We live in a time marked by the rise of terror. Mistrust, resentment, greed and a race for power are manufacturing a dark, desperate universe in us and around us. In this new world, fear and anxiety permeate our discourse and shape our interactions. The world feels more dangerous, sounds more menacing, and looks as if it is heading to hell in a hand basket.
But is it?
There is no question that change is afoot. Evidence of an impending reordering confronts us at every turn. The world is being reshaped by forces seen and unseen. Tensions are high and hearts are troubled.
Times such as these shake us at our very foundation. They remind us of the scandal of suffering, of our fragility, and of our need for one another. They tend to strip away the nonessential in our lives and force us to answer the question: what really matters?
What really matters to you, right now? As you slowly lose your grip on the world that was, not too long ago, and as the new world that is still forming slowly casts its shadows from the future, where do you stand? Are you listening, watching, praying, and waiting or withdrawing, hiding, biting your nails, and wringing your hands?
In the face of so many unknowns, the temptation is to hide, judge, and cast blame, while quietly lusting for the restoration of former glories and freedoms, of how things used to be. At some level we understand this to be counter-productive, because the more we allow fear, shame, and greed into hearts, the darker the future appears. We inherently understand the unavoidable outworking of the natural law of attraction, wherein that which we greatly fear comes upon us and that which we are afraid of comes unto us. Put differently, that which has our heart has us.
So how do we avoid that trap? How do we participate creatively in these dark and chaotic times? How do we resist the temptation that has ensnared so many, for so long? How do we remain in this world, but not get caught up in its miseries, distractions, and frustrations?
First and foremost, you must examine the centering of your orientation. Where is the focus of your attention? To what do you typically respond? What “grabs” you? Is it primarily that which is wrong, lacking, or missing in your life or the world? Or do you tend to center on what is present with you now in an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation? An important principle to remember in this regard is this: you move in the direction of your response.
Secondly, we must become good at rejecting acquiescent thinking. Your conscious mind is your guardian angel. Your conscious mind should be on guard constantly, allowing that which is consistent with truth into your consciousness and barring from entry that which is not. This begins a process of purification in you, which establishes a beachhead for the common good.
Thirdly, we must see that our shared dignity is at stake. In the world we’ve created for ourselves a man is judged by his success, not his dignity. That world needs to pass away. The successful man is not always the right or righteous man. Material success is an inadequate measure of value, especially in a broken, disconnected world.
Fourthly, we need to put politics back in its rightful place. Politics ought to be in a secondary position in society. It pretends to provide us with a catechism, but the role of politics is to keep outer things in order, not regulate our inner lives. Each of us has the freedom to and consequently the responsibility for reflecting upon, integrating, and revealing truth in our daily lives. This can only be done as there is a centering in love.
The fact that millions if not billions of people are more aware of the fragility and malleability of the way things are on earth than they would be in a more stable, predictable times opens the door for those who long to reconcile negative thought with the potential for positive thinking. The time is right for change. Why not make it for the better!?!
The history of mankind has largely been the record of his failures, yet victory is at hand. We needn’t be enslaved to our history. We are here to bring a new heaven, that is, a new invisible form into which the new earth is poured.
We are creators and we have the opportunity—now more than ever in the history of mankind—to manufacture, or perhaps more precisely, to speak into creation a world that is filled with light and fulfillment. As we do this, the old, dark, desperate universe with all its absence, suffering, and death shall be filled by the presence of a world that is whole, holy, wholesome, and filled with happiness.
This new world cannot appear without you, in fact, it must appear through you.
Let’s do this!
Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash