Skip to main content

I want to believe



I remember being fifteen years old and carefree like it was yesterday. I can still see it in my mind’s eye. I was living in Woodstock, Georgia with my family and at an age where I still liked playing cars in the dirt and shooting squirrels with my Savage 12-guage shotgun. I didn’t want to grow up – that would come a year later when I got a driver’s license and began pursuing girls and listening to the news about Vietnam. 

The year was 1967 and it was a tumultuous time, as I’ve mentioned numerous times in other columns. Half of me knew it and half of me was happy to let other people worry about it. Like now I was optimistic about a new year and a new beginning and I really believed times would get better. Now, I’m not so sure, but an ember of hope still shines.

I always heard that the future is what you make it and on an individual level, I still believe this, at least to a certain extent. I want to believe. Please Lord, make it so. I’m a news junkie, again as I’ve stated before. I don’t listen to any political pundits for my take on current events, but troll Drudge and Google News, mainly to get feeds. I read and read and read. The news I hear sounds down right scary. A panacea to the plethora of bad news is I also pay attention to another plane of existence.

I believe in God and believe he was manifested in the man Jesus the Christ. I also believe that God in all his omniscience and omnipotence is fully capable of having a firm grip on everything, or he wouldn’t be God, right? This isn’t probably a universal dogma, but I can’t and won’t limit my God to a place of finite capabilities. I believe in miracles.

My future is dictated by my beliefs, but also my free will and I choose to direct as much of it as I can. I believe a whole lot of it is in a spiritual realm I am only slightly aware of, but what I can see and control is important and I want to direct it as positively as possible – and have fun along the way.

So, I geocache, do community service by picking up litter, and write for the newspaper. I exercise and teach classes and try to give back to my community by donating blood and helping those I can. I attend religious services and truly be nice to people I care about. I win, I fail, and I try to do well. I want to believe I am making a difference. I want to believe I am leaving a legacy I can be proud of.

I want to believe that this next year is going to be the greatest positive experience of my life, even better than when I was 15 years old. However, experience and years like 2009 are always looming in the back of my mind, overshadowing that optimism. All of us live one second from falling to our knees and crying out to whichever god we choose to follow. I want to fall to my knees voluntarily, not by being knocked on them by happenstance, bad judgment, inconsiderate behavior, or accident.

When I was 15 I just knew everything would miraculously fall into place for me. At my current advanced age, I wonder every day when something bad is going to be suddenly revealed. I’m told the sharpened skill of worrying comes with age and I am experiencing it daily to back that up.

Until that final day comes, I want to look at the future like it’s my box of chocolates and every one of them is good in some way or other. This new year I want to have a major paradigm shift from the past and try to see people the same way as those chocolates. I’ve became cynical toward strangers over the years as people have been rude and uncaring especially while driving. This may be one of my greatest challenges, as daily I am exposed to this inconsiderate behavior.

Outside of their cars, I’ve found most everyone to be rational and friendly and this is my hope. I want to work on myself this next year, because I can’t change that person’s attitude positively in the cars I encounter. I can however be more understanding when driving and less critical.

2016 might just be the best year I’ve ever experienced.  I want to believe.
 .

Comments

Anonymous said…
Barbara Pugh: I want to believe so much....
Anonymous said…
Dandy Don Cunningham‎

I just read your column in The Baytown Sun, Bert, and it was another awesome one. We can easily get burdened with anger and frustration with people's actions and decision, so much that it begins to affect our attitudes and willingness to make things better. God bless you for your positive attitude and for relying on God for help. God bless you and your family during this new year. I pray that 2016 is one of rich blessings and opportunities for you all.
Anonymous said…
Barbora Cole: I liked your column in today's Baytown Sun.
Anonymous said…

Dear News Junkie!

I LOVED your article in today's Sun. I share both your optimism and concerns about the future. By design, most of the news is bad, leading us to overlook the tons of good things going on all around us.

I share your belief in God and His Son, and greatly appreciate you putting it in print, I will always question why God gave man so much free will, for I believe it's man's many bad choices that's put the world in the mess it's in. I don't believe in a controlling God, but believe that He will indeed have the final word!

Thanks for including "picking up litter" in your article! I'm proud to say my granddaughter keeps a bag and gloves in her car. When she can, she pops out to collect litter (using the same words of disgust her grandmother recites every time I stoop down to pick up someone else's junk!)

I hope "2016 might just be the best year (you've) ever experienced!" I, too, "want to believe!"

Eleanor
Anonymous said…
BAM: I feel very much the same way.
Anonymous said…
Sandi White: Wonderful posting. Puts me in mind of Romans 12: 2. '....be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind...". You can look for and into the Darkness or turn right around and see the Light instead. I am hoping your 2016 will be the best one for you yet.
Anonymous said…
Barbara Rush: 2016 is the year for all of us. Hoping yours is good until the end.

Popular posts from this blog

Camp fires, wood smoke, and burning leaves.

When I was a kid, everyone burned leaves in the fall. I always enjoyed it so much.It was a happy time. Man, that smell was amazing and you couldn’t go anywhere without smelling it. Of course now I know that it is a major source of air pollution and those of us that live inside the city limits are restricted from doing it. I don’t think I would burn them anyway, choosing to compost instead.
The whole family would engage in raking the yard and the reward was burning the leaves. The thick gray smoke would pour out like liquid clouds and we would run through it. Afterward, we smelled like smoke, but we didn’t care. I would wager that most people under the age of 30 have never even raked leaves into a pile, let alone burn them.
Growing up in north Georgia in the late 60’s, my 3 brothers and I would camp out most of the summer and burn anything and everything on our campfire. At the end of summer there wouldn’t be a stick, pine cone, or needle on the ground. We smelled like mountain men a…

Riding the waves

Back in 1974, after coming back to the USA from the unpleasant conflict in Southeast Asia, I was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. Vandenberg has 20 miles of coastline that is basically closed to the public and people in residence, regardless if you are in the military or not. This rule didn’t seem to affect my fellow airmen and I from going body surfing on a lonely stretch of beach, far from controlling authorities. There was a submerged shelf that ran out a couple three hundred yards from the beach that was flat and about 6 feet deep.You could swim way out there and as the ocean waves came in, they would hit that shelf and make 5 feet high waves that white-capped all the way in. Now mind you, this was pre-Jaws and none of us had ever heard of a Great White shark. Year later I read where this stretch of beach was prime habitat and a couple years ago, an airman was killed right there.
We had been in the 65 degree water for about an hour and I was turning …

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I wish I could remember who it was that said you can get a basic education in three years, but let us take a look at Ben Franklin as an example of that. We have a family joke that the answer to almost any Jeopardy clue is almost always “Who was Ben Franklin?”
When I am asked who I would most likely enjoy an afternoon with, it is always Ol’ Ben, the only President of the United States, who was never the President of the United States. Did you know he was the master of self-promotion and a man I admire? Even as a young lad, if he spotted a person of higher station, he would grab a shovel or some tool and begin to work diligently. The person would see him and remark, “What a fine worker that young man is!”
I’ve read a couple of books on the man and it still amazes me that he did so much with so little organized education. “From 1714-1716, Franklin attended Boston Grammar School and George Brownell's English School (for one year each) but he was withdrawn due to the expense of formal…