Monday, April 28, 2014

Vagabond Wisdom-Hold lightly and Hold tightly

Just In time.

“Tired of bein' on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. Tired of not ever having me a buddy to be with, or tell me where we's coming from or going to, or why. Mostly I'm tired of people being ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There's too much of it…”

We are all men and women…forged and breathed in the image of God. Yet some are seduced to believe that they are somehow different…somehow above, a little better or perhaps that they know something the rest of mankind doesn’t. It is the most exhilarating of lies. It is the whisper of the snake in the garden to Eve, it is the promise of the infernal whispering in the ear of the Christ, it is the seduction to short cut the way each must take. In this life, I have seen the short sighted take the way of self and their heart grows cold. Taking the way of self is not simply wanting one’s way in life, it is the belief and intent that the one so steeped is one of the few that understands and sees clearly. Unlike the Apostle Paul who readily admitted he only saw through an opaqueness into the eternal.

Life is not meant to leave us strong. It is meant to bow us and bend us. Many of us break and are torn. In the end we look more forward than we do back. It is not that we have not loved life and enjoyed such a creation. Anyone on a clear spring day at sunset basks in the fullness of life and love. It is that the longer we live, we see wisdom where we once saw ignorance and love where we never thought we would find it. Again, the Apostle Paul lived a life with a forward look and in the end of it, he left the job done and the last word penned. It was his time as it will be ours in our turn.

What will be our last word and to whom? Will it be a prayer, a look heavenward, a tear for one left behind or perhaps all of those at the same time. One thing I know is that to leave things unsaid and undone are perhaps the worst of regrets. We let fear and pride keep us from reconciling. Much could be said to justify any action you may have but the real truth is there is no justification strong enough to keep lives separated from people. There is no truth that separates, if it is unity and one way of belief or a version of the ‘truth’ you believe you have, it will be the first time in the history of man…not likely.

It is a tired and worn out lie replayed in every generation of the body of Christ. It is the lie that one has the truth and the other does not. One is wrong and the other not. All the while the one who separates to destroy and kill chortles to himself perhaps in the unbelief his lie has worked yet one more time. How tragic. Who is at the forefront of such subterfuge? It is the church’s elite army and so ones who should know better. Ones that call themselves the last holders of the flame and the final generation before the end—they come and they go, they go and they come…will we ever learn?

These are the one who take the lives of their captives as Corban and so their love and attention held from those to whom it is rightfully due. In a dysfunctional religious group what is held from those outside their walls from their inside is the very thing that we seek and need. Life and love. So, what eventually is drained from those who remain on the inside is both…they take everything from themselves and then from all else within their gravity.

Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”…For Moses said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”…Mark 7:8-13

So you want to argue with the scriptures, go ahead. What is the Corban here, it is the most precious of things…time. So give your lives to your god, he is not God. This cycle repeats itself in every generation and perhaps someone you love is caught in this vortex. Your hope is it will dissipate like any storm. It will end and end badly. It will die with a whimper and on its heels will be peace.

So what is the secret? Hold lightly to what may be and hold tightly to what is. In the end, teachings and doctrines fade with the paper they are written on but the Word of God held humbly creates foundations that last. What is the key principle in that most stable of words and work? Love. Love of God, Love of family…first. Here is where it gets convoluted. In a dysfunctional group, love of God is equated to adherence to certain points of view from some who are held to be the revelators. Those that question or begin to think on their own what God wants them to do are now the enemy. Families are ripped apart over such stuff. I had one of my own children defend one such leader to me. When the fact is for years I raised them, loved them and supported them. Yet in the end, it was that one defending the actions of one they barely knew and had only talked to on the most rarest of occasions. Something is wrong. Sad to say at some point, there will be realization of the deepest of sins..betrayal of all that was good and God ordained before there was ever a church…the family. This is most culpable and will require the highest degree of reckoning. It is an ironic twist that has turned what they hold as truth on its ear. Love of God is not the sacrifice of family but compassion to them. This is literally the contextual meaning of Mark 7:8-13 above. Perhaps the most key verses in understanding how God and Christ view leaders who for their own self promotion and benefit, break families apart by denying what is rightfully theirs to give to other members of families – especially the parents.

Hold lightly to what may be and hold tightly to what is. What is true is the Love of God and the Love of family. Not love of church or doctrine or dogma…this is what is in the heart of the Pharisee. Which one are you?

“Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.” -- Brennan Manning