I've been thinking about this for about a week, and in the past few days I was finally able to articulate it to a couple friends.
Richard Rohr talks about great joy and great sorrow (or Great Joy and Great Sorrow as I like to put it) as the two ways that "God tries to get a hold of us." I'll add that they are the two ways that we grow. Well, it recently occurred to me--I was in an elevator at the time--that I am equally grateful for both.
In fact, I no longer see the need to try and differentiate between the two. They're both gifts.
As is often the case with my stream of consciousness thinking, these thoughts occurred at 37,000 feet this morning en route from Vancouver to Minneapolis. I'm referring to this as #OccupyEconomyClass. (I've already trademarked that label so don't get any ideas.) Any errors are my own, and not the responsibilityof the fine crew of Delta Flight 5771. In other words take this all with the usual grain of salt, and let me know what you think.
Things are so far out of whack that there is no way they were going to right themselves through self-correcting incremental change. Change is only going to come through crisis. In the olde days they call this revolution. Today it's called business as usual, apparently.
If we look at the political system for a moment, North America has not self-corrected its democratic model in the same way Europe has. Things haven't changed in a long time, and in a dynamic world stasis is not a natural state; it leads to stagnation and corruption.
Here in Canada we have a 'majority' government that represents the wishes of one third of Canadian voters. In other words, two thirds of us expressed a desire for someone other than Stephen Harper to lead the government. It stands to reason then that if this was a democracy by any logical definition of the word, then the two thirds of us would have prevailed, and someone other than Stephen Harper would, in fact, be leading the government.
"Ah," but you say, "That's not how the Canadian system works!"
To my mind this is all to be expected to some degree, and ties in with earlier posts on the evolution of human consciousness. As a species we will not move to the next state until the current one becomes unworkable, thus facilitating a crisis. This happens on a personal level and also as a species.
I humbly submit that many, if not most of us, are finding the current reality unworkable.
When these points of crises are reached, some push for change (think #OccupyWhatever) and some push back, advocating for an extreme, bastardized version of the status quo (think Tea Party.)
This, friends, is a crisis, and normal will never be the same again. We will either move forward into a more generous, compassionate world, or we will (temporarily but violently) slide back into a reality worse than the one we are trying to leave behind. Nothing ever stays the same.
So what's a Follower of Jesus to do?
Or maybe I should say:
#OccupyLove, as 'Kingdom' is an outdated metaphor which holds no (or perhaps even negative) meaning for those not steeped in religious ideology (and is often ignored by those who are.)
With each subsequent advancement in the evolution of human consciousness (think Spiral Dynamics) and the corresponding 'adjustment' in the church (think The Great Emergence) the wisdom of the teachings of Jesus become more and more clear.
These teachings are not just nice ideas, they are clear instructions on how to live with each other. It's almost as if Jesus knew what he was talking about!
So as followers of Jesus we must be a beacon, even as we continue to struggle to pu those teachings into practice. We must stand against the powers, not just as a reactionary force, but as proponents of a better way.
This is God's plan. This is the plot of the Story, and This is the trajectory all of Creation is on.
May we better understand our role. May we rise above petty politics, ideologies, and yes, religion. May we have the courage to function as the hands and feet of God in human form.
I've made an important decision that I need to share. I've decided on a second song to be played at my funeral.
Trust me, I'm not anticipating going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, if you knew how long I hoped to stick around you would think I'm loonie, so I'm not going to tell you. That being said, I think about these things.
This is not the end This is not the end of this We will open our eyes wide, wider
This is not our last This is not our last breath We will open our mouths wide, wider
And you know you’ll be alright Oh and you know you’ll be alright
This is not the end This is not the end of us We will shine like the stars bright, brighter
It's from Gungor's latest release, Ghosts Upon the Earth, and I highly recommend it. If you pick up the disk (get the Deluxe Version) I suggest you start with the last track, the bonus video Behind The Scenes. It will provide some great insights, as well as guidance on how to get the most out of the disk.
ADDENDUM: The observant ones will note that I said 'second song to be played at my funeral.' The first is Highland Cathedral. That's right. (I realize the full band may not be available but do your best.)
I mentioned this morning on Twitter that I was going to do some reading today on the crisis. One or two friends asked me what I was going to read, so I'll put them here with links for anyone interested. A few of these I've already read and linked to elsewhere.
If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment - especially if you have more positive news! I may keep updating this list.
Profound shift as China marches back to Mao (Sydney Morning Herald) - This one is a bit off-topic, but having just returned from a month in China I'm convinced that country will play a prominent role in whatever is coming.
OK - If you've made it this far give yourself a break and watch this. You'll feel better.
The whole #OccupyWallStreet movement is an important element - It will be the American contribution to what's coming, if you will. There's an endless list of resources we could link to, but start with this MoveOn.org video. (Elizabeth Warren is brilliant.)