Sunday, October 17, 2010

More strivings within

This morning one of the hymns landed on my unsettled soul at the close of our meetings, More Holiness Give Me . I’m getting ahead of myself; time to set the stage.

These past few months one of my projects has been to create and establish Fiercely Independent Locksmiths of America (FILOA), on a shoe string budget from petty cash augmented with an occasional boost from outside advertisement money and a limited membership enrollment. I’m not complaining; these things take time.

Lucy and I had dinner at a place called Hickory Hollow the other night. There was a sign on the wall, forgive my not getting the wording down verbatim; who knew I’d be using it so soon, “Please give me patience, Lord; but hurry up”. It drew a smile to my face as patience is one virtue I could surely use.

Earlier that day I’d been on a couple of locksmith jobs; always nice to put some money into the budget. While out and about I drove by a competitor’s locksmith shop and, has become a habit of late, I dropped in with the intent of inviting as many locksmiths as would listen to apply for membership in FILOA.

I got lucky and the owner was on premise, a fellow I have a great deal of respect for, an accomplished locksmith who runs his business in a professional and pleasant way. I pushed a few application forms across the counter and explained how it would be nice to have some support from local locksmiths in this new adventure.

He’d heard of my efforts at the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) meeting; something which surprised me. I’d attempted to enlist the help of GHLA and hadn’t gotten as much as a “Sorry, we’re not interested” from those in leadership positions; not even an acknowledgement that my correspondence had been received or reviewed. I’d chalked them off as lacking in manners, that and the fact that many of these folks don’t like rocking the boat when it comes to dealing with the DPS/PSB.

He’d read some of my articles, articles which had been forwarded to GHLA regarding my intent to curb Big Government’s ever growing take over of the locksmith industry through rules and regulations issued by the DPS/PSB. My singular agenda item being to curtail absurd mandates imposed on journeymen locksmiths for continuing education credit hours; this has not been popular with those having to deal with the bureaucracy.

I’ll admit up front, my personality rubs a lot of folks raw; however, that doesn’t diminish the fact that most locksmiths have at one time or another expressed the very same thoughts. Our industry has been taken over by the State, nothing short of imposed socialism. Call me extraordinary; but I expect the leadership of my locksmith association to confront bureaucrats while standing up for the free market system which has brought us this far. I have a hard time when they check their backbone at the door and bow in subservience. America has changed and maybe I missed that particular meeting; where’s the anger, the rage against what is clearly wrong?

As I sat across the counter exchanging view points it became evident that my friendly competitor was far more in tune with diplomacy and how to work with the socialists in power at the DPS/PSB. Even so, it bothered me how easily the words fell from his lips; that we need to accept the fact that Big Government was in control and there was little if anything we as independent locksmiths could do about it.

That hymn from this morning came to mind, perhaps in a different light, but it repeated something important to my soul, “More strength to o’re come”. When you meet with resistance and your argument is valid; backing up is not the solution, turning tail and giving up isn’t an option. I guess this is one reason they haven’t invited me to bargain with the DPS/PSB, they’re afraid I might be a tad abrasive; ya’ think?

The hymn has other important lessons, lessons which challenge the ‘natural man’ within me, “More meekness in trial”; my but that’s a tough one. Then there’s the all encompassing ending for the hymn, “More, Savior, like thee”.

Being an American is tough; we’re required to humble ourselves before our Creator and stand up to those who would steal our agency all the while doing so in a civil and tempered manner. I continue to believe in the America our founders sought for; if that makes you uncomfortable then maybe it’s not my confrontational attitude; but a lack of the American Spirit which sets us apart from the rest of the world. Perhaps that tail tucked between your legs shows a lack of belief in our free market system.

I’m nearing the end of a long and satisfying locksmith career; it would be nice for the next generation of locksmiths to have as many benefits of the free market system as can be preserved. The way things are shaping up ‘free market’ will only be a foot note at the bottom of a history book page unless some of us with real blood in our veins don’t stand up and draw a line in the sand, “More strivings within”.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”. This will also appear as a feature article on Fiercely Independent Locksmiths of America’s website .


Jahn said...

"Being an American is tough; we’re required to humble ourselves before our Creator and stand up to those who would steal our agency all the while doing so in a civil and tempered manner."

Oddly enough, I was thinking somewhat along these lines this morning. During Priesthood Meeting, someone mentioned how the Savior "lost His temper" and chased the money changers out of the Temple.

I pointed out that He did no such thing. He sat down and very methodically braided a whip, and then calmly kicked the miscreants out. And they dared not oppose Him because they knew He was right.

That's the challenge for us today: calmly braid that (metaphorical) whip and drive the miscreants out, without losing our temper.

T. F. Stern said...

Jahn, You make a good point, the Lord never lost his temper; but all the same I could use some work on my people skills. Lucy says "I make friends where ever I go" only she says it with a large lump of sarcasm. I just call it as I see it and let the chips fall.

Jahn said...

It's really too bad that people don't understand the Scriptures better. For a lot of years, I've said that what the Scriptures do not say is every bit as important as what they do say.

Hmmm.... I think I feel a blog post coming on.

T. F. Stern said...

Jahn, I have to catch myself each time as it becomes painfully clear that I am always at war within; the one side giving a good reason for why I should stand my ground while the other side attempts to be less prideful. I guess that's what mortality is all about.