As I walked about in the early morning light feeding our horses and other animals, I took a moment to look at the beauty of God's nature and thank Him for the wonders of all living things that He has provided. The sun was creeping up from behind the pine woods, its warming rays burning off the morning mist. Deer and wild turkeys were in the meadow in front of the darkened backdrop, lazily munching and picking through the tall grass.
Sadly, I thought of how today's beauty pales in comparison to years gone by. The beautiful loblolly pines have been replaced by spindly trees that look more like larger sized corn stalks, much of the land beyond my view has been clear cut and left looking like a war zone and many in the area just say let's move on for progress. That term and its companion economic development are always used to silence critics opposed to their inability to really show the advantage to what they offer. From my vantage point here in North Florida it seems that what we always end up with is those making the changes gaining fortunes while those left on their land, soon to be unlivable by any objective measurement, pay the price. Excessive taxes, overcrowding, traffic and property flooding at the same time potable water needs come up short are the rule rather than the exception under these pressures. Yet our leaders just continue on and on and on with little concern for the consequences of what they do. And it doesn't look like there is any end in sight.
We jam people up in tiny houses, add excessive chemicals and pollution which ultimately find their way into our precious water and the millions continue to move into places clearly not suitable for housing, but all according to the wishes of politicians and their contributors who make millions in the process. The call for jobs, jobs, jobs ends up being part-time or limited duration employment where those who gain them quickly find that the cost of getting to work negates much of the value of the job. Most of the high paying positions are filled by outsiders, adding even more pressure on building more and more. And since it is now known that the average worker earns about four thousand dollars less in real dollar value terms compared to 1999, we know that the hype is phony and derived for selfish motivations.
Meanwhile violence spreads throughout the world and the frustrated and even those who have become haters begin to outnumber those who believe in the rule of law. Dogma and ideology replace logic and positive discourse based upon a true assessment of our past actions and results. Americans are pitted against Americans, the land continues to be turned into one strip center and fast food joint after another and our leaders turn a blind eye to the will of the people.
Rather than get downhearted and discouraged, I return to the natural setting where I live that I know will continue to be under pressure from those who want to profit at my expense. And even though the beauty around me is showing tremendous negative signs from the stress it is under, I will continue to try and live my life as I was taught. I will try to respect the rights of others while demanding that my own rights be maintained and turn to God with my troubles and ask for His guidance in all that I do. I know that there is a reason for all that He does and will try to understand but, frankly, sometimes it's just very difficult and that's when my faith really needs to kick in. The truth is that without faith we have nothing and without belief in Him which follows from that faith I know that there is no answer.
But I still can't help but think about those wonderful lyrics from Amazing Grace. And I know that if we can't see it's because we don't want to and have opted for a course which doesn't meet God's standard for life on earth and dominion over it. If we are troubled by what we see around us, we must open our hearts and eyes and let Him come in. When we do that we will see with a clarity that we've never experienced before and it will comfort and guide us in all that we do. Besides, what have we got to lose? We sure haven't done such a great job to date, have we?