Harry Chapin wrote and sang a song that replays in my head from time to time, usually uninvited. The words in the song provide a running commentary to what is going on around me; “All my life’s a circle; but I can’t tell you why; season’s spinning round again; the years keep rollin’ by. It seems like I’ve been here before; I can’t remember when.”
I like to think I have learned from Life. Reflection, openness, and consideration are important to me. Circles remind me that there are situations that are no more solvable on the nth replay as they were on the first. While the specifics of the replays change, the sense of not knowing and helplessness recur.
How does one deal with individuals that have a white face and black heart? Is confrontation the only answer? Avoidance is an easy solution however this alternative is not always available?
Is there a substitute for trust? In a few circumstances, verifying helps one work in the gap. Whatever the answer is, it must satisfy the emotional and mental parts of the question.
Hesitation is an answer in itself. In times of uncertainty, I have learned that it is a useful response. Even in this knowledge, part of me wants to act and move on. I have not resolved the “how” with my recurring conundrums.
I do know that I like to make my case; “I run to you, God; I run for dear life. Don’t let me down! Take me seriously this time!” (Psalm 31.1) In a reflective moment I am confident that God listens, cares, and always takes us seriously. While I am not sure what I will do in the current replay, a few mantras keep coming back.
Compassion, mercy, and truth are never out of style.
Having said that, I am not called to enable others to act without these three values.
Acting in time of uncertainties is the heart of being engaged in living. To not be engaged is an act of defiance against God’s call to mission that rests on each.