We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Saturday, December 20, 2014

God's Ways

Sometimes we do dumb things, sometimes they are done to us.  Sometimes we are insenitive, sometimes we are collatoral damage of insensitivity.  Things are said that should not be said or left unsaid when they should be said.  Some things we get over in a day or two, others linger interminably.  Things happen to us that can leave deep scars, and we do things that can leave others deeply hurt.

There is usually no good way out of the situations we get ourselves into.  At least, it seems that way.  In hindsight, however, sometimes the dumb things we do and are done to us turn out to have had something more than a silver lining.  They had unintended good consequences, if we have the wit to see them.  And sometimes a prayer uttered in hurt or embarrassment or confusion is answered, and the clinging fog of life clears for a time.  Things weren't what they seemed to be.  And on occasion we have the wisdom to do or say something that brings healing into the dumb situations we find ourselves trapped within.

Without being naive about it, there are paths through the Valley of the Shadow, the Valley of the Fog.  The wrongs we do and the ones done to us—there are healing ways through them.  Unintended consequences themselves have unintended consequences, which don't exactly make things easier but do eventually bring us out of the fog into the light of day.  Embedded even in our worst are other ways, what those of us who hold a theist's faith might call God's Ways.  Our prayer is, "Lord, help me to find one of your  Ways."  Amen.