Thursday, January 12, 2017

Keeping It Reel: Trudging

Oh my Lord ya'll! Anyone else trudging this week?

"Trudging? The slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in his life except he impulse to simply soldier on..."
 I'll admit it seems a little early in the year to be trudging already...but, let's be real, many-possibly even most-of us are still recuperating from 2016. Sorry 2017. We wanted to give you a chance. To look at you with fresh eyes and renewed hearts...but 2016 got it's last licks in and, well, to be honest, you haven't started on the brightest of notes. We're trying to be positive but the current state of affairs just makes it difficult.

I'm not just talking about political affairs...although, if you know me, you know the victory of Donald Trump has thrown me for an absolute loop and I have trouble just turning on the television. His careless remarks about international affairs give me anxiety attacks not just for my country but for my son. His cabinet appointees signal to me and a great many people I know that we are about to see our country moving backward from the progress we've made when it comes to women's rights, immigration, LGBTQ rights, race relations, etc. Make America Great Again was not and has never been about making this country great for all people but a select few. And for those people to prosper, it seems others must suffer. I-of course-could be wrong, but those are my current fears.

I'm also talking about a lack of trust in our government and media no matter which side you are on...there is too much bias, too much disinformation, and too many pointing fingers. And our society, as is often the way of things, follows the mood. So we are locked in two extremes with any movement towards the middle being seen as weakness and surrender. We can't or won't listen to one another, consider each others view points. Media releasing unsubstantiated information causes us to lose trust in the organizations that should be feeding us information but they aren't actually out to inform us anymore...they just want the ratings. The government isn't working for us anymore but against each other. It's a cage match to the death! Republican vs Democrat! Only one will come out of the ring alive!

In this atmosphere there is no "and". 

  • I can't be supportive of law enforcement and against the unjust killings of Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott and so many others. I participated in a march this Summer because I believed it was important...and my "friend" count on Facebook dropped dramatically. Without a word, people that I thought I knew, that knew me, people that I cared about...those relationships are broken. 
  • I can't be pro-life and Democrat.
  • I can't be pro-LGBTQ equality and Christian.
  • I can't be pro-Kirby and pro-Richt (had to throw in football joke...)
I was talking to a family member recently who told me her son was going to bring her to see my daughter's baby but decided it would be in the best interest to wait until "things died down" after the inauguration. My feelings were so hurt. I told her that first of all I wouldn't be there and second of all I wouldn't have brought up politics.She told me "I know, but he would" and I realized that if he did, I couldn't be trusted not to engage. And I am passionate. And, well, loud. We've always disagreed on politics, I'm the only Democrat in my family. And we've had debates. But now, it's impacting our relationships. It's hurting our family.

So we are carrying all of that...and all the personal stuff. Illness, job loss, hurting marriages...and a sense of isolation. We could just give up. Stay in bed all day. Watch British dramas to escape reality and push away the pain and hopelessness (wait...I think that's just me). Stuff our face with ice cream (yeah, that one is pretty universal). But instead, we trudge.
"...still trudging does represent pride, resolve and faith in the good Lord almighty. Please Christ rescue me from my current tribula-OW!"
Trudging is a good thing. It means we carry on...we continue in despair perhaps but we move towards hope. At least, that's the idea. If you are trudging towards something other than hope, a splinter will do you good. It gives you a minute to stop and look around. You might see things with a new eye or you might find new possibilities. Your situation could very well be dire. You could be living in one of the most divisive times in our country's history. You could be jobless, homeless, and about to turn 44 years old (oh wait...I think that's just me again) It might give you a minute to think about your life (put some clothes on...), evaluate relationships, or take a rest. But regardless, take a minute to remov.e the splinter. And keep trudging. Because faith tells us to. And, believe it or not, I believe that our steps will quicken and we'll walk. And I think that as a people, if we see someone who is trudging, we slow our steps until theirs quicken. And I think that if we see someone limping, we offer to help them. Together we trudge, walk or run towards hope, faith and justice. 

No matter what 2017, our families, the government, or the media throw at us. We do it together.

Today I am trudging. 
Tomorrow might be different. I hope so. 
But I refuse to stop. I refuse to quit.

Trudge on...
And reach for the stars.

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