Yesterday was a glorious day in Seattle--cool, clear, crisp. I took my stiff from car-riding, turkey-eating, Thanksgiving holiday self out for a nice brisk walk followed by raking of leaves that continue to fall in my yard. While doing these activities, I listened to a podcast from Speaking of Faith on theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. Having not read any of Niebuhr's works, I was intrigued to learn he was a lover of paradox and considered to be "a listener at heart" who could speak well into the issues of the world around him. The podcast was so rich with food for thought considering issues of war, evil and, in my opinion, simply living in the world. Today, I would like to share one of the quotes from his book The Irony of American History.
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless." However, I saw it as filled with hope and guidance for us to live fully and intentionally today. That although we may not see the results in our lifetime, we can begin the process. That even though it may not currently make sense, the results will be there at some point in the future. We cannot do things alone, therefore we need community and God. And, forgiveness is the greatest gift both for ourselves and others.
It is at this point that Niebuhr's words (serendipitously perhaps) coincided with the message of Mark Nepo's daily reading. Starting with Lao-Tzu's words, "Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world," Nepo says, "Across the centuries, we have this timeless medicine: Live directly, wait, and care for your soul as if it were the whole world." Live directly -- Faith. Wait -- Hope. Care for your soul--Love. Be reconciled with the World -- Forgiveness.
Niebuhr & Nepo. Christian & Taoist. You & Me. Simple & Complex. "Across the centuries, we have this timeless medicine." Faith. Hope. Love. Forgiveness.
Hmmm....That's a lot for me to ponder on this glorious Sunday morning. How about you? I'd love to know your thoughts.
photo by bill