Mike’s Friday Rumblings – 08-05-22
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy‘s Friday rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below.
Rumble 1. “Listening does not grant the other side legitimacy. It grants them humanity—and preserves our own.” ~ Valarie Kaur
“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.” ~ James, MSG
“Author Esther de Waal describes how in Benedictine spirituality there is an inherent connection between listening and responsive action: To listen closely, with every fibre of our being, at every moment of the day, is one of the most difficult things in the world, and yet it is essential if we mean to find the God whom we are seeking. If we stop listening to what we find hard to take then, as the Abbot of St. Benoît-sur-Loire puts it in a striking phrase, ‘We’re likely to pass God by without even noticing Him.’ . . .” ~ Center for Action and Contemplation
Great listeners make the rest of us feel like a million bucks, don’t they? Some of you have learned to listen well and you’re like ‘gold’. Thank you.
2. “God is not a celestial prison warden jangling the keys on a bunch of lifers–he’s a shepherd seeking for sheep, a woman searching for coins, a father waiting for his son.” ~ Clarence Jordan, Koinonia Farms and Cotton Patch Bible
The image of a God who looks, searches and waits for us is very appealing. I grew up with the image of a god that was far more punitive, eager to pounce on someone the minute they crossed the line and made a mistake. There are times when that god still shows up in my thinking. It’s never pretty when that happens.
3. Heather Cox Richardson writes that “ Oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron reported historic profits from the last three months. Exxon made $17.9 billion (not a typo) last quarter, up 273% from the same time last year, while Chevron made $11.6 billion. Exxon’s rate of income was $2,245.62 every second of every day for the past 92 days; Chevron made $1,462.11 per second. Together, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies are expected to announce $60 billion in profits for the past three months. They plan to spend much of the profit not on reinvesting in their businesses, but on stock buybacks, which drives up the price of the stock.
These record profits came at the same time that American consumers were staggering under high gas prices, which made up almost half of the increase in inflation of the past few months.”
You know, this whole ‘Capitalism without Conscience’ thing is getting old. It’s truly tiresome.
4. If the findings of the January 6 Committee don’t lead to indictments and guilty verdicts against the major players, then what happened on that day, all the plotting and scheming that led up to it, and the shenanigans afterwards just end up being a blueprint and training exercise for some other fools who want to plan and execute a coup. And there will be a next time in our country if we don’t take care of business now. Bet on it.
Other corrupt leaders like Brazil’s Bolsonaro will jump on it too. He is already playing copy cat as the presidential election on 10/2 shapes up. He’s well behind in the polls and surprise, surprise he’s already complaining about a faulty voting system, hinting that he’s not conceding if defeated, and has already proven he’s narcissistic enough to stir up a revolution.
The whole world is watching.
5. “If we can trust and listen to our inner divine image, our whole-making instinct, or our True Self, we will act from our best, largest, kindest, most inclusive self. There is a deeper voice of God, which we must learn to hear and obey. It will sound like the voice of risk, of trust, of surrender, of soul, of common sense, of destiny, of love, of an intimate stranger, of your deepest self. It will always feel gratuitous, and it is this very freedom that scares us. God never leads by guilt or shame! God leads by loving the soul at ever-deeper levels, not by shaming at superficial levels.” ~ Richard Rohr
To hear and obey the deeper voice of God is possible. It’s a game changer.
6. “No one need starve. There is enough land and enough food. No one need die of thirst. There is enough water. No one need live without mercy. There is no end to grace. And we are all instruments of grace. The more we give it, the more we share it, the more we use it, the more God makes. There is no scarcity of love. There is plenty. And always more.” ~ Rachel and Rosemarie Freeney Harding
Enough. We have enough. Sharing it is the issue. Of course, it all starts with the desire to be generous with all that we have. It’s surprising how threatening that call to share our time, treasure, and talents is to so many people. It’s a scarcity mentality that is ingrained in some people right from the get go of their life. Many do the hard work, however, of overcoming those deeply established patterns of selfish belief and behavior and learn how to bless others.
7. If you are OK with having Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu students sit through a Christian prayer in public school, and not OK with having Christian students sit through a Muslim, Jewish or Hindu prayer, then it’s not religious freedom – it’s religious oppression.
Not sure where I saw this but it sure makes sense to me. After all, we do live in a pluralistic society. Right? We can make that a beautiful thing or we can make it a living hell. Our choice.
8. Legislation attempting to save us from discomfort in educational settings fails to understand the role discomfort plays in forming us into an interested and interesting human being.
Ever learn to ride a bike? It hurts.
Ever encounter a new theological idea? It can be uncomfortable.
How about that time historical facts changed your opinion and you met with resistance from your friends?
Remember the moment when you whined because you were being forced to read a piece of literature? It felt like torture until you discovered you loved it
Discomfort accompanies learning. Without it, we become dull and ill-informed people who end up writing legislation designed to produce dull and ill-informed citizens.
9. I’m involved in some anti-racism work in Sarasota. More and more, I’m seeing that a major thrust of that work will be to engage those who profess Christ. but their political fervor puts them at odds with the message Jesus actually preached and lived out.
In the process, I’m asking myself questions about what’s real and what’s not regarding my own faith. Am I in line with Jesus’s message? If not, why? And when will I get on board with it? It’s easy to see what’s wrong with someone else. Looking in the mirror and seeing our own shortcomings is an absolute necessity.
10. “Fun things to do, good places to eat, new places to shop and changes to the entertainment and dining landscape” were articles people gravitated towards last week according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
Oh my. I get it. I’ve read the same articles, and looked at the same things. Nothing wrong with that either. However, if that’s the only content we pay attention to we will end up in the shallow end of the pool of ideas with not a whole lot to offer anyone who needs to go deep.