Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ft. Hood

I watched the President tonight on the news. He was at Ft. Hood. Very moving. His words were wise, the emotion of the families and friends of those killed and wounded was very touching.

I don’t know what happened at Ft. Hood beyond just the obvious facts. I don’t think any of us have the full story yet but there’s growing evidence that extremism lashed out and claimed even more victims. The thought of that both saddens and angers me.

Terrorism. I don’t know about you but it makes me very uneasy. There’s no easy way to combat it. The most normal looking, best educated person we know might be on the edge of doing some horrible act.

I’ve stayed away from talk radio on this one. My guess is that fingers are being pointed and blame assigned. It’s either Obamas’s fault or the end result of the failed policies of Bush. Both presidents are easy targets.

I think there’s a harder target to hit. It’s us. My guess is that no one reading this is a terrorist. Maybe, but I doubt it. For the most part the readers of this blog are beyond their teenage years. Some are in their twenties and thirties but the vast majority are 40+. For the most part all of us are good people, leading good lives, and making whatever good impact we can in the world around us.

We’re appalled when we hear about Ft. Hood. We want an easy answer. We want someone to blame, someone we can point a finger at, shaking our head in disgust. We want justice to be served. And justice should be served. No doubt.

I wonder, though, if we’ll pause long enough to stop pointing fingers and assigning blame and getting serious, really serious about how we make this world a better place. Again, my 60’s idealism informs my thoughts as well as the Christ who lives in me.

I try to make a difference. So do many of you. We do make a difference. But maybe, just maybe, we’re being called to up the ante a bit. Maybe there’s another step we need to take.

To be honest, most of what I do doesn’t require much sacrifice. I’m in my comfort zone most of the time. I’m wondering if the state of the world doesn’t require me to start sacrificing in order to make the difference I really want to make.

Let’s face it. Hate, extremism, and indifference are making their mark. It’s easy to hate, extremists hardly have to think about what they’re doing (just following their basic instinct), and indifference is second nature for many of us.

Maybe, what’s going to be required is that those of us who are living good lives decide to go beyond good and tap into God’s best for us. Maybe the way we live, without sacrifice, without thoughtfulness at times creates the environment in which extremism and hate thrives.

This guy who killed everyone at Ft. Hood was probably influenced by people who were willing to do whatever it took to shape other people’s lives. How willing am I to step up, living into my God given potential to help shape lives for good and not for evil? How willing am I? Are you?

I’m not stupid. The world is in a mess. But I wonder if this ‘Jesus’ stuff many of us talk about goes beyond what’s easy and comfortable and it stretches us a little. Actually, maybe it stretches us a lot.

People died at Ft. Hood. That saddens me. A lot.

But I ask myself ‘what can I do to prevent something like that happening again?” And I have no easy easy answers. The only thing that comes to mind is that I need to step up my game. Wherever there’s hate I can sow love. Where extremists spray their venom I could step up and bravely stand for healing and reconciliation. And I could easily choose to not be indifferent or bask in the light of ‘my good deeds’. There’s a ‘next step’ I could take. So could you.

4 comments:

John said...

Hey Mike,

I think the first part of the next step is realizing that part of worshiping Allah is killing people who don't. We're dealing with folks who's fundamental doctrine says that righteousness is achieved by attacking those who don't profess the same religious views.

This is so foreign to the way Christianity works that we have a hard time getting our heads around it. We can't imagine a god who is happy when we do harm to other people.

Consequently, when a few dozen people are mowed down at Ft. Hood, we ask questions like, "What made him do this?" What made him do it is the same thing that makes you write your blog, preach your sermons and ponder how you can make personal sacrifices in order to advance the cause of Jesus Christ. It's conviction. It's doctrine. It's Islam that makes him do it.

I agree with you that Christians have something to offer. We have Jesus. Christianity, when it's properly understood, solves our problems. The difficulty is that it's hard to talk to someone about Jesus after he's shot you in the head.

You should go a little easier on yourself. The best way to make the world a better place, is to keep shining the light of Christ. It's not your fault (or mine, or any other Christian's) that one of Allah's worshipers killed a bunch of innocent people at Ft. Hood. And I think you are doing what needs to be done to make a difference.

Mike said...

Thanks John.

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