Sitting at the Water Store where I work two days a week for my brother; it’s almost eleven a.m. and no one has been in yet. The news is reporting that they killed the terrorist behind the Paris attacks. I guess that is a good thing. I don’t understand how killing anyone is a good thing, but perhaps this is. The world is crazy anyway and I don’t understand most of it – so little of it affects my life, really. Plus, I have my own dramas. I’ve been wrestling with my ego lately. I took the heat for a family miscommunication, recently, because to not do that would have resulted in a rift between members of the family and I could not tolerate that. My pride wants it known, though, that someone else needs to own their part, but of course, that is just ego. Even if someone else does have culpability, it is none of my business whether they can own that or not. It is so easy to let pride and ego run the show. It’s no wonder the world looks the way it does. I am only a victim if I say I am. Christ was treated unjustly; He just manned up and took it to the cross – for His Family. I can give up my pride for the love of my family, but not alone. I need help.
The other day, a face book friend used the Paris attack as a way to politicize the gun issue because, “Paris is a gun free city and look what happened to them?” Really? Is that even relevant? What makes people capitalize on pain and death to forward agendas? – Ego = fear, pride and self-righteous anger. We all have it within us to choose faith and love over fear but somedays it’s just too easy to go to the dark side; sometimes it’s automatic. If I’m not awake, that is where I end up every time. That is what makes me a “sinner”. I’m not a sinner because I consciously make the choice for dishonesty, hate, and sin. No, no, no. I am a sinner every time I do not consciously choose to respond with love and forgiveness to something that is threatening to me; whether that is some internal thought or feeling or an external circumstance. Being asleep/unconscious makes me reactive to the circumstances of life rather than pro-active.
So what does it take to wake up, to stay awake and conscious? For me it takes a conscious contact with God. I wish it were that I could maintain that contact 24/7 but I can’t. If I stop living in the present moment for an instant; if I forget that I am a child of God and loved immeasurably by Him; if I feel insecure or unworthy for any length of time at all, I will be blindsided by an unexpected slight or offense, percieved or real, and off I go, into the wild black depths of ego. (In the situation with a family member, I was all caught up being the “responsible one” taking care of someone else’s feelings. Playing God again! Silly me.) It is a painful place full of ghosts and goblins that keep me awake in the night and cause my blood pressure to rise from the stress of it. The good news is that I don’t stay there very long these days. It doesn’t take much pain to remind me there is another choice I can make. In any given moment I can transform and transcend my mental and emotional state by turning it over to a Power Greater than myself and one more time I am redeemed.
I am a Christian. Why? Because that is the imprint from my childhood and I have discovered, (the hard way), that it is a way of life that brings profound clarity, peace and most importantly, joy. Also, because I am a sinner and I have learned that I cannot find redemption without Christ in my life. (Believe me; I have tried every other way imaginable to find that peace.) The Son of God is becoming my best friend. I speak to him many times throughout the day as my faith in His Love grows. I feel His presence or the presence of the Holy Spirit whenever I am awake and conscious of the present moment. If I am challenged by a circumstance, I know there is a lesson for me in its resolution and I will be returned to the “Peace that passes all Understanding.” I know that this family quarrel was just another opportunity for me to learn how powerful the dark side is and to know, more deeply, the breadth and depth of His Love for me when I remember He is the solution.