While not all Tea Party era political activists would consider themselves "devout" followers of Christ, I have openly confessed as much and many of my diaries reflect my internal struggles and convictions over how to interact within this sphere in a way that does not cause me to lower my standards of conduct as a Christian. At times, reconciling this conflict has seemed an impossible task and from time to time, I must pull back to reassess what I have learned, how and why I need to make changes and evaluate where I fit in in order to move forward.
Hindsight is always full of magnificent wisdom learned. If only I had known that the process of discipleship in Christ never really ends until we depart this present world, I would not have pressured myself in my early walk with the Lord to reach an end goal and consider myself having arrived.
A more realistic view of the process of discipleship would depict our life in Christ as one where the trials and tests along the way only intensify as we are intrusted with heavier responsibilities throughout life. That is where the rubber meets the road as we are continually faced with choices and decisions to make -- wherein we seek guidance and reference scripture to try to figure out what Jesus would have us do in any given circumstance. Perhaps these principles can best be seen in Jesus' parable of the sower from Mark 4:
4 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Wow. That is one of Jesus' most powerful teachings, full of wisdom for serious disciples. Clearly, not everyone is able to bring forth a hundred fold fruit and the process is fraught with obstacles, temptations to compromise and danger continually.
I seem to have lost my point along the way here, but, I'll just end this by saying I'm still pondering how to produce better fruit as a political activist. Thoughts are welcome.