It’s interesting how one word can make such a big difference; or how close two things can seem to be, yet be miles apart.
We all have the capacity to imagine what may be in our future, but what is going to be real remains to be seen. Still, when we think about our future, how we think about it can effect us dramatically, whether it’s two minutes from now or far in our future. This affect can be harmful or very healthy and propelling because our emotions get entangled with our thoughts, and the combination of both become the building blocks of our will. Our will becomes our personal expression and outflow; so, what we say, how we react or what we pursue and do. Recognizing this truth can give you a bit of a handle on your life, at least as far as your sense of self is concerned.
Many people don’t consider, our lives operate on many planes. The three most primary are; our physical setting, our soulical setting and then our spiritual setting. We connect with all of these settings in the actual way they exist. Yet what we participate in and experience from these settings is at least partially, caused by our awareness and responses to them.
Now, this leaves us sort of vulnerably situated, doesn’t it?
We only know in part or see in part, so how can we control things fully in order to feel totally safe? (1 Cor 13:12) Well, we can go off the deep end trying to know everything about everything so we can control everything. But is any one of us really able to even get close to that? Has all of humankind, throughout our entire history, gathered together the total sum of all there is to know? A simple reality check can show us the answer: we are not even close! So, as the wonderfully rich Irish people say, “Give your head a shake!” It simply means, sober up and take an honest look.
As many know, from reading past editorials, I view the spiritual setting through the perspective of Christ’s finished work. I arrived at this place being raised in a multi-spirited environment. Then I moved on through spiritual approaches, espousing mediation and many other spiritual disciplines dependant upon human effort, to arrive at a “higher plane.” I have since dismissed all of these pursuits to advocate for dependency upon what a Loving God does instead, if we will choose to accept His gift of Life. God created the spiritual setting; we all participate in it, whether we are aware of it or not. To be fit to navigate efficiently in this setting, transformation was accomplished by Christ; God in human flesh, although I’m still dependant upon Him for further insight.
We are easily aware of most of the physical setting of our lives, or our physical “circumstances.” It’s an interesting word; when unravelled, it reveals ideas of circum -ference, -scribe, -vent, referring to encircling or around. Then, the last part of the word, stance, conveying stand up, standing, bandstand, and the like. But another aspect of the word points to inward conditions as well, posture, attitude or “To take a stand.” Even though these express themselves outwardly, they start inwardly.
So, our inner environment or what’s going on, around your sense of self, on the inside, and our outer environment or what’s going on, around your physical sense of self, or the material world are the settings to which most of us readily relate. The unfortunate thing is, this leaves the “most of us” without the advantage of how to navigate in the remaining spiritual setting, which is a very significant portion of influence in our lives.
Now back to it, our physical life, should be considered to include: the job climate, our community and political influences, things which, most of us, have no real direct or immediate control over. Next, comes our soulical life, “partly known” in Psychiatry as our mental life. Yet, there is a debate as to whether this encompasses the emotions and will or if it is simply a study of the mental aspect interfacing with them as faculties of their own. Some may not think in these terms but, both views still require a response to ‘inner life’ and an exercise to manage it. The idea of Psychosomatic illness is based upon our inner life showing itself in our outer condition.
Not to take things too far, but suffice it to say, in the present climate of Covid and all the restrictions it’s imposed upon our lives, we need to take stock of what’s going on on the inside. It’s become evident some have not taught their lives to master this, shown by recent reports of aggravated drivers, shoppers and customers acting out. Their impatience is not something they consider as poor and unhealthy behaviour. Wow, really, after all this time to think?
I just want to advocate here, for people to take greater care of their inner selves. Please, do the work to identify the senses of insecurity prodding you, or, to put it selfishly, the things which “Cramp your style” through the way things have come to be. Many people have become inwardly threatened by loss: of property, position and even diminishing provisions, so the personal security many have enjoyed is being challenged. Interestingly, many more people are now experiencing what so many people in underprivileged circumstances have always endured.
Our population has a distinct opportunity, right now, to develop compassion and empathy for those who have lived without a sense of privilege ever. We live in a country filled with privilege, yet there are still so many without. I pray, when all this Covid situation is finally past, we as Canadians have learned and retain a greater compassion for others. As we are all human, we are all in this situation together. There is an obvious disconnect between what dissatisfied persons desire, to make them happy, and where true happiness comes from. Our spiritual condition is related to this disconnect. Please, get this, for your own sake and future life,
A word from the Bible says it this way, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.” (Luke 12:15) And I would add, “or how easy you can get your way.”
We have a chance to make our society an even nicer one than we had before this Covid thing tried to harm it. Let’s stare it in the face and defy its effort to reduce us to crude behaviour. Let’s turn this part of it on its head; we can choose to control ourselves in response to it and wind up in a more cordial considerate community.