There is much talk today suggesting that we are on the brink of something–either a profound new way of being together or utter destruction. We hear human interest stories. Someone went the extra mile to help another in need. People everywhere caring about another, bringing peace and reconciliation. At the same time, ever since I can remember, there has been war affecting families through separation, injury, or death. Often the air waves resound with discord and the political climate brings words that harm, filling our world with hate and dissension.
Realizing that new life is necessary to keep our planet alive we move from hierarchy to collaboration, just talking to listening, isolated decision-making to dialogue, suspicion to seeking clarification. The language and concepts used to explain the newness envisioned today are different from what we have known in the past. However, people over the years, including Jesus, invited newness of life and envisioned a way of being together that honors each person’s dignity.
In the Gospel of John 6:60-69 from the Christian scriptures, Jesus says, it is the spirit that gives life… Jesus’ invitation is to go deep into our spirits to tap the fullness of our gifts–often we have knee jerk reactions to people and situations rather than letting the divine spirit who dwells within influence what we say and what we do. In tapping the spirit who brings life we move from hierarchy to collaboration from just talking to listening, from isolated decision-making to dialogue from suspicion to clarification.
The gifts of the spirit articulated as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety, knowledge and openness to divine presence give us the strength to tap our deep inner resources: knowing what we need to stand up for and the strength to follow through, openness to God’s renewing spirit and to a divine presence that can do more than what we can ask for or imagine. Is this easy? It takes time. Jesus and other great spiritual leaders sought the desert, the mountains, the seashore or other places where they could be quiet and still to listen deeply to the spirit within.
Where is your desert, mountain, seashore or special place where you find quiet and stillness to listen deeply to the spirit within and to be part of changing the world one encounter at a time?
Our invitation is to embrace spirit and life.
Blessings and peace