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12/8/20

What a Time to be Alive

What a Time to be Alive!?
Look around at all that is going on - pandemic, political unrest, social issues, environmental concerns, storms, depletion, weather changes, an uncertain future - worldwide - cosmic-sized transition. In unrest, we all receive some sort of guidance as to what to do, or not do, or how to do. With this input, we are faced with choices. 

As much as we may not want to admit it, the world situation today is the end-product of our collective choices. As difficult as it may be to see and to understand, all conditions were met for it – whichever it you may be focusing on - to happen or it would not have happened. That statement matches the laws of cause and effect, attraction, gravity, and physics from relativity (macro) to quantum (micro). 

Why do I suggest it a great time to be alive? This is fertile ground to develop empathy, show love, and to help heal a hurting world. Not only are we all in this together now, but we have been in it together from the beginning of time. Whether from history, Holy Scriptures, fables, or fairy tales, it has always been we, us, they, them, and our, knowing and not knowing. 

Only now, we know that we do not know. 

It is a great time to live in the mystery of faith. To survive – nay to thrive – by embracing learning and growing. My daughter shared that in reading a book on the Holocaust, she found deep compassion for those suffering such atrocities and separation, and great admiration of their faith and courage, while finding resolve and strength to face current situations. Makes you think doesn’t it.

 “When we cannot change a situation, we are challenged to change our self.” Viktor Frank

It is a great time to go deep and find peace regardless of upheaval. To embrace challenge irrespective of seeming insurmountable odds. Witness your pain and extend caring brings relief and lightens the load. In being together, please do so with cooperation, and with the absence of reward or punishment. It is a great time to choose not to be offended. When someone offends you, connect with them. When you offend someone, connect with them. 

Bottom line, you are responsible for reconnecting from either side of the offense. Seek to understand and clarify. If needed, agree to disagree while remaining connected. Always esteem your self and others.

Fr. Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Meditation recently did a series on Order, Disorder and Reorder. I share my understanding of his three-week series. 

Order: Everyone is born into a family or community that becomes a container of culture, values, tradition, custom, family loyalties, authority, boundaries, and morality. While not perfect, these avenues gave security, predictability, impulse control, and ego structure need before going out into the chaos of real life. The healthier the nurturing stage, the more one grows up naturally and receive freedom to be accepting of others. 

Disorder: Nothing stays fixed. Life is about constant disruptions. Earthly illusions of “happily ever after” show themselves. Humanity tends to do things their own way, whether in being true to self or in rebellion. Hurt people hurt people. 

Reorder: Acceptance. One cannot effectively deal with what has happened or is happening if one does not accept the situation for what it is. Acceptance allows freedom to consider probabilities from another point of view. There may be more than one way to skin a catfish. Acceptance takes the facts as they are – not as I think they should be. Acceptance releases creativity that is life-giving and sustainable. Whole people heal people. Acceptance is wholeness amid brokenness. 

In my own life I find that knowledge is not the problem. Action is. Spirit is. Compassion is. May the following confession strike accord that resonates in our being and inspires us to graciously respond. Together let us come to a moral conclusion for the good of the whole. 

"Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change, open to us a future in which we can be changed and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image. Aman." Quoted by Brian McLaren, Finding Our Way Again, Chapter 11, Communal Practices

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