In God I Still Trust: my 90s-Kid perspective on current affairs.
I've always had a pretty interesting relationship with God, especially for someone like me. Like most people, and most Americans especially, I have the insatiable desire to "figure everything out." Like a talking head on your favorite news program, I have attempted to avoid pain by ferociously investigating all of the possible painful outcomes that could occur in any given situation so as to be "prepared" if catastrophe should strike. I seek to understand all of my ways, desires and actions comprehensively so as to avoid any trauma that may result of an undetected part of my personality. I seek to detect everything. If given the choice between psychology and spirituality, I subconsciously choose the former no matter how many times the latter has saved my ass. Still, for someone of my level of neurosis, I'd like to think my willingness to rely on God even in the way I do is something of a miracle. While there is value in understanding myself, my emotions and where they come from, I am missing out on true transformational change when I close myself off to a power greater than myself. I can "figure it out", but my belief in God is what ultimately helps me turn my despair into hope. It helps me find higher solutions. You may call God "Love" or "The Universe", but regardless of the name you choose, I think it's safe to say we really, really need that Power right now.
A Democrat from New York, this probably isn't something you're used to hearing from my ilk, but it's true: without God, I can resort to choosing misery over joy in most of my encounters. I can't imagine I'm that much different from everyone else in that way, which is what leads me to believe that my self-reliant neurosis might be a more national than personal issue.
I have a new mantra that I've been using to remind myself that I have more than just "me" at my disposal: 'when in doubt, choose love.' Suddenly, it seems like fear is all around me. I'm not usually one to let the news of the day into my psyche, but with all that's going on in our world today, it's difficult not to be swept away in fear and doubt about virtually everything. If you can get past the terror threats, mass shootings, environmental destruction and Donald Trump, you still have to worry about all the sugar in your cereal, the chemicals in your shampoo and the cancer risk of virtually everything. Worry is available everywhere, and I don't know about you, but I certainly can't crawl my way out of that negative space without God leading me out.
I'm fresh out of solutions for our immigration crisis, but I'm doing everything I can with what I have to help. The thing is, I don't think I'm supposed to have all the answers: I think I'm supposed to be asked to lean on something bigger and greater than I am. I think we all are. And while self-reliance has taken us to many places in this country, I don't think the same thinking that's gotten us into many of the messes we are in is going to get us out. I think we need something bigger than we are, and I don't think we can afford to act like we don't anymore.
Most of the people who would prefer the word "God" be taken out of our Pledge of Allegiance are of my same political affiliation. I understand where those people are coming from - God has been used as a weapon more than a uniting force in our country - but I don't agree with them. Every time I think to remember it, I am so grateful I am under God. I am so grateful I am not the parent that needs to figure all this stuff out. I don't want to be alone; I don't think being alone is even an option with everything that needs to be worked out.
I get the opposition: I've heard the faint "Bless Your Hearts" that so-called religious people speak upon to anyone whom they feel sorry for but would rather not help. I am not one of those people. At the same time, I don't think we should eliminate God from our understanding of the world just because there are certain people who take God's message as one that enables and perpetuates judgement. That God is not my God, just as the love Miley Cyrus has for certain chemical substances is not the love I have for my husband. I still get to have love, and call it love, no matter what you choose to make of that word's meaning.
Our election is coming up in less than a year. We are being asked to choose a president that we will put our utmost stake into. We will trust this person to handle our fate in ways we don't have the power to, and we will probably expect so much from whomever this person winds up being that only a small number of us will be satisfied. In my mind, we invest so much of ourselves into this presidential figure because we need someone to drive us out of darkness and into light. We need a parent: someone who can see across the street when the cars are coming and steer us away form oncoming traffic. At the same time, we must also remember that we are all human. We only have so much power. While the idea of surrendering some of our need for control into the hands of God has become a bit taboo since Touched by an Angel went off the air in 2003, I wonder what might happen if we all considered giving it a try again. Perhaps in admitting how much we can't do, instead of boasting how much we can, we might be guided to solutions we couldn't have possibly come up with on our own. Maybe then, we'll find the solutions that match the very real magnitude of our need for them.