The fact that we are in trouble is well accepted. The idea that we need to do something about our situation is understood. Yet, any agreement on the source, cause, or solution seems just beyond our grasp! Even when we move beyond the source and cause, we find ourselves buried in ideas, alternatives, and options.
Is there a single right answer? How do we move together as a community and still keep the values that have been most important to us? Is there a way to find some level of clarity that would allow us to unite? Are others going to try to impose their beliefs, traditions, and values on me?
For many, me included, the questions focus on my fears, uncertainties, and doubts about where I am presently, where I am pointed, and where I am going to go. The debate is not a new one; it has been going on across generations, cultures, and the ages. One can look back and see how “there was a split in public opinion, some siding with the Jews, some with the apostles.” (Acts 14.4)
I do not know what the right answer for you might be. I do know several principles that help me engage in the process of living.
I find myself reflecting, often mornings and evenings, on the values I hold in my heart. Reflection helps me understands the difference between routines, traditions or habits, that I think are my values and the absolutes that I hold within.
I seek the wisdom found in sacred writings and those that have gone before me. I have come to realize that I lack everything I need. God has the missing pieces. Sacred wisdom is found in the ordinary and the sacred of life. It is here for our education, guidance, and support.
I listen for God’s voice. It is loudest in the mundane. It is also found in voices of compassion, laments of pain, and in cries of celebration.
With this, I engage, listen, and learn. Even with great intent, compassion grows, mercy expands, and love reaches.