Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
I was late for work today because Ellie and Jared are pregnant. I was watching their video announcement that included scenes of Ellie going to the store for a pregnancy test, taking it in the Wal-Mart bathroom and telling her husband, Jared, he was going to be a daddy again. Much of the video included Ellie saying, “I can’t believe it!” I know that they are in shock because it took three years for them to get pregnant the first time and now, at nine months old, baby Jackson is going to be a big brother. Who are Jared and Ellie to me you ask? Cousins? Children of friends? Fellow church members? I have no clue. I watched a video of a sonogram where the baby was clapping (again no one I know was involved). Someone posted it on Facebook. Under that video was a link to Ellie and Joel’s “Surprising Announcement” video. I watched that too even though it was almost 15 minutes long. Did I mention I was 15 minutes late for work? And all because Elle and Jared are pregnant. Now, any rational person will correct me to say, “No you were not late for work because Ellie and Jared posted their video. You were late for work because you made a choice to watch the video even though you knew it would make you late to work.” I chose to be late for work. Ellie and Jared did not make me late for work. In fact, if I had not hit the snooze alarm three times, I could have watched Ellie and Jared tell their family their surprising news and still made it to work on time. In our world today, we are all about the blame game. It is not my fault. Someone else (or something else) made me do it. Ellie and Jared made me late for work. The flag incited me to kill someone. Guns are responsible for the violence. We have lots of reasons for the choices we make. But, the fact is, WE make the choices. We can make bad choices, and we can make good choices. This week, I attended a community meeting for work. I was there to promote historic preservation. There were about twenty people in the audience and four of them were strongly against historic preservation stating that it violated their individual rights of property ownership. Though I explained that the law was on their side and the county would not do anything to take away that right (historic buildings are even torn down all the time), I tried to reason with them about the benefits of historic preservation and why it would be advantageous to them to adopt a historic district for their community. They would hear none of it, and in fact, attacked my integrity and motives. Until that happened, the supporters remained silent. Finally, they had had enough and found their voice, effectively silencing the naysayers. Here’s the thing. As long as those of us who believe in love and good and being Christlike refuse to speak up and stand up for what is right, the haters will continue to have their way. As long as we accept the fact that the gun made me do it, the flag made me do it, Facebook made me do it, we are tolerating evil. Our country does not have a gun problem or a racial problem or a hate problem or even a social media problem. Our country has a heart problem. We have a lot of choices to make and a lot of responsibility to accept. I pray we make the right ones. But, it starts with me. Now, I am getting off my soapbox. Please excuse me. I just found out that Ellie and Jared have posted more videos.