On the way

A certain discipline draws me here each week, to the space to reflect, remember, think and write. It was impelling at first, the seed of an idea. Born of life’s experiences and the scurrilous scandals suffered in the church, it was intended to be part narrative and part apologetic . It became a path to wrestling with the realities of human limitations, perspectives on faith’s existence, purpose and impact and the goodness and hope that spills out of individuals everyday. In searching for the relevance of Scripture passages to 21st century thinking and being, in wondering about the ways to practice faith in a world so shifting social norms and ideals, very simple lessons emerged. Life is short, and opportunities are not endless. Kindness is at the heart of Christianity and Catholicism. If we dare believe there is a Creator God, and each of us shares in that mosaic, then we also mirror that to one another. So how do we do it?

Every sunrise is born of darkness; there is a soft and sometimes pounding cadence to the universe of natural life. For human beings, the act of rising, of realizing that we are here (or still here) is a moment of choice. What to do? How to do it? Who and how do we want to be and how do we want to be perceived by others? What is our purpose in each encounter? Can we dare to become better persons? Search for ways to make a difference? Really see the world around us, behold the persons who cross our paths? Do we have the confidence, the strength to move forward? How do we live belief?

I learned that finding a way means recognizing that we are only “on the way”, that there is a real differnece between journey and destination, and that what we say and think and do does matter. It matters ot self and others, and each action is captured in time.

Time is the gift we are given at birth; we can accept it with judgment or gratitude; we can live it with suspicious fears or openness and truth. We can acknowledge moments misspent and time lost, and we can grow. Time is neither enemy nor friend; instead it is the grace that allows us to explore our questions and the curiosities of this world, to find the courage to love and the respect that breaths life into relationships, families and communities.

In essence, that respect for self and others is the cornerstone we build on through the increments of time. It allows us to see one another, famed and flawed such as we are, and it allows us to learn from one another. Respect enables us to capture glimpses of the God who is alive in us, to celebrate all the diversity we possess, and to noursih one another’s needs to grow. Respect allows us to share the intricacies of what it means to be human and to find beauty nestled in every soul. Respect allows, promotes and generates the practice of kindness. And every kindness reveals more and more of the God who is everywhere.

When I started, it was a discipline, writing purposefully practiced. Instead, it became a discovery of the simple truths that sustain the gift of life through increments of time. It opened my eyes to what I see every day, and it taught me to observe differently, to connect fearlessly, to stretch out and reach out, to trust. The discoveries are just beginning.

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