(written January 23, 2021)
I’m just lost. I am angry, confused, yet not surprised. I feel like I am drowning in a sea of misinformation, denial, a refusal to accept reality or the Biblical prophecies that have been predicted for many generations throughout human history over every continent across planet Earth. I cannot fathom how people can be so lost, often delusional, yet believe they have all the answers.
I work in academia so I have grown accustomed to people being able to manipulate others into following them as they pose themselves to be “great philosophers” or “philosophizers” as the great White Goodman (Dodgeball, 2004) is quoted as having said. I, myself, am guilty of the same crime. I have “posed” as one that has answers he really doesn’t possess, but has signed a contract to pretend as though I do when questioned by adolescents (and even adults) as to how/why/what/when/where things occur the way they do according to state, local, and national guidelines outlined in our school curricula.
In 2009 (maybe earlier), I was challenged to make a difference in this life as a public-school science teacher. I began in 2005 teaching science in a public school system as a mere job; however, a former youth pastor prompted me to begin thinking about displaying my Christian testimony through my example and tackling the tough questions science has made both futile and extraordinary attempts to answer: “Where did life begin? Was life created? Where did the universe come from? Do we have a purpose? Can we trust naturalistic means, i.e. Darwinian evolution, to help us understand how humans have changed over time?” The list goes on and on.
I had never really thought about these questions nor truly cared to use a public-school platform to attempt addressing them. After all, separation of church-and-state is clearly outlined in our Constitution, right? (It really is not because it is nowhere in that four-page document!) I had become apathetic in my Christian walk over the years mainly because I had allowed life and others’ own decisions to dictate my direction and take my focus from what God truly had called me to do. I had no clue what His direction or Will (as I had been taught since my youth) was and frankly, I just didn’t have much inclination to seek out His ways. I still believed in God, that Jesus is God, that He created the universe, came to live as a man, was crucified and rose again, died for my sins and resurrected Himself so I could live an eternity with Him. But I wasn’t really sharing that I cared that much. I never spoke about my faith to anyone, wasn’t a regular churchgoer, and didn’t really open my Bible that often. Sure, it came in handy that one night as
I was battling depression (2005-2006) and really didn’t see much desire to go on living in my current condition of not understanding the sadness and bitterness in my life. My parents were divorced and would not get along with each other, I was living in a town where I had no immediate family, my girlfriend was over 100 miles away finishing school as I was trying to begin a new career, and my best friend (and roommate) was commuting back-and-forth to a job where we never had much contact. Text messaging was still in its infancy so social media and instant communication via WiFi was almost non-existent. You really had to rely on a phone call where you would probably accrue massive roaming charges, pay $3.00 per gallon to fill up your tank to visit that special person, or just be patient and wait until you were able to see them again. You know, just let life play out in such a way where you were able to see them with the least expense and damaged amassed.
To put it bluntly, that really just sucked. I felt so alone and helpless. I wanted to get help from someone that would tell me everything would be alright. I wanted to watch the perfect movie, or listen to the perfect song, or have the perfect moment with the perfect person on the most perfect day, but nothing seemed to alleviate the stress, the tension, the anxiety, the depression, the hopeless persona I worked so hard to hide from everyone every single day.
At least today, in 2021, we can communicate with one another freely. I mean, we live in a Constitutional republic (or democracy, depending on who you listen to) where no one is silenced for their beliefs; “Freedom of speech, baby!” You can take your cell phone, a modern computer, and can do almost anything with that small, rectangular, silicon-using, HD-screen of freedom. If I need to text someone, schedule messages from now until eternity, voice my pleasure or displeasure with the weather or political concerns, order a pizza, hold a mass video conference for all of my students around the world, there are no barriers to keep me from doing so. Lest I post terroristic threats or commit a heinous crime, I truly have the world at my fingertips. As much as I love seafood, the world truly is my oyster.
The pearls of this life are one shell (or electronic device) away, and all that determines my momentary joy is my willingness to pick it up and just be me. I truly believed this was the reality of life and that in America, we had the greatest privilege to live freely and pursue what God (or other motivations) had called us to do. We could live out our destiny and make a difference while respecting others’ opinions, differences, perspectives, whatever you wish to call it. This, of course, was my reality….right before I was shadowed-banned by a popular social media platform. And my story really begins here....