I don’t know about you but I have been feeling the rampant feardom that has been spreading throughout our country and community. We were in a Double Dip Recession! The world was supposed to come to an end back a few months ago! The stock market is going to plunge again! Have you seen the gas prices! News is no longer interesting – it is no longer news but fear. Just read the newspaper or internet and you will notice an increased use of the words/phrases: breaking news, crisis, recession, calamity, the end times, catastrophe, war, gloom, and fear. Notice what words you don’t seem to hear frequently, words like love, peace, joy, kindness, patience, good deeds, helping, saving, rescue, gift, and laughter. We have been trained, albeit intentionally, by media and culture to look negatively and critically at our world and environment, even ourselves. I would like to suggest to you that to only regard the negative or to be critical is only half of the true picture of any given experience.
Where is the joy and peace that is a natural part of life? Where are the good times, like people talk about from years gone by? Where is the laughter, the moments of insight, the ah-ha’s, the fun, those amazing experiences? Those moments are happening every day, every hour, right under our noses and we are missing them. We are missing them because we have been conditioned to no longer see them, no longer hear them, no longer participate in those precious moments. Christ teaches us that God’s ways are not man’s ways. There has to be a better way!
There is peace in our age. The doom and gloom is only part of the picture. There is a whole other side of the coin that is joy, peace, and kindness of fellow human-beings. There is love being shared daily in our community and world. Strangers are helping others. People are choosing to act responsibly. Families are enjoying themselves and are growing. Successes are created everyday! Relationships are being healed. Marriages are being renewed. Young people are finding meaning and purpose to their lives. Dreams and visions are occurring daily. Our world is a world of generosity and love. Look at the responses that are made when destruction came upon Japan, Haiti, Louisiana, Alabama… people reaching out to help others in need. Our community and world is not dominated by fear, of hate and killing. What is reported is only a small minute fraction of what occurs every moment of every day. I even think we could easily change the attitudinal experience of fear simply by not watching the daily news on the tv or internet. Yes, we may be "out of touch" on some issues, but just imagine the opportunities that we could be "in touch" within a short period of time. When we are "out of the loop" on the recent Iran crisis, or international problem, we might just be "in the loop" on our child's first steps, or the neighbor's new job, or something great that has happened in your life or community.
Change happens because individuals make personal decisions to do something different. We can exercise our free will to choose to think differently, not disingenuously, but with intention and purpose to love, to forgive, to help heal, to create, to celebrate, to give, to experience, to feel, and most of all to hope.
Grace and Peace,