State of the Union

State of the Union.

Every year, POTUS, President of the United States, delivers to a joint meeting of Congress his or her understanding of how things are going in the ol’ US of A.  I have listened to many of these speeches as I am sure you have.  This year I was not been able to listen but have heard the speech through the observation of the pundits, their graphs, and the responses of citizens being interviewed at various times and various places.  Even though I did not watch this year I am sure the observations I am going to share are valid.  Here they are:

  • What tremendous information the president has access to and in many cases command of that aid in the decision making process on behalf of “We the People.”
  • There are many brave men and women who have given much for our country.
  • There have been many people who have been helped by the decisions made at a governmental level.
  • There have been some people hurt by governmental decisions as well.
  • On the individual level as well as the political level there are widely divergent perceptions of decisions that must be made and the directions we must travel. I always like to see who stands and applauds for various statements being made.
  • Why was the “bully pulpit” of the presidency and the State of the Union address used to speak to this or that particular issue within our culture and not to others? Was a particular topic too hot?  Why are other issues that I believe are central avoided or brushed under the carpet?  I have waited for a president who will champion the reinforcement of the family which I consider the central building block of society.  I guess many people have their issue they would want The President to address and support in a way that affirms their core beliefs.

On a lighter note:

  • Boy, this guy knows how to read a teleprompter.
  • I am really glad I don’t have The President’s job.

Of course, depending on the administration and the events taking place within our nation and our world, my specifics responses of “Yeah!!” and “Oh well” have varied.  I guess that is the nature of the political beast.

In some ways it is easy sitting on the sidelines evaluation the positions, policies, and words of another.  I do the Monday Morning quarterback thing really well when I watch football games or listen to other people preach.  It is much tougher to take a hard look at the state of my union, the state of my soul, and assess what is going on and how well I am doing.  I believe such introspection is a beneficial discipline to pursue even though I have seem some people over do it, becoming so introspective that they are immobilized in moving forward.  But, to find the time…make the time to evaluate my life can be very beneficial.

So, as we begin a new year here are some questions you may want to ask yourself to evaluate the state of your soul.

  • When I look at my behaviors am I simply spinning my wheels? Are my actions only getting me through the day or week…sort of a survival mode?  Is what I am doing fitting into a larger plan?  Have I made the time to take a look at these things?
  • What is the emotional state of my soul?  Where is my anxiety level? Do I worry often?  Over what do I worry?  Does such worrying lead to actions that resolve the concern or does it simply create a deeper ‘worry hole?’  Where am I experiencing peace and calm?  Can I define it and grow it or does it just happen?  What brings me joy and the deepest level of by being? How frequently do I experience it?  What seems to rob me of it?
  • With whom am I living my life? How are my relationships with those closest to me?  Are there those for whom my life is an open book?  Do I know I am unquestionably loved by at least one other person?  How do I spend time with that person(s) to nourish the relationship?
  • What is my relationship with God? I understand people see and define God differently.  However, I believe everyone has a god (even if it is not a God!).  At times that God is self.  At other times that God is things or doing or going.  At times that God is another person (I have found that parents often worship their children).  The Ten Commandments begins with

Have no other gods before me.

This first command is the foundation of monotheism.  However, if we think about what the command says the implication is “There are other things out there that can become a god.  Make sure those things never become #1 in your life.”  Have you defined who that #1 is for you?  Are you aware of those things in your life that threaten to overtake the One True God’s position?

What is the State of the Union of your soul?  I challenge you to take an honest assessment as you begin this new year.