I’ve not been doing much gaming lately, as the family and I are on vacation in the north lakes. We stay with my parents at their summer place, and this year my sister also made the trip with her family. It’s been one big weeklong family get-together! Typically, though, we take one day to go off on our own, just myself, Mrs. Brax and the kids, and do something besides the normal fishing, swimming, and eating that normally comprises our vacation days.
Father’s Day was this past weekend, and I’ve only recently become aware over the past ten years or so how tricky these types of family holidays have become. In the “good old days”, I used to find a suitable greeting card for my parents, and possibly try and do something nice for them (like pick up my room) in order to show my gratitude and love towards them. That was pretty much as complicated as it got. Then came social media, and it became an even greater expression of appreciation to share your feelings towards your loved ones with your entire sphere of influence and beyond.
I am a Christian.
It took me a long time to say that on this blog. Not because I’m ashamed of the fact, nor that I’m unsure of it, but because I was worried about being perceived as something I’m not. Afraid of being improperly categorized due to someone’s preconceived notions of what that label means. And let’s not pretend that it doesn’t happen. Simply by saying the word “Christian” I’ve placed a picture in your mind of someone, or an idea of someone, based on your past experiences or education. Same as if I were to say “Cowboy” or “Blue Collar” or “Politician”. Those words carry with them pictures, attitudes, and the temptation to reach down into the toolbox, pull out the broad brush, and paint an entire landscape of individuals with the same color. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s how the human brain makes sense of the world. The problem is, even within our own specific category, we’re not all the same, are we? There are some Cowboys that even other Cowboys, true Cowboys, don’t want to be associated with. Like Roy Rogers.
In the United States, it’s once again the time of year when we gather around a veritable feast, enjoy (or endure) conversation with family and fall asleep in front of a football game. In recent years, Thanksgiving and the concept of colonizing the states and the subsequent effects on the native populations has come under increasing fire, or at least scrutiny, in the name of political posturing and social justice. Those who do so are overlooking the larger picture. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the good things in life. It’s about reflecting on the past twelve months and seeking those times when we have been blessed beyond what we deserve – which is true for every blessing, come to think of it. While food and football are traditions, the act of reflecting on the positive aspects in life require neither, and is probably healthier than both!