The homesteading community has long been known as those who long for self sufficiency. Some enjoy not having to visit grocery or big box stores; others fear the future and in turn stock up on whatever survival needs they can. We’re all trying to navigate these tumultuous times and all have our own input/output filter when it comes to information and anxiety.
I guess if I had to choose from a list of choices as to my perspective I’d probably have to choose D) None of the above. I don’t consider myself a professional optimist, even if I’d like to be one, nor am I the eternal pessimist. Been there, done that. My political platform is vast, my religious faith is simple and while self sufficiency is something I strive for, it’s not my saving grace.
We all choose our life’s bread and butter. Once buttered, bread and butter can’t be separated and it’s the same with our perspectives. Worry stems from fear, faith from love. One tends to stick with the other. It’s only smart to have a family disaster plan, lessen your carbon footprint and wonder where your kids are past 10 p.m. but if you find yourself continually thinking and fretting about the future maybe it’s time to go back to the bread box.
Someone once told me that they had a God given gift to see all the bad things that could potentially happen in life. While I wasn’t about to refute their proud (yet strange) statement, I thought back to a time when I did nothing but think of everything that could go wrong. I didn’t consider myself pessimistic, I thought of myself as someone who sought to prepare for the worst, continually. I thought it would help me weather life’s storms much easier and that in the end I would emerge unscathed from disasters.
I could not have been more wrong. After years of quitting things, dismantling my own dreams and living in fear it occurred to me, I wasn’t better off. I looked back at my track record, most of the bad things I presumed would happen, didn’t. And while good things did happen I was so preoccupied preparing for the next disaster that I didn’t take the time to celebrate those things. Worry and fear (while easier) weren’t getting me anywhere and so I took a chance on faith and love. Wisdom is not grounded in fear, but love; a love that knows that God is in charge and I am not. And that all my worrying wasn’t helping me fulfill his plans and purpose for my life.
I read people’s comments at the end of news stories. I shouldn’t, but I do. At the end of a debt deficit article I saw someone saying civil war was on it’s way and another said we should do away with the government all together. Really people? Last time I checked no states had plans of succeeding and while our government is far from perfect I’d take it any day over what most other countries put up with (You heard me North Korea).
I will be honest as someone who works in the media industry that there is pressure to find a story that gets attention. And even though we’re not technically supposed to interject our views into regular editorial content, it happens. It’s a 24 hour news cycle and often shortcuts are taken in exchange for entertainment value. It’s not that anyone should be ignorant to what’s going on, but don’t let it make you feel like everything is hopeless. Our polls, surveys and editorial commentaries don’t determine the future; they’re best guesses. The media doesn’t know what their bread and butter is, they’re just trying to make deadline.
Let’s go back to self sufficiency. It means “able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid: capable of providing for one’s own needs.” It’s often associated with homesteading articles about solar or wind power, rural farming and the like, all wonderful things. It has to do with where we get our literal bread and butter from. But just as important is perspective (the other bread and butter). We can be completely self sufficient (in the traditional sense), but be bound by worry and fear, envisioning disaster at every turn. Or we can believe that no matter what lies ahead, we’ve chosen to do the best with what God has given us and we’ll leave the rest up to Him. We can’t control the future, but we can choose our bread and butter.