Our world is connected in ways few could imagine. One market rises and the news is motivation for others around the world. A disaster in one community echoes and reverberates in communities near and unconnected. We are inevitably linked together in ways we do not understand even as we struggle with our feelings. In this chaotic, often misunderstood environment, it is easy to find your mind and heart overwhelmed by the actions of others.
I would like to offer a simple prediction. Bad events are going to happen around your life and mine. By bad, I mean that dysfunctional, destructive, and painful events are going to swirl around us, touching us when we least expect it, pushing us towards an unknown destination. I do not have any particular inspiration for this except the knowledge that Evil is alive and thriving in your community and mine.
It is far too easy to be caught up in life’s rip currents. They often strike at the core of our being. Our faith in leaders and institutions is repeatedly shaken, beyond the point where we think we have no faith. Cynicism is now more than a natural reaction. It has become a way to protect one’s mind from the storm raging just inside our protective barriers.
We are not the first to face this kind of chaos. In an old time, “He [King Herod] murdered James, John's brother. When he saw how much it raised his popularity ratings with the Jews, he arrested Peter—all this during Passover Week, mind you—and had him thrown in jail, putting four squads of four soldiers each to guard him.” (Acts 12.2, 3) There was no truth in his actions. His decisions did not make the world a better place. Yet, it was their place and time.
Today is ours. Their reactions then are a model to us now. We can confront evil with love. We can respond to greed with compassion. We can respond to fear with mercy. We can give acceptance in the face of uncertainty. Today is about making a difference.