Mike’s Rumblings – 01-06-23
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
1. As I think about the upcoming House of Representatives investigations featuring the always angry and character challenged members of the Freedom Caucus, and their election-denying, MAGA allies, I am reminded of the words of TV President Josiah Bartlet (West Wing): “Your indignation would be a lot more interesting to me if it wasn’t quite so covered in crap.”
We’re going to witness a whole lot of the theater of the absurd over the next two years. What we’ve witnessed this week is but a scary, sneak preview. I pray what’s coming won’t completely rot our souls nor further damage our Republic. Cuz right now I can smell the rot and eyeball the existing damage. And it smells putrid and it looks really awful.
2. “Your enemy is not the refugee. Your enemy is the one who made him a refugee.”~ Tariq Ramadan
If you’re all hot and bothered and wanting to storm the border and drive all ‘those people’ back where they came from, think again. You’re waging a war against the wrong people.
It’s been said that when we see people drowning in a river, rescuing them is an immediate priority. Then we need to go upriver to see who’s throwing them in. That’s where the problem resides. That’s where the remedy has to be applied.
3. “We remember the sacred by our reverence. . . . This is the esteem we extend to the reality revealed to us. Jesus didn’t abandon his reality, he lived it. He ran away from nothing and sought some wise path through everything. He engaged in it all with acceptance. He had an eye out always for cherishing his reality. A homie, Leo, wrote me: “I’m going to trust God’s constancy of love to hover over my crazy ass. I’m fervent in my efforts to cultivate holy desires.” …” ~ Greg Boyle SJ
Let’s all be fervent in our efforts to cultivate holy desires.
4. From satirist Dave Barry’s 2022 Year in Review.
“Millions of Americans on social media realized — it took them a while, but they finally got there — that nobody wants to know how they did on Wordle.”
“America faced three major crises: spiking covid-19 cases, soaring inflation and an alarming surge in the number of people who think it’s okay to hold loud FaceTime conversations in public.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court, in what legal experts view as evidence of a shift to the right, rules that all previous court decisions were wrong.”
4. I feel more secure and grounded whenever I read words like this penned by Ilia Didio. “Jesus knew of the deeper truth hidden beneath the surface of human judgment, namely that this broken, anxious world is oozing with God. He asked us to have faith, to believe that the reign of God is among us and within us.”
And the reign of God doesn’t need the false security of any of the crazy things we are being asked to endorse and endure these days. Our job is to seek first the authentic “Kingdom of God.” That’s where the action is.
And then we fight like mad, courageously, faithfully, and non-violently, to stem the tidal wave of ‘stupid’ threatening us. I like what Angela Davis says: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
5. “At my age, I want to be helpful and do more, but I just don’t have the physical energy to do all I used to do and still want to do. I need to trust that while there may be less of me, there will be more of Christ… I am coming to believe that Jesus invites us to be “born again” in every season of life, perhaps especially in our senior years.” ~ Alice Fryling,” Aging Faithfully: The Holy Invitation of Growing Older”
This reminds me that even as I age that God isn’t done with me yet. I may not have the same strength and vigor I once had but I have enough. And I have a hunch that what happens next just might end up being the most impactful time of my life. “Less of me, more of Christ” is a fitting mantra for me going forward. Being born again, and again – makes all the sense in the world for any of us who are intentional about our pilgrimage through life.
6. “Several years ago, I invited a Buddhist monk to speak to my Senior elective class, and quite interestingly, as he entered the room, he didn’t say a word.
He just walked to the board and wrote this: “EVERYONE WANTS TO SAVE THE WORLD, BUT NO ONE WANTS TO HELP MOM DO THE DISHES.” We all laughed.
But then he went on to say this to my students: “Statistically, it’s highly unlikely that any of you will ever have the opportunity to run into a burning orphanage and rescue an infant. But, in the smallest gesture of kindness — a warm smile, holding the door for the person behind you, shoveling the driveway of the elderly person next door — you have committed an act of immeasurable profundity, because to each of us, our life is our universe.” ~ John Perricone
In whatever way possible let’s strive to be difference makers.
7. I’ve spent the past few years educating myself about matters of race and culture. What did I find? Quite a bit actually. One very obvious thing stands out. Around every corner, down every dark hallway, during every time period, I discovered the prevalence of the lie that states ‘A white America is a better America.’
Of course, when you embrace a lie like this an entire system of marginalizing, demonizing, obstructing, enslaving and even killing non-white people had to be developed. And a narrative had to be created to justify those actions.
That system and narrative, over time, became normative, turned into policy and codified into law.”
We are still dealing with the lie and the systems (including the church) that enable it and will be for some time to come. It’s deeply embedded in the DNA of our country. Progress has been made of course but “there are miles to go before we sleep.”
“We reap what we sow.”
8. “There is absolutely no salvation without love: this is the wheel in the middle of the wheel. Salvation does not divide. Salvation connects…. It is not the exclusive property of any dogma, creed, or church. It keeps the channel open between oneself and however one wishes to name That which is greater than oneself. It has nothing to do with one’s fortunes or one’s circumstances in one’s passage through this world. It is a mighty fortress, even in the teeth of ruin or at the gates of death.~ James Baldwin
9. My spiritual director told me that “Most people live out their spiritual life in black and white. Then there’s those who choose living color.”
Which one are you?
10.”The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
When we live for the ‘sake of others’, not trying to curry favor or reward, something absolutely wondrous happens to us.