State of Affairs

What with the State of the Union speech by our President rebutted by the progressive branch of the President’s own democrat party and Russia invading the sovereign state of Ukraine just because it wants its resources, and the U.S. importing oil from Russia with price’s skyrocketing when a couple of short years ago we were energy self-sufficient and exporting oil….  Oh my.  What is this state of affairs?

As a person who thinks dream interpretation is interesting, I can’t help to get a giggle out of the place my brain goes when analyzing our state of affairs.  Speaking of interpretation, that’s what our Supreme Court is tasked with doing to our Constitution – interpret it.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that the President addresses Congress periodically with the State of the Union.  After 1913, the speech became a platform for disseminating the presidential agenda.

The State of the Union speech does not necessarily reflect the state of affairs.  A state of affairs is “the way things are,” or “the facts of the matter.”  The State of the Union is as the President sees it, or more succinctly, his wish-list for Congress.

I remember acting alongside my friend, Steve, in a high school play called, State Fair.  The play was set clearly in “another time” in history.  It was 1946 in fact, at the Iowa State Fair.  The plot follows a heartland farm family to the State Fair, with the parent’s intent on winning some blue ribbons and the teenagers maneuvering the midway, focusing on coming of age.

So, in 1946 people had hopeful expectations for postwar, post Great Depression, “better days ahead.”  The microwave oven and the first car phones were invented.  Today, we’re supposedly in those better days, and it’s a rare home that is without a microwave oven and humans without mobile/cell phones is nearly unheard of.

It was the start of the baby boom and the first meetings were held of the General Assembly of the United Nations.  Donald Trump was born in 1946.

And here we are.  Today, the permanent members of the UN Security Council include China, Russian Federation, France, UK and the US.  What’s wrong with this picture in view of the state of affairs in the world?

Recently I wrote in my journal, “I need to get back to putting my effort into what’s presented to me each day and not try to control what’s next”.  Part of Jesus’ most famous sermon, Matthew 6:34 tells us just that.  “Don’t worry about tomorrow, each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Tomorrow may very well be a different day than I expect, from today’s perspective.  It usually is, in my experience.  But remembering this is not an easily acquired skill for some of us.

“…Each day has enough trouble of its own…” – Years ago I cringed a bit when I read this.  I mean, my faith wanted to banish the thought of trouble in the life of a believer or in a nation of believers.  That Jesus verily predicted trouble, even trouble every day, didn’t sync up with what I wanted to believe.

The title line from The Beatles song, “Get Back,” rang through my head.  “Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.”  Without getting into a whole bunch of music history, suffice it to say, that for me, Get Back means to release my dreamy expectations for big things, and get back to my mundane but “happy place.”

Sometime, somehow, I fell into a pattern of striving, “kicking against the goads,” – an exercise in futile and pointless resistance that is both a hopeless and losing battle, in the short term.  The very connotation of anxiety is anticipating a threatening, difficult, or dangerous future, mostly the near future.

One of the most effective techniques to combat anxiety is to live or get back to living in the now; to pull yourself out of that foggy future into the clear and present moment.  In fact, I wonder if the happiest people are those who live moment by moment, those who get back to the present.

But then again, Vladimir Putin wants to “get back” in another sense.  He would like to emphasize another Beatles song, “Back in the U.S.S.R;” including the lyric “…the Ukraine girls really knock me out…”

In order to get out of this state of affairs, or the state of our union, do we really want to go back?  We’ve forgotten those past days of trouble and we’ll soon forget today’s.  How about we look forward to better days ahead?  Cheers to a peaceful state of affairs that we can all settle into.



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