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Today a dear friend of mine sent an email forward with a video of Trace Adkins and the West Point Cadet Glee Club performing “Til the last shot’s fired” at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Words spoken by the warrior who introduced them have stayed with me: “Please consider that it’s not about the war, it’s about the warrior.”

The words in the song are from the perspective of the dead calling us to pray for peace so that they may “lay down [their] guns” and go home. I know I’m taking this to an extreme by thinking that tired, fallen warriors wouldn’t call for an absence of war through the powerful voice of Trace Adkins on a stage such as the Academy of Country Music Awards to set their spirits free with a semi-fallen warrior asking us to pay attention to the warrior if the wars “out there” were anything other than a reflection of our wars within.

Once again I revisit Chief Joseph’s declaration to fight no more, forever. With the deepest respect for the women and men who’ve died and those putting their lives on the line right now, I can’t help but ask everyone, “us”, to examine our hearts, to look for the places within where we will not forgive or where we hold on to right and wrong. I have my own inner bruises and wounds that I choose to lick, so it is with awareness of the depth of the challenge that I ask myself, and you, to consider that it’s not about the war, it’s about the warrior. In one way or another we are all warriors–what are we fighting for?

Is it worth it?

 

Lately I’ve been hearing people comment that we aren’t really in control and reciting the Yiddish proverb: “Man plans, God laughs,” that they’re being asked to have faith. Faith in what, I wonder. Don’t we all have faith in something…a lot of things? I realize the term typically refers to having a belief in God or something that cannot be proved, yet don’t we also have faith, without thinking about it, in things such as that the floor will be under our feet when we get out of bed?

Do we look at our unsuccessful attempts to create specific desired results and our illnesses as a sign that we’re not in control, therefore God must be, because we have faith in God? And then tell ourselves we must have faith…that God has a better plan for us? Or, when we succeed, thank God for giving us what we asked for? I know I’m simplifying this, but I wonder if we’d be better off to ask ourselves what we really have faith in and answer the question honestly. Is it a stupendously strong faith that keeps the ground under our feet? That allows us to witness our current perceptions of the physical universe? Is that stronger than our faith in God and his plans for us?

I know I’m stretching out there…

I recently had a conversation with someone and referenced something he’d talked about. He then told me he hadn’t said anything about that, but that it was true, he just hadn’t said it. Wait a minute! Don’t mess with my perception of reality—that I can tell the difference between a thought and a spoken statement. It’s pretty cool to be able to know things beyond the spoken and the physical, but it’s really helpful to know when it’s a “knowing” and when it’s a shared physical experience.

So, what do you have faith in? Your talents and abilities? God? That the sun will come out tomorrow? That the devil tempts us? If you treat others well, they will treat you well? That the other shoe will drop…eventually? That there’s more to our world that what we can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell? That there’s not?

What do I have faith in that I’m not aware of?

       Some things are best kept private.

I’m aware of that.

Yeah.

Love you,

August 2017
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