I see an increasing lawlessness in our society emanating from the President and the courts. It's not just that I disagree with where the President wants to take the country, it's that I see people for whom "being in the right" (which they easily assume means holding their views) is sufficient reason to take short cuts through the law. This is tyranny, plain and simple. This is just making it up. And it's not just the health care law.
At the same time, The United Methodist Church, to which I have belonged and in which I have labored for nearly forty years, is tearing itself apart. Once again, those who believe they are in the right think that gives them the authority to discard any rules they find inconvenient.
Looking abroad at the wider world, I see more than one gathering storm which we are ill-prepared to face. Our country is growing weaker militarily and economically. Our ability to influence the course of events shrinks even faster than our willingness to do so.
All this coincides with the approach, in a few years, of my retirement. Personal worries about living arrangements and income -- perfectly normal for someone in my age and career stage -- are magnified by the lowering clouds in our society and church and world. I wonder if I were younger if I would feel more confident, because I would be more able to adapt to whatever might come.
I think to myself, "this must be what it felt like to be living in the 1850s, when our country was tearing itself apart and nobody could hold it together much longer. The comforting thing is, we came through that. The frightening thing is, there was no guarantee we would. And, it came at a terrible cost. The same feelings were probably true for those in other crisis points in history, such as the 1930s.
All one can do is live the best life one can. Christians are not allowed to despair. Even if I, personally, will not live to see better times on the other side of the coming turmoil, I need to live and serve as one who knows how one ought to live. Maybe I should try reading The Consolation of Philosophy. Ol' Boethius knew a thing or two about living in parlous times.