As I write, I’m listening to NPR’s coverage of the new book (“Fire and Fury”) about Donald Trump that is a “tell-all” of what has gone on in the White House so far, with nuggets such as (apparently) the President doesn’t read anything (NOTHING), which makes it very difficult to get information to the him. Furthermore, if one is speaking to him, he never LISTENS.
Every day it seems we hear something that is more disturbing than the day before, and I for one want to confess to some unwholesome thoughts I have had: a half-wit who lives exclusively in his own grandiose reality is running our country. A delusional man is in charge; where is the (patriotic? suicidal?) assassin who might help us get out of this mess?
I name these thoughts with the pastoral thought that – if some of you are thinking the same thing – you are not a bad person. It is the logical thought process of someone who feels alarm, a measure of powerlessness, and matches the apocalyptic vision that Train Wreck Trump at times sounds hellbent toward making everyone’s reality, whether that’s the end of a United States America, or the end of a livable planet. Holy crap!
Indeed, it’s crossed my mind that perhaps the eschatological (having to do with end times) view of the New Testament in the Book of Revelation is not some odd duck that made it into the canon. Is Trump the ultimate horseman of the apocalypse?
Well – I doubt it. We will get through this, and none of us are alone: we are all in this together. However: similar to when you never tell a person who just experienced devastating tragedy that “everything will be okay,” don’t mistake my hope as facile assurances. Serious damage has already been wrought. The truth is we don’t know what tomorrow or next year will bring. But we do know this: each day is a precious gift, and nothing about our lives should be taken for granted, including our closest relationships and our own free agency.
No matter what happens in the larger world, what goes on in our smaller worlds is still up to us. Our responses to the world’s stresses are always up to us; outside work, how we spend our days is up to us. So I encourage you to do what I plan to do in 2018: I commit myself to spiritual and emotional growth, as well as making art, and taking more art in. As long as the world keeps spinning, I’m never off the hook to honor and live by my inner strength and knowledge; therefore, I will nurture my inner strength and knowledge. Nothing the so-called President says or does (short of nuclear holocaust I guess!) can stop me from continually becoming a more mature, loving, and helpful person.
If Trump is the Destroyer, then I will be a Helper. This is no time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and fritter our precious time and energy away with the things that numb us or distract us. Don’t let anger and fear steal your zest for life!
I don’t believe in the Book of Revelation. I do believe in the prophets and the apostles who have always said, “never give up, and it’s never too late.” It’s hard to believe in much of anything these days, but if you have the courage, believe in yourself, and your fellow American. Believe in all of us whom believe, “this too shall pass.”
See you in church!