I am tired of empty rhetoric. And I have grown particularly weary of people that possess an endless array of opinions, but seem to have a basic inability to make a difference in their world. They are all talk. How’s that for a breath of fresh air for the new year? I am actually not feeling nearly as negative as that sounds.
During the course of 2017 I was blessed by several people that I would characterize as being individuals of conviction. I am thinking about people of genuine conviction. They have the ability to clearly articulate such convictions, and their conduct in turn reflects what they clearly verbalize. I find such people to be inspiring. And I need them in my life.
I told someone the other day that I have a very diverse group of friends. They live in Texas and Wisconsin and in Mexico. (My Oklahoma friends are not claiming me tonight after a Georgia football victory.) They are male and female. I have 16-year-olds at church that will actually take the time to talk to an old guy like me. And I have a friend in his 80’s that I eat lunch with every week. And I am thankful for friends that drive 80 plus miles one way, so we can meet up for some good Tex-Mex food. They are encouragers. I have friends in law enforcement and friends that teach in universities. I have friends that use their creative abilities to enrich the lives of those around them. I have friends in recovery and others that some criminal history from their younger days. I love each of them.
But as a new year begins, I am especially thankful for friends of conviction. They possess well-founded principles that they fearlessly express. I need a strong dose of such individuals this year. I need to be around people that don’t flinch when it comes time to take a stand. I want to be exposed to friends and colleagues that are not afraid to delve into difficult topics. I don’t want to be coddled or placated. I don’t want the truth to be soft-pedaled.
But that being said, I am indeed tired of empty rhetoric. People of genuine conviction “live it.” They are unselfish and caring. They are committed to their families. They don’t tell desperate people that they are “praying for them” and leave it at that! They make a difference by their actions. They don’t sit back and critique without offering humble service. They are certainly not chronic complainers. People of genuine conviction are people of action.
Last year was marked by several “sacred moments.” I need to define such significant occasions. During the course of 2017 I had several encounters with people that left me thinking one thing. “That person is an individual of genuine conviction.” The encounters were quite varied. But I walked away with the same impression. I am praying for such “sacred moments” to occur this year as well. And I will chronicle those events in detail in my personal journal. People of genuine conviction create sacred moments. I will never tire of such a privilege….