The lying which our parents strongly admonished with a good spanking is now labeled as ‘alternative facts.’ Those of us who were urged by parents, teachers and clergy to always take the high road are miserably lost in today’s social and religious babble. But, thankfully, there are still a few unmovable parameters with consistent guidelines that lead us through troubling times. It doesn’t really matter if we call those parameters values, morals, standards, God, spirit, wholeness, righteousness or moral compass. When the world is mucking along on the low road, we can always be assured of safe passage on the high road if we follow the inner voice speaking our truth.
Not always convenient and often frightening, this road leads us through the darkness of worldly concerns such as poverty, injustice, racism, hatred, corruption and untruth. It inevitably shows us to the other side where joy, peace and contentment dwell. It is a place where we know without doubt that all which is within us is bigger than anything the world can throw at us. We are capable of winning those battles with the world when we simply find that quiet space within and follow the directive of ancient prophets who said, “Be still and know.”
Psalm 46, verse 10 tells us that God will be known in the stillness of our souls. Forgo the chatter and chaos of an insane world system. Trust an alternative world order which promotes love and peace. That is the truth which history’s prophets and wise men/women discovered within. Believe the ancient and contemporary mystics who knew God dwelled within them and in all of Creation. Be still and know.
Those who claim that the only God is the one whom they profess in their particular faith are missing the universality of an energy force which permeates every cell of every body regardless of theology. Muslim brothers and sisters know God, brown-skinned neighbors know God, neighborhood Hindu shop keepers know God, Buddhist monks living in the Himalayas know God. They name this energy according to their traditions, but God is God. Be still, learn, and know.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Can we imagine a world as described above? Probably not. And most likely we should not expect it anytime soon. Back in the 1960s, when life was young and irreverent, my contemporaries who had taken time to read the Revelation of the Bible would exclaim,
“Cool, far out, that dude John must have been on some kinda awesome drugs.”
Drugs indeed. In my generation drugs, alcohol and sex were the answer to all of life’s problems. We proclaimed it on the streets and in our music. That was the world in which we lived. Many stayed there, some died there, but God, for unknown reasons, brought a few into His world of forgiveness and grace – a place where all the sorrows and pain still existed, but we now had the tools to co-exist with death and heartache living life abundantly.
That is what the ‘greatest gift’ given to us in the teachings and words of Jesus, the Christ, is all about. The world is what it is, always has been a violent, miserable place and probably always will be. But, now we don’t have to wallow in it. We have a place to go deep within and commune with a God who wants peace and brotherhood for all mankind. That light we experience within can defeat the darkness surrounding us. Like Jesus, we were born to live it and share it. Black, brown, white, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, male, female, gay, straight – all were invited to the table set by the birth of a baby in Bethlehem two millenia ago. I’ve been invited, you too. C’mon, let’s party hearty over the birth of the Good News! AMEN.
We, humanity, are not born violent, racist, or bigoted. We are born to live in peaceful coexistence with mankind. So, what has happened? Ego, greed, self-importance, fear, and lust for power overtake our destiny to be a compassionate and generous world community. Individually, we are bombarded with media ads which tell us we are not good enough, personal confrontations which ridicule and threaten us, religious theory which tells us we are God’s favored children, and more religious theory which tells us other faiths are determined to annihilate us. We become frazzled by the need to keep in step with the Joneses next door and continually paralyzed by a world we don’t understand.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We need to check our interior barometer for signs of soul fatigue and heart dysfunction which lead to worry, stress and pain. We employ our personalized meditation plan and “chill”. We get a handle on the issues that are beyond our control and forget about them. Remember, we cannot control the past, the future or other people. There’s not much left that can be changed by our action or inaction. That’s a good thing.
Restore priorities to default settings. We know what they are because in the quiet times, in the times when we have latched on to the Lord of our lives, we have revealed to ourselves what is and what is not important in this life. We become the observer of the thought processes running through our brain. Don’t try to judge them, just observe and let those thoughts continue on their way into oblivion. Enjoy what is now.
Today’s tragedy in Virginia reminds us what can happen when hatred and a feeling of impotence in dealing with anger combine with a readily available arsenal of guns. Don’t try to judge the shooting; don’t try to lay blame. We are a product of the mind processes which we allow to control our behavior. We have the capacity to make those thoughts peaceful and compassionate not only towards others but also to ourselves.
If we believe in the wisdom of the ancients, then we remember these words:
“As you sow so shall you reap.” Galatians 6:7, Holy Bible
The seeds we plant in our minds and hearts can sprout into bountiful fields of grain or thorny bushes of thistle. Perhaps if our government and religious leaders were to meditate on this verse, we could see the beginnings of a better world as envisioned by the dreamers.