Brian’s Reflection: Friday, Oct 1, 2010
We should live our lives as though
Christ were coming this afternoon.
President Jimmy Carter,
born on this date, 1924.
[ He is 86 today]
There is no Past, there is no Future. It’s the “old old story”: The Past is Gone, and the Future may never come. As concepts, they can’t be effectively lived in.
“… as though Christ were coming this afternoon” means NOW. It is in the present moment – as it unfolds moment by moment, in every shifting and changing – that “Christ comes”. To my mind, this has nothing to do with the Future, or Time (chronological). “The coming of the Christ” is like being caught in the strobe light of the resurrection of Jesus on a dance floor of Life that resembles the floor of The Garage at 2am. (God bless any of you if you are old enough and debauched enough to remember The Garage!.)
The President does however have a point – if one believes that a Christly Coming points to some standard of “Judgment” - Judgment not by some capricious Deity, but by the consequences of faithfulness or lack of it to the principles by which one has determined to live.
I don’t think that we should judge our integrity by any perfect adherence to our principles. But rather by two other things: (1) by our intent, and (2) by our ruthless assessment of our failures, and our willingness to acknowledge our failures, and our taking up our chosen Path again and again with self-forgiveness and with gratitude that no failure need diminish our humanity.
A person who knows the God of Compassion lives only in the Eternal Present, where Failure, Forgiveness, and renewed Courage are one instantaneous Reality; in an Eternal Present where there is no regret, no gaps of the collapse of the Vision, and no impediment to stepping forward on the path of Compassion and Justice.
Believe it. Live it.