I’m convinced the bad stuff of life is going to go on for as long as I’m alive on this planet. We, yes you, I, and “they”, will continue to exploit the environment. We will continue to use others. Tragedies will strike the deserving and the innocent. Pain will be a familiar companion. Fear, uncertainties, and a sense of impending doom will travel with us.
There are several ways we can respond to this reality. Obviously we can give in. Bitterness and depression are far more natural than anyone admits. There is an alternative which I find God presenting to each with the coming of the dawn and the passing of the moments.
First we can admit how overwhelming life is. This acknowledgment isn’t a sign of weakness. I’d like to suggest the opposite; admitting life is bigger than you or I are is a sign of strength. It is more than just knowing one’s limitation. We can find strength in the fact that we cannot deal with, handle, or even live with life! The blunt fact is that “people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you'll find it's grace and more grace. The moment he [God] hears, he'll answer.” (Isaiah 30.19)
Second, we can act on God’s grace. It is more than just struggling to live. We have the opportunity to grab grace, compassion, and mercy with all that we are. You and I can live as if compassion is the defining principle of life. We can take every decision, make ever action as if community is who we are. God’s framework can be ours. In the midst of the tragedies, pain, and uncertainty we find ourselves, we can act decisively.
This combined approach, admitting our weakness and acting on God’s gift, is not easy. In fact it is one of the most difficult choices one can make. The upside is truly incredible. Peace will be our friend. A sense of purpose and accomplish will be familiar. Best of all, we will know God.
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