At the end of November Josh wrote a profound reflection on the beauty of the why and how it shapes our lives. He drew our attention to what this simple word can uncover, how asking why can be a very active part of love, and he helped us understand how clarity and centeredness may often find us in its presence. Not only is the why alone powerful, but many questions we ask ourselves, God, or one another can lead us toward such great wisdom, compassion, and relationship.
This week I’ve been trying to set aside time to just simply unwind from what this last year has given, and in some cases, taken away. Soon I may write more about some of these personal experiences, but today…I unwind. And as I take some deep breathes in and then slowly empty my lungs from all they’ve been holding, I’m accepting that there is still so much transition ahead. Not just personal change but also on many local and global levels of community and world. So, instead of jotting down different resolutions and goals, I find myself more curious about who I will choose to be and behave in this year ahead:
What kind of person am I going to be?
What kind of spirit will I exude?
How will I treat and respond to myself and others?
After writing down some of these questions and more, I found myself doodling all over my journal page: “…and why?”
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said some pretty crazy and difficult things, like don’t be mean to people and stuff. He filled chapters with words like that and with concepts such as: meek and grieving people were blessed. I mean that’s crazy talk, or at the very least it defies some of my cultural or imbedded religious beliefs about what “blessed” looks like. Why did Jesus teach and live such a message, such a gospel?
I ask this slightly rhetorically, as there are most likely more ideas and thoughts as to why than I could ever cover here. But I will mention just one, one reason why Jesus may have taught us ways such as these and invited us to journey on a path such as the one He walked when with us: Because it’s the best thing for us. It literally is.
All of these things we are told to do like forgive, not hate, not wound, love, go the extra mile…are all said from a Divine Christ that has only our best interests in mind and the very best intentions for us. Not just the recipient, but the one who chooses to forgive, the stranger who doesn’t hate, the friend who doesn’t wound, the ostracized who loves instead, the leader who goes the extra mile.
I don’t want to end one year more hardened than the year previous, but pain and division can form hard and crusted walls over our hearts. I don’t want to manifest a message of hate, offense and intolerance, but how do I not do that? Jesus showed me how.
So as we approach the next season on this earth ball, where it begins yet another orbital revolution around the sun, if there is any aspect of what lies ahead that may bring trepidation or unrest, perhaps…there is someone to forgive. Perhaps there is a new person to love. Perhaps going the extra mile will be our road to healing.