I was sitting in Mass the other day after my little political debate over Face Book and I had this horrible jaw ache. I touched my jaw and in my ear and it sent out shots of pain. I thought, "oh great, what is wrong with me now?" By the end of Mass, the jaw ache was gone. Was it a miracle? Not necessarily. I think I was able to relax and let some of the tension go from my feeble attempts to defray some of the unfair and untrue assumptions people can make about conservative arguments.
On the way home, I realized that fear had been starting to creep in to my thinking. Fear, I know so well, is not from God. I have no need to fear the direction our country seems to be going and the world for that matter. I don't need to fear the very likely inflation that is coming, the government taking a greater and greater role in the lives of individuals, another terrorist attack or even the H1N1 virus. My faith and my trust is firmly planted in God and the love he has for all of us. He is in control and even cares about our world and it's injustices.
When I was able to pinpoint that I was taking on an attitude of fear more than an attitude of trust, I made the decision to try to stop watching a particular political news show that tugs at my emotions a little too much. I also thought I should stop paying attention all together and wait until the 2010 election. However, the more I ponder the thought of giving up politics, the more I realize what an interest I have in it--and have had for many years. I am very aware of things going on in the government and the current political discussion. I'm not sure that I should give it up so quickly because I am full of (some may think useless) information and I have an ability to communicate it in a way that is unique to me. I may not be able to persuade a die hard democrat to change her ways, but I am able to articulate the conservative view. I am also able to give information to those who are more politically conservative and help them to know they are not alone (or selfish) for thinking the things they do.
Most importantly, with my foundation based on God and the truth of his love for me and all of humanity, I am able to help my fellow conservatives to put away fear. And fear, in my opinion, is what drives a conservative to freak out about such things as a presidential address to students in the classroom. It's not bad to be wary and vigilant, but we do not need to fear.
I have a strong belief that my heart's desire and the interests I have are a integral part of who I am and what I have to give to this world. I don't think serving God means giving up the things I love or even taking on things that I don't love. It means putting God first in my life and then carefully considering if my interests (in politics or whatever) are furthering the work of God in our time in this place.