How do you know if your response to a situation is correct or even good? Is there a way to determine if our response to the current problems we face in our community will help? Can we really know if our response, assuming it is well intended, will do what we think it will do?
Questions continue to haunt my thinking. I believe that responding is a given. The idea that doing nothing is the right response seems to looks like an excuse to ignore the plight, pain, and problems of people we say we are holding up in our hearts. We have to do something. Yet, how do we know that we are doing the right thing? Can we be certain that whatever we are choosing to do, that it will positively touch those we care about? Is unity more important than principles? Is action more important that critical thinking? Does the current situation demand strong leadership more than it asks for consensus?
Old stories raise a warning flag that is relevant today. Based on an innocent error in perception, “the priest of the local Zeus shrine got up a parade—bulls and banners and people lined right up to the gates, ready for the ritual of sacrifice.” (Acts 14.13) Their intent was honorable. Their actions were consistent with what they thought they had seen. They intended to help. Yet, they were wrong.
I have no immediate answers for your response or mine today. I do know that if we are going to have any change of working together, thinking critically, and developing a broad consensus, we must do some preparation work on our own.
We must understand the values we hold within our hearts and minds. This will require serious reflection and questioning.
We must struggle with our priorities. This includes an honest look at our actions and how they are leading indicators of what we believe.
We must engage in the business of living. This suggests that we must actively receives others gifts and in turn reach out to those around us in support.