"1. Never read any book that is not a year old. 2. Never read any but famed books. 3. Never read any but what you like; or, in Shakspeare's phrase, 'No profit goes where is no pleasure ta'en: In brief, sir, study what you most affect.'"

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Books"
Lucky 13. Or not.

“Cognitive dissonance” is a useful term, especially in my life. I first learned it – it will surprise none of you to learn – from a counselor, and he wasn’t talking about himself. But during this winter of our discontent, I find myself even more dissonant than is my wont.

On the macro level, I see no hope at all. I can’t conceive a scenario by which conservatives and Christians, and conservative Christians, can possibly come back from the losses we’ve suffered. I fear the future, not only because I see persecution (if relatively light by global standards), but because I love my country. I have this crazy idea that you can’t sow scoundrelism and reap integrity, and that you can’t borrow your way out of debt.

I know that God is in charge. I’ll stipulate to that. He was also in charge during the Diocletian persecution.

So that gets me down.

On the other hand, it’s beginning to look very much as if 2013 may be the year when things turn around for me personally. I’ve got the translation work, and there’s some publishing news coming up, and things look pretty good from here. I’m particularly pleased that it should happen in a year ending in “13,” as I decry all forms of divination, and telling the future by numbers counts as that.

I can imagine Noah having a neighbor who came over his house yelling, “Hey! Good news! My big deal came through! What do you mean boat ride? I haven’t got time for a boat ride –"


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Comments on "Lucky 13. Or not.":
1. Greybeard - 01/09/2013 8:22 pm EST

Lars, At least you can be glad that you didn't write this article introduction I just read in my weekly email from Leadership Journal.

He is clearly a subcutaneous pastor. No, that doesn't mean he's less than cute. It means he gets under your skin.

2. Doug Lais - 01/10/2013 12:22 am EST

Yes, Lars, it seems as if we've turned a corner in the global culture. Last year America voted its morals, and it's a hideous result. As the world sinks lower into the pit, the Church will stand out in ever more purity. But, her purity will be won first by a shaking out of every foul thing. It's a frightening, challenging, and exhilarating time to be alive. Boring times are safer, but I think that option is gone.

3. Ori Pomerantz - 01/10/2013 9:49 am EST

It was about ten years between the start of the Diocletian persecution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocletian_Persecution) and the Edict of Milan. Those ten years sucked, but in less than a generation the empire was Christian.

The next few years will hurt. But I still hope they'll hurt like a spanking and not like being run over by a car.

4. Respectabiggle - 01/10/2013 11:47 am EST

More and more, I'm thinking of my success in terms independent from the success of the US (and particularly its government). That's not an easy transition for someone who's been in uniform of one sort or another since 1989.

God will use us to his glory. I sometimes hope that He doesn't trust me enough to suffer greatly for Him.

5. Greybeard - 01/11/2013 11:13 am EST

I heard that it's getting so bad that the government has created a new tax on writers who use too many contractions. It's called an Apostre Fee.

6. Lars Walker - 01/11/2013 11:48 am EST

I admire the courage it took to actually write that joke down. ;-)

7. Greybeard - 01/11/2013 12:29 pm EST

I encourage you to share it with the faculty at your institution. They had to put up with that kind of humour for three years, serving as guinea pigs while I refined my style and delivery. Likely they'll know who it came from without you having to tell them, especially the youngster among them.

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