Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Thoughts to begin a new year

"I amar prestar aen.
The world is changed.

Han matho ne nen.

I feel it in the water.

Han mathon ned cae.

I feel it in the earth.

A han noston ned gwilith.
I smell it in the air.

Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it."

-- Galadriel, opening to The Fellowship of the Ring

A century ago, World War I was yet to occur, and Europe (still often referred to as Christendom) was master of the world.

A half century ago the United States reached the zenith of its power, unrivaled in a world still rebuilding from the Second World War and wary of the possibility of a Third.

A decade ago, the U.S. and a coalition of partners abandoned the last vestiges of Just War theory, choosing to invade Iraq without an immediate casus belli nor a thoughtful plan for the aftermath.  Meanwhile, unprecedented expansion of domestic 'security' provisions rapidly eroded what little individual sovereignty was left in America.  The 'norm' changed so rapidly after 9/11 that nobody under the age of 20 today (roughly a quarter of the U.S. population) has any meaningful memory of a time before TSA, VIPR teams, ubiquitous drones, pervasive surveillance, and foreign interventions without end.

History, in many cases, is the examination of previously quiet trends that suddenly surprise the public at large with disruptions later found to have deep roots.

I am convinced we are headed for such disruption, the roots of which are extensive and long in the making.  Another generation, however, fails to see the warnings because they have not been instructed in what "once was," other than to blame, blight and besmirch it.  Carrying a distorted view of their heritage--if any at all--that generation lacks roots of its own to withstand the gathering storm.  We forget that the conditions of peace, security, liberty and prosperity, known to generations of Americans, are the exception to Man's experience... not the rule.  We forget what it took to achieve this exception, and what it takes to maintain it in a fallen world that naturally overwhelms it.  In many cases, we've forgotten this is a fallen world, immune to redemption or perfection by any schemes of Man.

I'm not a seer; merely a student of history.  I cannot say whether 2013 will be the year with the dam breaks, and the pent-up consequences of many poor choices arrive to claim their due.  All I know is that choices do carry consequences, and that these cannot be delayed indefinitely -- even by Congress or the Fed.  So for this year, as with the last several, my priorities are to pass along love and knowledge to my children, make prudent choices as a family, and pray not only for our own provision but for the ability to bless others in what may soon be "the best of times" (spiritually) and "the worst of times" (materially).

Despite all, may your New Year be joyous, and secure in the Lord.

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