Old cranky theological types have argued incessantly about how we can get it right with the Holy One. Some say we are so freakin’ rotten that we can’t possibly save ourselves, so the best we can do is to trust that God will help us pick the winning number. Others argue that we have to do it ourselves. We have to build up a whole bunch of “do-good” points in order to win the heavenly lottery. Still others think we should mix and match: a little bit of faith, coupled with doing a whole lot more good stuff than bad stuff, ought to result in us winning the salvation jackpot. “It will be what it will be,” but if the Eternal One is a good and loving God, then the odds are better that we are “IN” rather than “OUT.” There is, however, no doubt in my mind that I HAVE been “saved” by our DVR.
Enjoy it while it lasts. Sooner or later, the corporate marketing mega-minds will figure out that we are not watching their insane commercials anymore and devise a new method to extract gold from our pockets. But for now, by simply “DVR-ing” my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers’ games, I can start watching the game at 2 PM, instead of 1 PM, and fast-forward through the endless, repetitive commercials that make men appear as drunken, lusting piglets and portray women as if they enjoy such belittling attention. Even better, I can DVR my 1 PM game, take a nice nap, run some errands, take a walk and then at 4 PM turn on the TV and watch the whole game. I can fast-forward through commercials, time-outs, half time and the constant huddling of officials to discuss the latest penalty flag thrown because some player decided to block or tackle somebody from the other team (National Flag Football League, anyone???). In doing so, I have effectively reduced the whole game to a mere 1-1/4 hours. Go DVR! I’m “saved!”
The greatest moment of DVR salvation descended upon me, however, when I figured out that I no longer had to listen to any political ads. I neither have to listen to Democrats blame evil, “Tea-Partying” Republicans for wrecking the nation, nor do I have to listen to Republicans blame Democrats for supporting the “devil-incarnate-Obama,” he being the obvious cause of all our worldly ills. I can tune-out the guy who tries to convince me that he alone will straighten out healthcare in this country by exercising his ONE vote in a 435-member Congress, or the woman who assures me that, if she is elected, my taxes will drop precipitously as if the legislature has nothing to do with it. I can DVR away the snarling attack ads that try to convince us that one candidate or another is morally unfit for office because they “sayeth one thing while they doeth another.” Yawn. What else is new! If it were not for my DVR and fast-forwarding through, as Dr. King once said, all this “jangling discord,” I probably would have devolved into such disgust that I would have decided not to vote at all. But go DVR! I’m voting!
With all the time I saved by “DVR-ing” away beer commercials and political attack ads, I actually found the time to check out some candidates. I even did a little intelligence gathering through some old friends to get the inside scoop on some of them. Believe it or not, I found a guy I would like to support as they did in old Mayor Daley’s Chicago…I want to vote for him “early and often!” I don’t know the guy. Never met him. Only when I read an article about him in the Boston Globe did I learn what office he is seeking and his party affiliation. I can’t vote for him. He will not be on the ballot on old Cape Cod.
Seth Moulton is running to represent Massachusetts’ Sixth Congressional District. Stealth reporter, Walter V. Robinson discovered the shocking fact that Mr. Moulton “chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.” As a platoon leader in Iraq, he received the Bronze Star for valor in 2004 because, with “four of his men wounded, Moulton fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire, moving among his men while ignoring incoming mortar rounds and sniper fire.” In 2003, he received the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation for valor by “clearing an enemy stronghold” and “rushing to the aid of a wounded comrade” while still under fire.
Why is Seth not talking? Most politicos would not only brag about their heroism, but also embellish their story and even run ads to score heroism points. Mr. Moulton, however, said that he “is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect for ‘too many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’” As Mr. Robinson reported, “Moulton asked that the Globe not describe him as a hero. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘we served our country and we served the guys next to us. And it’s not something to brag about.’” With his voice choking with emotion, Moulton said, “The greatest honor of my life was to lead these men in my platoon, even though it was a war that I and they disagreed with.”
If I had “DVR-ed” this interview, I would watch it repeatedly to remind myself that there are people out there running for office who are humble, not arrogant; eager to serve and to do what they believe is best for our people and who are not in it only for themselves. We just have to “fast-forward” through the nonsense, dig a little deeper, ask a few more questions and we will find them. They may not be in our party or even share our own political philosophy, but I’ll vote for humility and integrity on any election Tuesday over party affiliation or political talking points.
It has been said that we ought not to think too highly of ourselves. This does not mean that we should put ourselves down. Better that we “fast-forward” over our imperfections and embrace the goodness that resides in all of us. Humility, in my way of thinking, is to understand who is divine and who is not: God is divine; we are not. Perhaps that is all that is necessary to get it right with God. Maybe all that is required of us is to “walk humbly with our God.” We can fast-forward through all the rest.
Go DVR! Go Vote! Go God!
Walking humbly, we live “IN” the heart of God.
John E. Holt, Cotuit, MA