Have you read anything about Idaho lately? Do your out-of-state relatives or friends send you articles about our lovely state? I just finished reading another online article about how Idaho is becoming or has already become a haven for extremist groups and “preppers”, etc. I dutifully read all such articles that are sent to me, and then I go shop at Super One or Fred Meyer and nothing seems very extreme to me, except the size of the soft drinks’ aisle.
Don’t get me wrong. I take these articles seriously and I read the paper every day. One cannot live here and not know what is going on. Especially when a group or individual gets violent. (We have much to be thankful for in our local law enforcement.) And I blame no one for leaving our state because of the political climate and emotional reactivity of so many people in this area.
But there is also something to be said for staying and just being normal, reasonable, and civil. Our history, as a country, has been a tumultuous one. Our country has always been fractured and reactive. We, as citizens, have always been ready to fight amongst ourselves even as we band together to fight a common foreign enemy. Maybe, in this day and time, the heroic thing is to simply live a Christian life of love and service, forgiving those who malign us or make our lives more difficult. Maybe the courageous thing is simply to go about our lives being polite to strangers, giving others the benefit of the doubt, correcting wrongdoing without raising our voices, and being grateful for all the beauty that surrounds us.
This takes more discipline than busting heads, shouting down those who disagree with us or picking up a gun.
In large cities, violence and civil unrest often occurs when summer temperatures rise. Perhaps it is time to turn the societal thermostat down a little. Maybe you and I can be ice cubes in the lemonade of our cultural reactivity and help cool things down a little. I may be crazy, but these days, if you believe everything you read, I have a lot of company.
Let me know what you think.
Your fellow servant, Pastor Bob