NAVIGATING THE DIFFICULTIES
The storms. Mother Nature crying out in pain. Climate change, and those who reject the evidence of it. Fires. Earthquakes. The threat of war. People terrified of losing lifesaving healthcare. Xenophobia. The normalization of blatant racism. Demonization of same-gender loving people. Dehumanization of gender non-conforming, gender queer, and transgender people. Islamaphobia. Anti-Semitism. Inexperience and ineptitude in high places. And this is all in addition to personal difficulties, uncertainties, regrets, and fears which might seem daunting enough without angst on a global level.
How to find peace in the midst of the chaos? How to hold onto faith, or at very least, hope?
For me, this is where spirituality comes to the rescue. I turn to my sacred texts and I find Joseph recovering from betrayal, false accusations, abandonment and not only surviving but thriving and helping others do so as well. I see Jacob wrestling with the unknown and refusing to give up until he receives a blessing. I see Ruth widowed and in distress but finding ways to survive and take care of her loved ones. I see Jesus having love for Lazarus that death itself could not sever. I see Hagar crying because she has been exploited and abandoned by a powerful man and is alone in a desert facing almost certain death when suddenly she finds a well in the wilderness and a friendly community and her life is saved and takes on new meaning. The sacred stories remind me that difficulties are part of life, but so is navigating them and finding new opportunities and renewed joy.
The faith community is also a source of strength for me. We pray together, sing together, laugh together, cry together...TOGETHER. We're never alone. We don't have to face anything in isolation.
And in addition to stories and community, spirituality gives me the gift of prayer. Prayer for me is an inward experience, an embrace of high ideals, a immersion in hope, a summoning of strength, a moment to draw from the well of peace, a reminder that there are possibilities that we may yet see and seize. Prayer also reminds me that I am part of a larger life that cannot be diminished by any situation or circumstance.
Maybe some of us are feeling a bit overwhelmed these days. There are many ways to navigate the difficulties. My primary way is to engage and depend on my spirituality: my sacred texts, my loving community, and the comforting power of prayer. My prayer in this moment is that those facing the storms in the Atlantic or any storm in life discover within themselves an abundance of peace, hope, courage, and comfort. Amen. (dw)