Like many of you, my family and I have moments:
wondering what to do with the reams of information thrown at us (much of it "bad news");
feeling discouraged by dashed hopes;
being deeply frustrated at political, judicial or institutional decisions and compromise.
When I spoke at the Citizens' Hearing this summer, I suggested that a damning consequence of these past years has been the breathtaking compromise and loss of trust in entire sectors, ones meant to be impartial guardians of justice, health, and safety.
The more I wrestle with these realities, the more convinced I am that change cannot be outsourced. It will only come through personal conviction, and our willingness to be steadfast, taking some blows in the process. That conviction resulted in the declaration I sent out last week.
This past Saturday I had an opportunity to speak in Oakville, Ontario, and was blessed to hear and chat with another speaker, Dr. David Haskell. We agreed on much of what I've laid out above. I subsequently came across a talk he gave to students whose lives and educations were turned upside down by mandates. It's a powerful dose of tough love, drilling down to the practicalities of "What do we do?".
I don't have a lot of available time for videos, so I sympathize with anyone eye-rolling, 'Oh boy, another video'. It's worth the full 22 minutes, though, and can be found at the red button below. For those short of time, skip to minute 17:00. His concluding remarks are below.
"Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!" (Psalm 31:24)
"So.. stop pretending that things are going to get better because they won’t. Stop pretending that your silence is going to get you through this, it won’t. And most of all, stop pretending that your situation is unique because it isn’t. You are not the first generation to have your freedoms threatened and to be persecuted for your beliefs. But you may be unique in how long it has taken you to act. As I showed, the signs have been around you for years. So please take a lesson from the early Christians, who on pain of death, stood up to the Roman emperor and said “You will not tell me what to believe!” Or take a lesson from your grandparents, who on pain of death, stood up to an equally evil tyrant during WWII and said “You will not tell me how to live!” The lesson from history is clear, your only hope is to become organized and active, be willing to sacrifice today for freedom tomorrow. Take the long view of the situation, not the short fix. Don’t fall back into apathy. I kid you not when I say your time is short. Start protesting with signs that embarrass these tyrants. Write letters and make videos exposing them. Go back into every meeting focused on social justice and ask [those] in attendance “Where were you when I was expelled?!”.."Where were you when people were being fired?!” Your enemies have been revealed. It’s time to speak up, and act up and make their lives much more uncomfortable because they certainly intend to do that to you. I predict, as bad as it is right now if you do nothing the future will be much worse." (Dr. David Haskell)