We live in a world spiraling in a confounding kaleidoscopic of shoddy opinions, self-serving biases, vacillating cultural mandates, clarion calls for whatever politically-correct notion might be trending at the moment, and the elusive lure of all things vogue and trendy. We’re frantically chasing some perpetually shifting norm that’s nothing of a norm but everything of a culture hell-bent on justifying everything it wishes to justify.
Values are no longer the premise by which we shape our lives. Rather, they have become the pitifully abhorrent and wholly illegitimate obstacle to our desires. We have labeled them as some dusty set of antiquated ideals. These ideals served a generation that lived out its days in the backwaters of an ignorance fed comatose by intellectual stupor. Therefore, their value rests only in their removal so that hitherto unexplored horizons can be freely ascended. The problem is that we have yet to discern a horizon from a cliff.
Convictions born of opinions, biases, cultural mandates, politically-correct notions, and all things vogue and trendy are not convictions. Their focus is uniformity to a larger social agenda. As such, they do not have an adherence to something bigger than themselves that keeps them from destroying themselves. Rather, their agendas are themselves. And an agenda based on self will destroy the very ‘self’ that we are seeking to liberate. Such is the insanity of them. And such is the evidence that they are not convictions.
Convictions give no voice, much less any space to these lesser things, for these things are contaminated by the selfish agendas that constructed them. Convictions are grounded in principles irrefutably larger and infinitely bigger than the grubby pabulum of selfish mandates and self-serving trends. Convictions rest in things that superseded our waffling culture, and they are sustained by things that will exist long after that culture finds its demise at the hands of these lesser things.
Convictions are those things that we will stand on even when the culture exerts phenomenal effort to have us stand-down. We would rather die by them than die by the culture that defies them. They are the timeless values that did not somehow exhaust their time in some other time, but are in fact not bound by time at all. They are those ethics, morals and values deemed born of ignorance by a self-aggrandizing culture. Yet, it is the ignorance of a culture slogging around in the myopic throes of selfishness that makes such values appear ignorant. In fact, in our culture the litmus test as to the value of our values may be found in the degree to which they are rejected by the culture.
Cost and Rewards of Convictions
Convictions are not convenient. Neither are they popular. They call us out when such an action is branded as punitive and unacceptably constrictive to the permissive liberties that we have ascribed as our due. They call us apart from everything that they are not, which means we may find ourselves quite alone at times. They are the principles that God has woven into this existence in order to preserve that very existence. At times they are by nature contrary to everything that we want, but they are perfectly crafted to perpetuate everything that we are. In fact, convictions are our liberties for they safeguard us against all the lesser things that would seek to destroy us, including ourselves.
Could it be that we are the generation that is living out its days in the backwaters of an ignorance fed comatose by intellectual stupor? Are we what we have said others to be in order to give ourselves permission to be what we should not be? Are the disjointed efforts of opinions, biases, cultural mandates, politically-correct notions, and all things vogue and trendy an effort to write ourselves sweeping permission to justify sweeping behaviors that will in time sweep us away?
And if this is so, are we ready to abandon selfish agendas for timeless principles so that we might save ourselves from ourselves? Are we ready to stand on convictions and refuse to wallow in trends? Are we brave enough to acknowledge what we have done or will we bend to the cowardice that denies the fact that anything has been done? Are we in fact ready? I have the conviction that time itself will most certainly tell.