Belief – A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.(Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Discernment-To detect with the eyes a figure approaching through the fog. To detect or sense other than vision. To recognize or identify as separate or distinct. To come to recognize mentally. (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Author: Richard Carter

Our lives are largely built on foundations of belief; it is a portion of almost every act and choice we make. We trust the hundreds if not thousands of drivers we pass on the other side of the yellow line to remain within that designated area. If we didn’t we’d never start our car and leave home.

We trust our children to be where they are expected during the day. We trust our mates to be loyal, and we trust that when we pay our bills those monies will be applied to that issue.

We even, in lesser forms of belief, rely on the responses from machines, such as the water to come on when we turn the nob, the lights to flash with a switch.  We trust that our food is of a safe quality; otherwise we’d never place it before our families.

From the moment we wake stumbling through the house in search of our clothes and toothpaste, we are reliant upon a string of faiths we use to function in a healthy unguarded fashion.  And sometimes our trust in another human is misplaced, and we’re disappointed, or maybe “ we” are the source of a similar disappointment felt by another.

Let’s face it, the power goes out and drivers sometimes stray across the yellow line. Belief and trust are not, in any way, an action that guarantees a certain outcome. But, that doesn’t stop us from getting up and inevitably trusting again, in a certain type person, or a make of product.

So, living an existence so laced with belief, why then is it so difficult for some to believe? NASA tells us about the makeup of atmospheres on planets we can barely see, some just specks in the swirl of space. They can tell us the temperature of Mercury, and categorize the asteroids of great size that may come close to the earth, or can they?

Recently a meteor passed earth near the moon.  It came into sight around 48 hours before it whizzed past.   The space agency that guards earth and its 7 billion inhabitants, as of October 31st 2011, who tell us of storms on Jupiter, misses something that could knock an eight hundred mile wide hole in earth, seeing it only two days away.    Many of us place great faith in science. My life has been bettered by it, but are we confused in that trust? Every man made institution, every organization has its weak link.

It seems, sometimes that these experts, as willing as they are to rest on their laurels, none the less will admit their present knowledge is like a drop in the sea. The Knowledge of all that is, is an open ended infinite thing, where we are forever the student.  So with this truth about our condition how any of us are so able, so qualified that we can make judgments, and create empirical guidelines for things they have never sought real answers for.    In a time of massive tensions in our country, with a large portion of the public so dissatisfied with our leadership that they have sought to have their states removed from the union, with countries positioning themselves around us  in a warlike posture, picking sides, our faith, and our dark belief in human nature seems confirmed.

America has been blessed.  In modern times our soil has been free of war.  We have had the luxury of commenting on such issues in the peaceful warmth of our homes with our daily requirements   our entertainments and the pleasure of our excess unhindered.

Will America know a time like Britain experienced in the blackouts of world war two, victim to more terrifying tools of destruction than mere bombs?   Are the recent near misses of meteors or asteroids, just warning of what’s to come?

In a time when the impossible becomes the daily, the new discovery or reality, what isn’t possible? One thing for certain, we can’t hide our heads from these realities.  We can’t rely on have faith in the decisions of men and women just as frail as we are, just as easily turned by public pressure  or political gain.

Our faith, our trust would be better spent on the one who warned us of this time, a time of dissolution, a dissolution hidden in the guise of our addiction to our gain.  Only now is the damage to the very structure of our country becoming more clearly evident. With our country broke, with people petitioning for removal from the union,  with violence on the rise and any remnant of our past ethics  treated like an inconsequential   joke, don’t we need to be a god fearing nation now more than ever before?

When asked my belief, I say a Christian, but I do it with a weak voice, knowing just how different my life at times can be from that, how wrong my thoughts and assumptions can be, but that doesn’t mean I’m unaware of what’s right. I was blessed by being born in a time that allowed me the memory of something better.

With the horrendous violence in the last week alone, there will, I’m sure, be more calls for gun control but in Beijing, China a man, on Friday stabbed 22 primary school students and an adult villager. Luckily none of the victims died. So is it really guns or the tools chosen for violence, are they the problem, or is it the glorification of their use in music and film that imbed this mentality of dissipating human worth in the young and old alike?  I think it is has to do with first the loss of parental rights to discipline our children, and then the following inevitable loss of control over them, one that is essential in a constructive society.

Without this, parents lose the ability to set guidelines within their homes  and create in their children an understanding of human value and worth. I could be wrong but I believe when parents were forced to accept this huge limitation in their child rearing, they drew back and have grown distant,  leaving their kids in an unconscious way to a system and society that has few positive role models. The hero of our day is the gritty anti-hero, the one whose feet are more on the side of willful lawlessness than on the side of common sense.  Drinking this in, these kids grow up to be the young man who opened fire on the students in Connecticut this morning.   Just like disease that lies malignant,  but unseen in the body, the lessons our young are learning are ones that not only take root but blossom in the darkest of ways .

In a country that sees nothing but the dollars, any new wave in music or fashion may bring arguments in opposition stand little chance.  Maybe it’s too late for our country to put on the brakes to alter our course. If that’s true then we need to find a new unity together so we have a chance facing the challenges ahead.   Belief in each other yes , faith in God?    I tend to see God as a very human being in many ways.  I guess he has the right to believe in us , to recognize us only as much as we do him. It’s time to turn away from petty differences, from our personal addictions, from our indulgences and go home while we still have time.

Lori and I would like to extend our condolences  to the families of those lost today, and those of the living trying to come to grip with this new all to0 regular presence in our lives.

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