New York, like many other cities around the world, is full of surprises. From the small alleys with hidden spots for great eating and shopping, to music in places where you least expect it, to incredible moment of compassion. I continue to find myself surprised!
Somehow, I am convinced the Madison Avenue scripted shopping experience has and is dominating life itself. In this dream, New York has morphed into a gigantic integrated mall with a scripted shopping experience, every music venue is part of the vertical chain designed by greed driven music executives, and compassion follows a carefully crafted political script. The dream is incredibly boring; it is also a recurring nightmare. The dream/nightmare simply will not go away. Everything repeats in a pattern reinforcing the last. Is this what life was meant to be?
New York tells me no! Life is more than politically correct sound bites. Life is more than following a script. Life is more than doing something nice on the outside while seething hate and frustration in the heart. New York is about living, breathing, and interacting with people! Community is full of good and bad; life is full of opportunities. It is in our natural response we discover the greatness hidden within our souls. It is our actions when a stranger needs our help, there is no hope or thought of reward, that gives us experiential hope. We may not expect the goodness within, but it is there.
It is easy to forget that Divinity has made a home in our hearts and mind. We can run. We can act on incredibly bad impulses. Knowing this God still reaches out. When we ask, “Who did this? Who made it happen? Who always gets things started? [The answer is blunt.] I did. God. I'm first on the scene. I'm also the last to leave.” (Isaiah 41.4)
Life is full of unexpected events, good, bad, and sideways. Life is also full of opportunities. God is with us. Responding to God is the best thing we can do for our self and for others.
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