Paul said, “The thing I want to do, I don’t do, and the thing I shouldn’t do, I do.” I already know what things I should do. I’ve always known; we all do. Be nice, eat your fruits and vegetables, and be careful walking across the street. This unfortunately sounds too much like a cute, sappy, and sentimental poster you see in some doctor’s office– “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. Having been in graduate school for what seems like half my life, it is possible that the greatest learning and wisdom was found on the playground?

We all have these pangs that either go off in our gut or in our head that tell us when we are out of harmony. We hear them more loudly when we are kids, but we get very very good at shutting them out and ignoring them. Deciding to follow them is a whole ‘nother Oprah. It seems it would be good to create a list of experiments to test the veracity of all claims.

Last night I came to the conclusion that I like comfort. I like feeling safe. I like feeling that I am somehow in control. I like the illusion that I of my own power, can do anything. I like to think that somehow I am better than others. As I mentally strip myself down to the basics, I presented with the choice over and over again. “Do you believe?” Do I believe?

  1. Is there a God/source/energy/architect/that which is? Where is my proof other than “Faith”?
  2. Love conquers all? Do I believe that love is the unifying force of the universe?
  3. It is better to give than receive? Can I give selflessly, and be content with nothing?
  4. Can I turn the other cheek? If someone is killing me, can I offer them forgiveness and my life as an example?
  5. Don’t worry? Can I believe that it is all working out according to some divine plan?
  6. Feed the poor? Even if they aren’t “working”, “trying”, or are somehow “less” in our societies standards, should I aid them?
  7. Visit those in prison, and comfort those who morn? Do I have what it takes to visit the old folks home and the state penitentiary?

Ultimately, I am confronted by the question, are you willing? Willing to put these precepts into practice? Willing to give up the idea of self? Willing to surrender your own hopes dreams and aspirations and “take up your cross and follow me”?

Scared…yep.

Willing…let’s get started and see.

 


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