Even prior to the horrible shooting last week, I've been struggling lately with some of those big philosophical/spiritual questions that a lot of us wrestle with - What's my purpose? What does God want of me in this life? How can I use my life for God, and how do I know what that even means in a practical sense? And looking at the larger world, what kind of world am I raising my children in? How are we ever going to navigate the increasingly secular culture and what does it mean for our lives long term?
Big questions. The murders at Sandy Hook have done nothing but exacerbate my questioning, pitching the worst of our society in stark relief - a terrible moment in time that makes you want to scream. How could we have fallen this far? How much farther can we fall?
There are times that I feel like our society is on the brink of disaster. We are ancient Rome, so ignorant of our own impending disaster, we will be dumbfounded when the "barbarians" show up at our doorstep. We'll be looking around for our army, our protection, our Praetorian Guard and we will realize they are long gone. We stopped valuing them. We will look up and see that our society has eroded away and something else will wash over our shores to take our place, our great nation merely a blip in the history books of the future.
Sounds gloomy, doesn't it?
So what does one do in the face of such pessimism? I am not typically a pessimist, but it is hard not to look out at the world and wonder, what are we doing? Where are we headed? It doesn't look good.
What I am doing in the face of such dark thoughts is to turn inward, to my family. Perhaps that's what I should be doing anyway, and the events of the last week are simply redirecting my focus back where it should be. There isn't much I can do to solve the problems of the world. I am only one small, tiny person and there's only so much impact one tiny person can make.
But I can make sure our house is in order.
I can strive to be better at my vocation. I can strive to search for God each day, to seek out His will in my life and be the best example for my children that I can be. I can hope and pray and love and remember that my highest calling during this season of my life is to my family.
I take comfort in that. It feels as if it is something I can accomplish. I can love my children, and nurture them and care for them, and teach them. I can love my husband, and support him and care for him. I can nurture my family and nurture my relationship with God. These things I can do.