A call to our higher selves will benefit Midland

Over the past two years I’ve seen the best of the Midlanders. From frontline workers to thugs keeping our great city and region going during a historic pandemic and downturn. From teachers to small business owners, nurturing the next generation and fighting to keep previous generations’ businesses open. From firefighters to police officers to road crews keeping us safe and working through a historic freeze and beyond. From nonprofits to houses of faith, they go out of their way to care for the least and most needy among us, from humans to our pets. I leave out so much, but I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the spirit of West Texas and Midland that, according to one New Yorker, makes this place “feel like America.” But recently, a new burden appeared in my heart that prompted me to write this article.

Over the past few months, I have received countless reports of crimes against persons and property in our city. I have heard of the increased activity of gangs seeking to prey on our children. I have heard of far too many lives lost due to traffic accidents. It seems that hardly a day goes by that I don’t receive bad news that wreaks havoc on our people, our city, and our morals. We live in trying, difficult and sometimes conflicting times. But what should we do?

I am so proud to serve with and alongside the city staff and attorneys. I am beyond certain that together the staff and the city council will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our America-like city remains the jewel of West Texas and the shining example of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But what we need in our season of trials and tests is not another ordinance or a city plan; what we need is a city on its knees before our Creator crying out for grace, mercy, peace and perhaps revival.

With this background of thought in mind, I take this opportunity – and perhaps this risk – to call on our city to pray for one another, for our collective good, our state and even our nation. What our city needs goes beyond ordinances and rules. We do not need a new program or a new government initiative. We need a healthy renewal of our best selves and our souls.

I realize that there are those reading this article who might say that I am overstepping my role and should simply leave the city pastorate to the clergy to which I once belonged. I get it, and it could be a good move. But in this season when our economy is recovering and things are getting back to normal, I cannot – as mayor – sit back and watch us lose our moral compass, a shining example of freedom and liberty, and the American way of life because a city that looks like America doesn’t call on the collective faith that built America to lead us back to a safer, more God-like city that touches every area of ​​our lives , from family to church to work.

Great revivals and renewals never happen because of a government program or a call to action. Great revivals occur because small groups of distant people heed the words, “If my people humble themselves and pray…”. I don’t care about your denominational choice or lack thereof. But I care about the heart and soul of this city – expressed in many different faith and belief traditions – which I have observed for nearly 23 years. Our heritage is not just a city that “looks like America”. Our heritage is a city that cares about America, cares about our neighbor, and strives for the best for all. Let us gather in our homes, in our churches, and even alone and cry out to our Creator for grace, mercy, peace, and even renewal as we resume our role as a shining example of the great state of Texas, a reflection of the values ​​of this great nation, and start loving our neighbor as ourselves again for a brighter future, a safer future and a blessed future.

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