As is usual, the world is falling apart. Or is it falling together? Middle East instability, global political unrest, drought and famine, floods, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, economic collapse, injustice. That is the short list. Are we building a better world? Over time we certainly have. Our technologies have improved living conditions and opportunity for large numbers of people. They also present challenges as we gobble up resources and harm our environment. As our population explodes so does our challenge to live sustainably and peacefully. There is life’s constant uncertainty and predictions and expectations of a dire reward. It is the same as it has always been except that we have made the world smaller due to population and technology.
While many of us work for a peaceful and prosperous future others are determined to bring about Armageddon, thinking their reward is in the next world. It is this world that is our charge. If we can not choose what is best here, how likely are we to choose it elsewhere? Do we really think that God would punish us? If so, do we need to do this work for God? Is it necessary to bring hardship and suffering against others because they are wrong with God. If that is God’s design then why not let God do God’s own work? When we consider our ‘faith’ in God we are clearly, oftentimes, quite confused. Much of what we know of God is what we have imposed on God and is not God at all.
It seems that what is of God must be absolute. The notion that there would be absolute suffering seems absurd to my mind. It is not possible for me to imagine any God that would design such an outcome. This clearly is a human design and grossly inept. I would not be inclined to have anything to do with a God like that. I can not find it in myself to wish such suffering on anyone. If I did, how would that make me any different from the person I think deserves it? Of God there is abundance. We find that we can choose to do as we will. We can make the best of our world and expect that of God. Even in the face of adversity we can hold this ground and then it is real.
In this season of renewal let us renew our confidence in a compassionate and caring God. Forgiveness is the narrow gate and compassion its reward. Take the path and open the gate.
The Mystic Tourist