A while back I read a Christian book titled The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, by Mark Atteberry. While reading it it struck me that some of the dumb things Atteberry says Christians do are done by conservatives, too. The one dumb thing Atteberry detailed that I think really applies to conservatives is this one: living below the level of their beliefs.
Living below the level of their beliefs.
Or, as I would say it for conservatives, living below the level of their convictions. Conservatives do this habitually, almost unconsciously, and it's maddening. It's another reason why I no longer call myself a conservative. However, I can't be too indignant here because, as I look over my life, I see that I'm equally guilty of this failing. But now I've been motivated to make a change. Let me explain.
This year--at the end of this month, actually--I turn the big 5-0. In late 2013, as I contemplated this milestone, I resolved to make some changes in and bring closure to certain parts of my life. Specifically, I committed to attending a Cowboys' game in my father's honor. It was a promise I'd made to my Dad after he died of cancer without being able to attend any of his favorite team's games. This year, 2014, would mark nine years since I'd made that promise and I determined that I was finally going to keep it, money and other issues be damned.
Then the gay marriage controversy erupted again.
Specifically, national furor broke out over Arizona's proposed "anti-gay" law that would allow business owners to refrain from serving homosexual weddings based on their religious convictions. Under intense pressure from many sectorsArizona's governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed the law. One of the entities pressuring Brewer to do so was the NFL. When I heard that the National Football League had stood up against religious freedom I decided I would no longer patronize that organization. I wouldn't buy any NFL products. I wouldn't watch any NFL games nor would I attend any. I decided it was time to start living my convictions. But what of my promise?
I'm going to keep it. I'm going to attend one Cowboys' game for my father and then I'll be done with the NFL. This may seem like a small step for my convictions, and it is. I don't want to make some big commitment to reorder my entire life ALL AT ONCE according to my beliefs and then fail. I'm making small moves that will be easier to sustain. And as one small change becomes a way of life, I will add another. One step at a time. Bit by bit. Here a little, there a little.
It is now my life's work to live by my convictions, not beneath them. I'm now dedicated to being AWARE of how I live, not just going on autopilot, and to being conscious of the impact of my choices. And as I change myself I can change my country. Restore America from the bottom up. Live your convictions! That is what it means to be wise. Join me.