If you read the newspapers, watch tv or listen to the radio there seems to be more ‘darkness’ about than ever. Is there more confusion, fear and bitterness in the world, or are we just more aware of it?
Putting ‘fake news’ aside, just what is going on? I know a lot of people are unnerved by recent events, and maybe not without just cause, and it does seem the ones in ascendancy just get angrier and angrier, and that can spill over and affect us all.
‘It’s the end of the world as we know it…’, so sang R.E.M in (would you believe) 1987
What Do We Do?
As a Brit I am reminded of the resurgence over the last few years of those war time posters (and cups and mugs etc) that say something like ‘[something witty here] and ‘carry on”! I think there’s some truth in that. So, we carry on? Yes, but there’s more!
‘Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.’ Seneca The Younger
I do believe it’s not the end, but the beginning of something new. Sadly, Seneca got there before me, in saying that!
As a latter-day Celt, and speaking to you as a Celt, Celtic Christian, or Druid etc, we come from a long line and tradition that has ‘weathered’ many storms of change in the past. Times change. Truth remains. Indeed, in one ancient text it refers to such changes and perception of extreme and seemingly unusual feelings as being like birth-pangs. It’s a beginning of something wonderful and exciting – a call to people of vision – but it’s not without pain, confusion, fear and some much-needed adjustment. But, take heart!
‘Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.’ Hafiz
We Carry On…
What so we do? I would suggest that we do not give into fear, are not provoked, and, at least ‘carry on’ in doing good. Let your light shine! But, there’s more.
…And Then Do More
If we think in terms of light, love, positivity, good deeds, self-love, other-love, good-thoughts, prayer, wholesome action, and yes, even ritual, then perhaps there’s scope for us to do even more (not necessarily in terms of the amount we do (but if you want to, that’s okay, but don’t overdo it)), but in the quality, passion and effectiveness of what we’re doing)! Yes, maybe we can step it up a gear!
Of the eight billion people on the planet, the Source of All has made you unique. There is no one quite like you, nor is there anyone with quite the same gifts, talents and calling. You’re different, and different for a reason.
‘Why fit in when you were born to stand out?’ Dr Seuss
So, be distinctive!
Now, once you know your distinctiveness and calling, then you can be ‘subversively’ good and be distinctive, and when someone notices your words or actions you can minimise the effect. In this sense subversive is used to mean action against the system of brokenness and fear and confusion by thinking, saying and doing good things. Even so, the response may not always be positive from other people, and that’s one good reason for the low-key approach.
The other approach is to be openly distinctive and throw caution to the wind. Flaunt it, or at least don’t be covert. However, do bear in mind that, ‘Notwithstanding how good you are, you…[may]… be perceived as bad by the masses when you take the extraordinary steps that lead to distinctiveness…’. said Ernest Agyemang Yeboah. Be cautious.
However, we probably all need some energy – however we define it – for new work, or greater work, or deeper, or prolonged work. We can only give from a position of strength – in the sense if we have no energy or are exhausted, if we have nothing to offer that is refreshing or vibrant, then…..well, we will have nothing to offer, nor the ability to deliver it. Be prepared to do what you’re called to do, but do ensure that you have the energy and resources.
‘Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done’. Benjamin E Mays
Of course, this begs the following questions:
- Do we know who it is that calls us?
- Do we know our gifts and attributes?
- Do we know what it is we’re called to do?
You might like to answer those questions – keeping it to yourself – to clarify the ministry or path you’re on and/or to act as an encouragement to spur you on (further). If you wish to email questions, or answers to these questions, specifically, by all means email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org]
‘Let your light so shine…’ Matthew 5:16a, The Book
Once we know our distinctiveness and calling, then power and energy ‘to do’ is needed. Tomorrow, in part 2 we’ll look at individual empowerment.