The other day, I did a radio interview. When I was brought on air, I asked the host how he was doing.
"Well, I could give the socially acceptable answer and say, 'Fine,' but, I'm really not doing too good."
He went on to chronicle all of the things going horribly wrong in the country to justify his ill-humor.
I have to admit, most of his observations where spot-on.
The radio show host was just one of many liberty-minded folks that expressed a sense of despair as I spoke with them over the last few weeks. I guess it's pretty easy to become disillusioned, defeated and depressed if you love liberty in this day an age.
But seriously folks, look up and pull yourself out of the mud! Don't let the bastards steal your joy!
I fight for liberty and freedom because I love life. I want the opportunity to live it to the fullest. Not just for me, but for my children. That being the case, how can I justify living my life in a fog of depression every day? If I do that, I've let tyranny win. They can limit my liberty to some degree, but if I let them cage me in a pit of despair, they've truly already won.
I believe in the importance of political activism. I spend hours every day working within the political realm. I am constantly reading about, writing about and discussing political philosophy, tactics and policy. But this doesn't define who I am.
I am a father. I am a husband. I am a friend. I am a hockey player. I am a musician. I am a jokester. I am a photographer. I am a writer.
Most significantly, I am a child of God.
There are an awful lot of reasons there to be joyful!
The apostle Paul wrote, "I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles, my joy knows no bounds."
That sounds like a much better way to live life than "woe is me."
One of the hard lessons I've learned through 45 years on planet earth is that an awful lot of things happen that I cannot control. Spending time and energy focused on things I have no control over wastes an awful lot of time and energy. So I try to live like this: focus on what I can control, and let the rest take care of itself.
People often ask me, "Doesn't all of the political activism wear you down? Don't you feel like you're just beating your head against a wall?"
But here's the thing; I am only responsible for doing what I feel called and led to do. I can't make people listen or act. I can only spread the message. The rest lies in their hands. If I do my part, my responsibility ends. I have to let the rest go. Ezekiel provides the basis of my view on this.
33 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But
if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to
warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that
person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the
watchman accountable for their blood.’
I view my work with the Tenth Amendment Center as vital. I will continue to fight for liberty and constitutional fidelity as long as I have breath. It's that important. But I refuse to let those who would try to steal my liberty steal my joy as well. My joy comes from a greater source. No human being can steal my joy unless I let them.
And I won't.
Who knows what will happen down the road? My hope is that the people will wake up and reestablish constitutional restraints, that we will devolve power away from centralized, tyrannical structures, that we will stop the runaway spending and restore civil liberties. But that may never happen. It may get worse. Heck, somebody may decide I'm dangerous someday and lock me in a cage.
But you know what? Even then, I will still have joy. And I will live free. Because nobody can shackle my spirit. It has been set free for all eternity!
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and DO NOT LET yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery."