For those who code, you know how frustrating it can be to fail miserably for weeks, months, or years on a project before seeing any results. Coding is very much a discipline of trial and error, sometimes spectacularly so.
This afternoon, I was reminiscing about the 'good old days' of Star Trek. I used to love nothing more than coming home from school in the afternoons as an elementary school kid and watching it with my dad. TNG was on syndicated reruns by '94, but DS9 and Voyager were still going strong when I graduated to middle school. I decided to watch "Far Beyond the Stars" this afternoon, and I came to an epiphany.
The episode takes place as a dream sequence where Captain Sisko, a black Starfleet Captain, is transported back to 1953. There, he's a struggling science fiction writer who dreams up a world where a man of color can be in charge of a space station. The stark portrayal of racism that he encounters on a daily basis is something that sadly makes the episode extremely relevant even twenty years after it aired.
One thing that I liked a lot, which sadly probably wouldn't be done if it aired today, is that they ended the episode with a quote from the Bible:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
-2 Timothy 4:7
Yesterday was a historic anniversary, and sadly one that was marked by remembrance of more victims of violence. Though the BLM movement does have a tendency to (dare I use the term?) whitewash the crimes of some recent victims, ultimately the movement is much larger than the simple and controversial slogan "defund the police." What it's really about is putting an end to the normality of people of color getting killed in police encounters, whereas white suspects tend to survive. It shouldn't be controversial to say, "let's stop killing black people," but sadly the state of division in our nation is such that that statement requires clarification.
It is wrong to violently resist a peace officer. I do not deny that some of these suspects were engaged in criminal behavior at the time of their deaths. That being said, conservative America's thirst for violence is such that I actually have to convince Bible-believing Christians that killing shouldn't be their first instinct in any given conflict. There is violence on the other side as well, and nobody denies that. Nevertheless, there is also a profound and undeniable difference between the way black and white offenders are treated.
I will include here the words of a black man, since they themselves ought to be given much more license to speak on this subject than those of us who merely speculate about racism.
My first two posts were all about struggle. At the time, I was going through what I thought was the most difficult season of my life. My current self would laugh at that person in retrospect. Each season of life brings new and worse challenges than the last, because that's the nature of living in a fallen world.
My encouragement to you today, regardless of your politics or the color of your skin, is to keep going. Be humble, be compassionate, but don't you ever give up. As long as you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, we know that ultimately you are more than a conqueror, and your eternal rest will more than make up for a life of struggle.