The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Land of the Free, Home of the Worried

America does not sleep well.

There may be no other country on the planet that lives in such a perpetual state of fear as these United States. Since September 11th, the ever present heartbeat of terrorism softy yet ominously beats in her ears. In a macabre way, many awake every morning with the voice in the back of their minds whispering the question, “Is today the day we get hit again?” Helpless to do anything about the plans of the terrorist, they pour their first cup of coffee and get on with the day. There are plenty of other things to worry about.

The weatherman says the temperature today will be higher or lower than normal. In addition to the possibility that one might get blown up on the way to the office, another nagging voice reminds the American that the world is getting warmer and nothing good can possibly come of that, right? No doubt the fact that today’s weather is slightly off average clearly indicates that disaster must be just around the corner, although what exactly that disaster really consists of has hardly been defined. The elite just want one to know that Mother Earth is as mad as hell and is not going to take it anymore. But what can one really do about global warming? The American sighs. There is much more to worry about.

The war continues to go badly according to Matt Lauer and his band of brothers and sisters in the news media intent on stopping a war the way Walter Cronkite was credited with during the Vietnam era. America has grown weary of her sons and daughters dying in a foreign land, though she has not seemed to tire of killing her unborn citizens at a rate of over a million per year. A woman’s right to choose to kill the child in her womb seems to take priority over a young man’s right to choose to sacrifice his life in his effort to save said woman from those evil doers who would kill her for no other reason than she exists; which in many cases is the exact reason she chooses to kill her own child. It exists, and she doesn’t want it. The American flips off the tube and goes to work. There is much more to worry about.

On the way to the job the American stops at a Starbucks for a cup of coffee that costs slightly more than a gallon of gas, but comes only in a twelve ounce cup. A price increase at the coffee shop is met with a shrug while a hike at the gas pump gets regaled with calls for Congressional oversight. Oil companies are damned for making obscene profits on a volatile commodity while the caffeine pushers get a free pass. Perhaps if the gas station put a quasi-socially conscious message on their receipts the same way Starbucks does on their coffee cups, the American would not feel so bad paying so much. The tank topped off and the liquid upper in cup in hand, the American moves on. There is much more to worry about.

The reporter on the radio announces what should be the obvious reality that rush hour traffic is moving slowly, and one now has to worry about being late for the job. It’s another worry for the American. Being late could be perceived as a sign of irresponsible character which in today’s unstable workplace could mean the difference between employment and becoming a consultant who is keeping options open. The paycheck is far better with the former. Anxiously, the American bobs and weaves in a poorly choreographed ballet of cars, but eventually, the American gives in to the futility of the dance and accepts the crawling pace of things. There is still more to worry about.

One could not justly speak of American worries without bringing up the issue of sex. For many it presents a constant challenge. Is one getting enough? No. Why not? The American cannot figure out why so the search for more continues. The songs on the radio say it’s out there. The ads on the billboards show that it’s out there. The television program watched the night before portray that it’s out there, and yet America seems convinced that a fair share has not been distributed and one has received the smaller slice. A sense of lacking invades the American’s sub-conscience. Yes, there are more important things to worry about; however, this one thing seems to garner an overabundance of apprehension which often leads to poor decision making resulting in even more worries. “Did I get used last night?” “Was she really on birth control?” “Does this mean we’re in love?” Indeed, many, many things to struggle with surrounding sex.

The one big worry that most Americans fail to address, largely because they really do not know how, is what to do about God? Perhaps they fail to find Him because they do treat Him as a worry, and not as a loving Creator and Father. They worry over His existence. They worry over His rules and regulations. They really worry over His right to judge. Yet the American fails to embrace the reality that God is love, not worry. God is that loving whisper heard most profoundly in the silence of the heart that continuously gets drowned out by the noise of our worried lives.

In only the American could stop and realize that God knew one would fret over daily life so He sent His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to take on all worries. He came to propose a way to live worry free. The American need only accept His proposal. And with that acceptance, the terrorist becomes powerless; global warming becomes secondary; war becomes unnecessary; life becomes supreme; Starbucks becomes a drain on charity; work becomes less personally consuming; and sex becomes more purposeful, meaningful, and infinitely more beautiful.

An American President once assured the country with a stalwart statement;

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Perhaps the next time the American pulls out that twenty dollar bill to pay for his prescription co-pay to cover the cost of the monthly supply of Lunesta; or maybe before she plops down a five-spot to pay for a martini to calm her anxiety, the citizen will notice a simple message that provides the antidote for the poison of worry in the American’s heart. It’s written right on the currency.

“In God We Trust.”


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