Not Knowing What To Do

it may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”  — Wendell Berry

I don’t know about y’all but not knowing what to do next, what God’s plan is for me, and all those type of questions is pretty much a constant state. It is a time of great fear and great faith. If one believes Wendell Berry my mind must be constantly “employed,” and I must be on one hell of a “journey.” It is reassuring however to know that I am not alone in this feeling, and I have come to believe much like Berry that what is important is that we continue to ask about “what to do next” and that we continue to travel.

Insanity

Probably none the Pew readers have ever felt like they would like to change something about themselves — that there is something about oneself that isn’t authentic and thus destructive. But in case you have, and I admit going from one unauthentic thing to another, it’s possible to get rid of that unauthentic part. The mechanism doesn’t come from strong willpower or some latest program that tells you that positive thinking or self-empowerment is the answer. It doesn’t come from friends or family nagging or getting on your case. It is in fact admitting you can’t change by yourself and asking for help. You plant a seed of faith and ask God to nurture it and help it grow. He might send you to counseling, or to a friend, or to a month long retreat at a monastery, or he might ask you take a walk in the garden when there’s an evening breeze, but simply let him work his magic in you. He stands ready to help you become the person he created and wants you to be. Why not go back to creator when one of your parts is out of whack?

Have a good weekend! W.

Inertia

“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” 
 
For some strange reason, my favorite rule in Physics was the law of Inertia. I ran across a reference to inertia the other day, and I wondered if this law of physics applied to one’s life and faith. I kinda think it does. I know there are times where I felt like my life was going along at the same pace and no matter how much I wanted it to change, my willpower, or lack of, didn’t seem to help. I was stuck in the mud. The same was the case about my faith. I may go to church, pray regularly, do what was asked of me in the way of contributions and participation, but still there was something missing.
 
In both my life and my faith it would take some event some “unbalanced force” to get me going again or headed in a different direction. A lot of those times it might include a tragedy or bad event to get me out of a rut or off my bottom.
 
Over the years I have come to understand that will power is not enough, that the law of inertia in one’s life and faith must be acted upon by a force greater than self will. The “unbalanced force” that gets us moving or in a different direction comes from God and is available for the asking. We cannot control the force, in fact we may ask or pray to move one way in our life or faith, and God may choose to move us in the opposite direction, but move you will.
 
So next time you contemplate the need to move or alter direction, talk to God, and hang on you are about to go somewhere quickly or completely different.

Reconciliation — Final

Suzy says enough already with reconciliation, and since reconciliation begins at home, I will come back to the subject later.

The most Christian Act is sharing a meal. — Sister Eileen, curtesy of my friend Kent.
I know Sister Eileen’s message to be true, but reading it again caused me to wonder why. Perhaps hunger and the need to eat is one thing all humans have in common. Perhaps their is an intimacy of sharing a meal that breaks down barriers, whether real or fabricated. Perhaps it is simply the act of being in the same room and it is difficult to yell or shout when one’s mouth is full. I know that people who work in soup kitchens often come back from a meal with the homeless saying just one meal with a group of homeless people has changed their life. There are a hundred ideas that come into my head, but whatever the reason let us all take a lead from Jesus, a lead from Sister Eileen, and decide today to begin to live reconciliation in our every day lives and to seek out someone or some group and find a way to share a meal with that person or group. Let me know how that works out.