The films of my childhood all told me that if I did what was right, good things followed. I do not know if this was the true intent or an unintended consequence. Looking back, starting with Disney but including others, there seemed to be recurring reinforcement to an implied promise of a peace, love, and comfort filled reality that would come to those that adhered to a script defined by tradition and those that walked the path before us. If only was more than a premise, it was a promise wrapped in surety.
I wonder now how anyone, myself included, could be that naïve. As I grew up, I discovered that bad things happen to good people. Beyond that, hard realities let me know that even the best individuals can be instruments of Evil. Pain, suffering, anguish, uncertainties often dominate Life. Instead of living in a heaven today, I discovered a battleground that can be as terrifying as it is beautiful.
Life reminds me that we are in a living hell that defines our reality. Even as we fight against it, we also concurrently contribute while be victimized. There are pockets of extreme violence and cruelty, often just a glance away from scenes of beauty, acts of extraordinary kindness, and moments of wonder and hope.
In the midst of it all, I find myself wondering about my primary role. Am I called to fight? Is my role primarily to fix and solve or am I confused?
Life has a subtle way of leading me away from these questions. The recurring thought is this; “Perhaps the bigger picture be best told through the moment at hand?”
The confusion of life’s chaos simplifies when I stay in the present. While there are exceptional moments when we are called to battle, the usual Divine whisper is that “I’ll make short work of your enemies, give your foes the back of my hand.” (Psalm 81.14) My calling is to love, be compassionate, and help others where I can. While it may sound easy, it is a role worthy of god.