I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE
PART 5 BE YOURSELF:
A DIVIDED COUNTRY
“How can we be a divided country, if we are One Nation Under God and we all love and obey God?”
Surrounded by an environment of deception and lies, living in this type of world, how am I to be myself when most of the people around me don’t know who they are? Am I being myself, if I don’t recognize at all times that I am a child of God? Let’s look at the past situations I have found myself in. What should be my reaction if I am led by God?
- In a one-on-one situation with someone telling me to be myself and evaluating my behavior
- In a taxi with someone expecting me to be a stereotypical black person
- On the phone with someone expecting me to be white, then, reacting negatively when I showed up for an interview and they discovered that I wasn’t
- In an experience like Jesus and like Him, knowing who I am
One of the things I love about public transportation is that most of the drivers like small talk, or have a story they want to tell to break up the monotony of their day. Many truly like to entertain their passengers and are very gifted and good at doing so. Every once in a while you have a bad experience or a truly unforgettable encounter with a driver. My response in handling such things is sometimes a little out of the ordinary or unconventional. I guess I’m always looking for an opportunity to point the way to my Father.
I live in a republican dominated state, so, more than likely I will encounter republicans and Trump supporters throughout the day, which is fine. “Can’t we all just get along?” Conflict and confrontation? Who has time for that? So, I wasn’t looking for debate or conflict when I got in a taxi headed to my medical appointment.
My driver was a friendly young woman I had the pleasure of riding with before. However, that day, she was very proud that she had bought a new car and wanted me to know about it. She also wanted me to know that it was a newer model and she had full insurance coverage. This was a first for her and I shared in the joy of her accomplishment.
The celebration ended when she began to describe how her mother requested her to use the car when they were driving on a side of town occupied by “too many foreigners.” Her mother’s instructions were to run over as many of those foreigners as she could. Okay. This is where there was supposed to be mutual laughter and consensus. Instead, I asked her, “Would your mother run over me, too?” I had just put a crowbar in the wheel and sabotaged her party and rained on her parade all at the same time. Her demeanor changed.
She answered, “Why? Where are you from?” Thank goodness, I could answer that I was born in the United States. Had I answered with any other non-Caucasian or Christian dominated country, or thought about revealing my native American indigenous roots, I might have been immediately ejected from the taxi and never having made it to my destination.
She continued espousing her condemnation and obvious hatred of “foreigners” and what should be done to them, praising Trumps newly proposed legislature to ban immigrants who can’t speak English. I decided to shed some light on the subject and the idea of the degrees of speaking English well, offering the first lady as an example of poor English speakers. I commented that she did not present herself as being down-to-earth, but, instead, very much an elitist. Again, her demeanor changed for she had nothing but praise for the first lady whom she also held in high esteem like her husband.
At this point, she had had enough of me. Feeling I was bashing her idols because I was part of the opposition and resistance, she surmised, “Well, we have a really divided country.” Instead of agreeing with her, I said,”How can we be a divided country, if we are “One Nation Under God” and we all love and obey God?” Well, I guess I had pulled out the Sword and cut too deep. Her response was to kick me out of her taxi for the day. So, without any explanation, she said, “You know Mack, call him to pick you up.”
Upon calling Mack, of course, he was furious that she refused to fulfill her duty and shoved the responsibility on him. He was already too busy and overwhelmed. So, when he picked me up, he was irritated and angry–a chain reaction and the devil believed he could chalk one up for the team. But, what was I feeling inside? How had this affected me? Why had she expected me to be on the same page, to say, agreeing with her egregious acts of imagined terrorism upon immigrants and people who simply who were not like her. As a stereotypical Black person was I too supposed to be irate and disgruntled, hating immigrants escaping war, poverty, terror and oppression and trying to make a better life for themselves? Should I bow and kneel before Trump because, “What have I got to lose?” Is it that in his and her mind, they believe that we Black people are so bad off that we should worship him as our savior? Was I out of character and not being myself? Was I too uppity for a Negro?
I was stymied, mentally blocked from moving on. What had transpired was incredible and a sheer reflection of the volatile atmospheric political climate and toxic clouds hovering over the nation. People have been EMBOLDENED by our president and his political cronies to spread TRUMPISM, which is: hatred, violence, bullying, racism, discrimination, nationalism, partisanism, and any other negative act burgeoning within them they crave to act out upon someone who doesn’t think, act, or look like them.
Well, Mack had pointed out the driver’s mother to me in the past and told me to be careful not to say anything negative about her daughter. Lo and behold, my next driver was her mother, whom I’d never had any problems with in the past and continue to treat with love and respect to this day.
No doubt, Satan had a plan to not only disrupt my day but to disrupt my life through this situation. My daughter told me to call and get the young woman fired and if I didn’t, she would. I reminded her of who she is in Christ and that getting the woman fired would not help her, but instead, I could only hope that they make her my driver permanently to be a positive presence in her life.
As a MINORITY within a situation, community or nation, it is extremely difficult too live abundantly when you are treated as and considered to be less than who you are and lesser than a human being. People who treat others in this manner are a constant distraction on our pathway, following Christ. We must see them as distractions, however, they are dangerous distractions that must be dealt with in positive ways. We can build up a thick skin, but, beneath the thickest skin is still a tender heart capable of pain. We are only vulnerable to their hateful rhetoric and malignant and self-destructive behavior, if we don’t know who we are in Christ. Children of God, Soldiers of the Cross, Ambassadors of Jesus and the Kingdom of God, the Head and not the tail, strong and mighty conquerors of the world, etc. And no matter who we are, where we have come from, or the color of our skin, “If God be for us, then, who can be against us?”
However, if people can’t stereotype me and put me into a box, category, and personality type, they can no longer put a LABEL on me. I’ll be ostracized! I WON’T FIT IN!
Thank God that I have found myself and I’m not just HUMAN! I AM A SPIRITUAL BEING, like God and made in His image! I am no longer OF the world. I belong to the Kingdom of God!
I cannot simply make excuses for what I do in my life by claiming that I am ONLY HUMAN! The angels in heaven sinned and followed after the prideful archangel Lucifer, whom we now call the Prince of Lies. Weakness, faults, pride and sin are not unique to human beings. Not ALL angels are perfect! Still, we can’t use the poor excuse of being only human! God expects more of His children, which include, the angels.
We are not of the world and as true Believers, we can feel like a minority in any given situation where darkness is trying to gain or maintain control. Like Jesus, we must remember that, WE ARE NOT ALONE. God is with us. We are members of the Body of Christ, connected with the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are ONE.
Be yourself? To thine own self be true? TRUTH must be within you, driving you and then, you can be no one other than whom God created you to be.
your servant and soldier, united with the One, all praise and glory be to God