If you work on Capitol Hill, you and I likely have a great deal in common. You love this country and want to make it better. You are passionate about politics, the campaign trail and the legislative process. You worry about the future, of America and of you and your loved ones. You probably grew up somewhere else, most likely out there in “Flyover Country.”
It doesn’t matter which political party you identify with or where on Capitol Hill you spend your workdays. Your hours are long and odds are good you could be making more money working somewhere else (maybe a whole lot more if you’ve been here for a few years).
But you get to rub elbows with many of America’s most important and best-known leaders, and your work affords endless opportunities to get good things done and meet and work with interesting and amazingly smart, skilled people. Money can’t buy the satisfaction that can come with that, right?
Fact is, for better or worse, the Hill is the center of your world. Maybe not tomorrow, but for now, most of your friends also work here, including people you socialize with, enter into (and out of!) romantic relationships, and compete/cooperate with to grab that next rung up the success ladder.
Many of them you like, some of them you can’t stand, and a few of them will probably be your friends for life. You also see traits in some of them you admire and in others things that either make little sense to you or that you would never want to characterize you.
But Are You Happy?
You tell yourself and others you are. As happy as you think you should be or want to be or thought you would be by now? I know the feeling. My first four years here were spent on the Hill, initially on the House side as a press secretary, then as a chief of staff and finally as communications director for a senator.
It was dazzling, exhilarating even; working with powerful, famous men and women, hitting the receptions with the free food and booze, making a difference on important issues, growing in influence, knowledge, skills, position and importance.
Or so I thought. When I left the Hill for an executive branch political appointment in the Reagan administration, there was something not quite right. I kept telling myself I really was happy, but in my most sober, reflective moments, I knew better.
“I kept telling myself I really was happy, but in my most sober, reflective moments, I knew better.”
In the years ahead, I “fixed” it with better jobs, starting a different career, divorce and remarriage, even fulfilling a childhood dream (becoming a race car driver in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), running a Formula Ford for three years at Summit Point).
On the outside, I looked like a success. On the inside, no way. Eventually, it all came apart and my world was shattered. Sobriety and humility are wonderful and I’ve been blessed in the decades since with a wonderful wife and family and a career that I absolutely love.
That career, as an investigative journalist, led to many opportunities to shine light in dark places in government and resulted in something I am especially proud of, being made a member of the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame.
Don’t worry, it’ll just be friendly conversation, no judgements, no preaching, just two people talking about how to make it on the Hill and everywhere else.
But far more important, I have been blessed with a deepening awareness of life-changing facts about history, faith, science, people and living through a growing, thriving, rewarding relationship with the Lord who created all of us and indeed the whole universe.
So Here’s “The Ask”
Maybe you’d like to know more about how this happened for me and consider whether it’s something you’d like for yourself. Don’t worry, it’ll just be friendly conversation, no judgements, no preaching, just two people talking about how to make it on the Hill and everywhere else. Let’s meet for half an hour (or more, or less, if you like) for coffee. Senate or House side. Tell me what works for you. God bless.
And keep an eye on HillFaith blog. It’s the heart of a new apologetics ministry that in coming months will share with Hill staffers the endless, fascinating evidence from science, history, archeology and logic for the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ and the life-altering truth of His Gospel that can change your personal and professional life for the better. God bless.
Mark Tapscott is HillFaith’s editor, IT jockey, spiritual guide, chief bottle washer and overall Jack-of-All-Trades. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org