Choose

Job must have been having a real bad day when he said the following,
Is not man’s life on earth drudgery?
Are not his days those of a hireling?
He is a slave who longs for the shade,
A hireling who waits for his wages.


“So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. If in bed….I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. My days are swifter that the weaver’s shuttle; they come to and end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.” Job 7: 1-4, 6-7.


In expressing his frustration with his life, we are provided with a great opportunity to reflect on the frustrations of our daily living. We, however, have something that Job  DID NOT have, that is the insights that are ours because of the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord, and Savior, Jesus The Christ. Because of the gift of faith in our Baptism, we are gifted with a different set of lenses. We are, by grace, able to go beyond the seemingly hopelessness of any given moment in life to that which lies beyond. The spiritual life is ever and always seeing with “the x-ray eye of faith.” Because of this great gift we are able, if however, we so choose, we are empowered to the see beyond the seen, the unseen. In this Great Unseen, lies the great hope we are all so desperately needing.


We, however, must make a choice. We must get into action so that God can join us in that reality, and become the source of power in our powerlessness. There is a great temptation when we are immersed in the sufferings of life to get into the attitude of, “poor me.” We take up our position on the “pity pot” of toxic shame. It takes real grace, real effort to arise from being mired in shame, to the live life and live it to the fullest. As you know, toxic shame takes away your five rights. These rights are essential for a happy, joy-full, empowering life. When we have been shamed, we lose first of all, the right to love. We lose the right to be the beloved. Being the beloved is ours because of our God’s love for us, not our love for God. It is the one gift we have to claim again, and again, in each and every moment we are given to live. If we do not have the lens of being the beloved, we will of necessity end up just like Job. That is the choice you and I get to make. This choice is NOT made once a day, a week, or a lifetime. No, this choice is made, following the advice of Henri Nouwen, every moment of every day. This is in direct opposition of what another has shockingly written when he writes: “We abort our souls a THOUSAND times a day.” We shudder when we are faced with that reality, yet it is the unfortunate truth. A truth we must have, if we are to have a healthy spirit life. There is nothing more essential claiming you are the beloved. You do NOT, and cannot earn this blessing. We cannot do anything to deserve this priceless gift. It is a great blow to our egos when we accept the fact that we cannot qualify for this inestimable gift. It is free. It is grace.


The other gift we have to claim, because it has been taken away from us, is our right to belong. When we are on the “pity pot”, in toxic shame, we isolate. We cut ourselves off. It takes real effort to claim we all belong to an imperfect human family. The fact we are human, is a fact we grow in acceptance with, and in time, become reconciled with. This is a long, long process. This requires a source of unconditional, unlimited, and unrestricted love. Without this source we cannot, by ourselves, live the life of the beloved. We are social animals. We are, of our essential nature orientated to social living. The Creator Father, lives The Son, and Holy Spirit within the community, we name The Holy Trinity. The original Holy Family. God does live in community so are we are called to community, social living as well. In Them, we live and move and have our being. As it was, so it is, and ever shall be. 

To be continued…

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