I woke this morning to a gray sky. The light is soft, the air cool. The setting is perfect for reflection if one is so inclined. It occurs to me that life is often gray. Regardless of its source, the answers today are often more confusing than they are obvious. Political statements are analyzed with multiple interpretations. Blogs and forums are filled with contrary views. Nothing seems simple or direct.
The simple framework of my childhood has been replaced by a confusing swirl of conflicting values. I have come to appreciate that there are valid reasons for the conflicts. We live in a world with constantly changing cultures and experiences. We are inundated with information and ideas. The small communities we grew up in are now linked in a virtual world in ways we never imagined or were prepared for.
There are ways of responding to the gray that reflect clear values. I find that it starts with an acceptance and celebration of diversity. We are different! It is in our differences that our strength of community can rest. While it is a choice, being different is potentially stronger than being the same.
In a confusing world, we can have principles that do not change. Compassion is eternal. Mercy is something we should always reach for. Accountability is at the core of integrity. Whatever the circumstance, in my life these are consistent pillars. Knowing one’s core is at the heart of consistency and simplicity.
Decisions are the outcome of applying core values to a given situation. Usually we do not have a how-to book on living. This might seem like a change. History suggests otherwise. Centuries ago, one writer commented on ambiguity. “The Master did not give explicit direction regarding virgins, but as one much experienced in the mercy of the Master and loyal to him all the way, you can trust my counsel.” (1 Corinthians 7.25) Wise counsel is still useful. In using our freedom, we connect values with action.
Life is often confusing. The values we bring to it can be simple and consistent.