted emotions. No good will ever come from these.
If we focus on peace, love, strength, righteousness, prosperity, abundance and happiness, then these are the things we will attract.
And with that, I will leave you to ponder these things for the weekend.