Friday, January 01, 2016

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.


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!"


Anonymous said...

BAM: I feel very much the same way.

Anonymous said...

Sandi White: Wonderful posting. Puts me in mind of Romans 12: 2. ' 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.

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...