Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why am I Afraid?

I have lived much of my life afraid—afraid to fail, to succeed, to do something, to do nothing, afraid of God, afraid there is no God. Somehow I came to believe evil was more the color of this world than good. I learned to fear everything because everything was evil. 

Can a universe created by God, who is good, be more evil than good? 

What was good in the world of my youth? God, the Bible, church, Christians, these were the last bastions of good in an otherwise evil world. Whose ideas of these things, whose definitions of good and evil did I receive? Did those who taught me have it all right? 

Did I learn to search for God, to seek out what is true, or did I just learn what I should say and do so God would not punish me for eternity? Did I learn to look for evil so I could hide from it, or to look for beauty to reveal God who created? Did I learn to find the good in people, or to find whatever was different and call it evil? 

Look out at this world, or into your own mind, and you will find evil, but should we not pour more fervor into our search for what is good? What good is it to ask, "Where is God?" and then go searching for devils? 

Perhaps I would be less afraid if I stopped looking for things to fear. Perhaps the question is not whether God is speaking, whether God is visible, but rather whether I am really listening and looking for God. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Institutional Problems, Individual Solutions

We so often attempt to address problems at the institutional level. We want broad, general solutions that can be applied everywhere all the time. I wonder how often, if ever, such solutions exist.

 Most problems come down to people in the end, and that is where they must be addressed if ever there is to be progress. Big problems like racism, poverty, and exploitation are not going to disappear from the top down when the right policy or law is enacted. 

They will end when people, individually, stop being driven by hate, greed, and selfishness. They are not legal problems. They are character problems, moral problems. 

It is to be the hard way for us, the long way, lifetimes of struggle to love others as we consider what we are adding to this world.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weary Souls

Weary souls will find no rest on Earth, for rest is not relief this world can give. What this world has to give in sorrow and pain it gives without reserve and without remorse. We see with our imaginations how much better this life could be, but we are doomed to the reality life is never as good as it could be.

Beauty is a glimpse of light beyond a veil of darkness, a sweet breath of air in the midst of suffocation. Beauty is a tease, the scent of a meal we don't know whether we will ever eat, exquisite and elusive.

Bodies will revel in pleasure and writhe in pain, but there is something beyond what bodies perceive, beyond pleasure and pain. Music that tickles the ear can drive hands to clap and feet to tap, but there is music that sets the depths of our souls vibrating to the frequency upon which the very song of life sings its unceasing tune. It is the light of truth breaking through the mist like warm sun rays through cold morning fog. It is the promise of rest for weary souls.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Speed of Time

When we are young, we rush from one activity to the next and are instantly impatient when forced to wait, although we have more time than we can understand. As we age, and as our time grows shorter, we tend to slow down, to savor moments rather than try to rush on to the next. 

When we are young and time stretches out beyond our view, we rush around like we are nearly out of time. When we are old and approaching the horizon of our time, we slow down as though we had all the time in the world.

By the time we have learned how best to use our energy it has fled us. I wonder why this is so.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Not Alone

You are not alone.
I am not alone. 
In the vastness of the universe, 
in the vastness of our souls, 
we are not alone.

We walk with those who walked before 
and those who will walk behind. 
We walk sometimes with those we cannot see, 
those from times beyond our own, 
but others know the paths on which our feet raise dust.