Today while texting with a friend, I learned, or rather realized, something very interesting. As people, we generally look back on older times and constantly talk about how much easier we have it nowadays. With a/c and cars, and computers and the internet, and higher minimum wages, and everything, honestly we've got it really good. Those people who don't realize this, and still complain, are just ungrateful little whelps who ought to be taught a lesson.
So yeah, we've got so many things better than back then. Especially compared to the pioneers who crossed the plains and settled the western half of this country. I've always thought this, and most people agree with me. But that isn't what I realized or learned.
I learned how very much people in our time are focused on physical comfort, and how none of that is even applicable to our present situations. Maybe people, especially when discussing religious topics, feel like they could never do what the early religious pioneers did. Could you be Martin Luther and nail those theses to the door, even when you knew you'd probably get killed for it?
Could you be tarred and feathered, and not shout out in agony that you were wrong about your beliefs and to please go away and leave your family alone?
Could you cross a wintery stretch of the Rocky mountains, freezing and starving, and not curse God for telling you to get to the other side?
The fact is, not many people now have the physical willpower to do so. It's a by gone time. BUT everyone just says "well, good thing we don't have to. I wouldn't do it." And that's the end of it. Which is entirely beside the point. Because they're right. We aren't asked to do that. We're asked to do something else, and because no one realizes it, they're failing at it even more miserably than they would have in crossing the plains.
Our challenges now a days aren't physical. They're mental.
And sometimes I feel like I'd do better if they were physical again. Not that I think I wouldn't just fall down and die, if I walked clear across the continent. I probably would. But it's so much simpler to understand.
It's a lot easier to mentally stay strong to a belief after a punch in the face, than it is after sinister manipulation and subtle peer pressure. It's not so confusing. It might be painful. It might be uncomfortable. It might be severely unpleasant. But in your head it's extremely straightforward.
Things aren't like that anymore. We have little whispers in our ears to guide us a teeny tiny way to the left or right of where we should go, and we think, 'oh, it's no big deal'. But if you keep down that trail, after a few hundred miles you could be on the other side of the continent from where you were supposed to end up.
There are shades of gray EVERYWHERE. People blurring the lines between right and wrong. Trying to tell you the fence that separates them is here instead of there. You hear that this used to be wrong, but isn't anymore, or that used to be right, but we've realized that it's not.
As if time actually changes what is right and wrong. Stupidest thought ever.
I mean, it can change how humans think, and therefore what is accepted as right or wrong. But it doesn't actually change which is which. But I digress.
As you can tell, and as you've probably experienced in your own life, things aren't so simple anymore. The mental battle against moral depravity, improper use of riches (as opposed to the trial of being poor), self-centered-ness, etc, is the most confusing thing the world has ever seen. It's honestly no wonder that so many people in the world sit and just wonder what the crap has happened to the world, and what on earth they're supposed to do about it.
So yeah, maybe we aren't cut out for crossing plains, or facing death sentences, or defying tyrants. I don't know if I could either. But I understand it. I comprehend it. It's a case of black and white.
How many of us, in this modern time, are willing to try to fight the infinitely more confusing mental battles that are waging right now?
Or do you want to just sit around still whining about physical comfort?
It takes a stronger mind to survive in these times, but you have to realize this. That is where the fight is. That's where the plains crossing is, or the nailing those theses to the door happens. Do you have the guts to cross the mental snowy mountains of doom?