These terms have become confusing to me. Befuddling enough that I actually looked up the definitions on an online dictionary. As people bandy the words around – sometimes playfully, more frequently as curse words, it seems worthwhile to be sure my understanding of the words is crystal clear.

On a recent trip to the US, it came to my attention that my vocabulary had not kept up with the political times. Usually my family watches news reports from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(CBC), and I most regularly read online news from BBC. Traveling to the States made me realize how culturally specific news coverage can be. Alt – this and progressive that meant NOTHING to me until I looked up the terms. Entire perspectives to differentiate.

The funny thing – Liberal and Conservative parties have different platforms provincially and nationally. Liberal policies in the US may be conservative in Vancouver. The marker for what can be considered liberal or conservative always moves in relation to the speaker.

Back to the definitions:

Liberal – generous, free

Conservative – to preserve

I want to discern what in my life, my family, my household, my communities needs to be preserved, and then to savour, conserve, relish these things, relationships, experiences, practices. Inherent in this may be that I need to slough off preferences in consideration for others benefit and not demand the conservation for my personal ease.

Likewise, I want to discern where more generosity and freedom need to overflow in my thinking and living. Cheerful giving and I want to loose what needs to be loosed for others to thrive and for myself to branch out and try new things, to live trusting God’s provision for each day.

Recently I read the statement, “You have to give up the trike to ride the bike.” (I think it was on Becoming Minimalist, but I’ve searched and can’t find the link.) I want wisdom about what to give up and what to hold on to.

My prayer – To know what to free and bind and when to do each.

Preserving, giving, freeing all have a place in my life. I like the actual meanings of these words.


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