Mike’s Rumblings – 02-10-23
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. The Governor of Florida has made it a habit to deliberately sow chaos into people’s lives and in his cold hearted way calls it virtuous. Most recently he took his anti-woke agenda to New College ( a public school) in Sarasota where I live. In a relatively short time (25 days) he appointed a new governing board which resulted in the resignation of the school’s current President and pledged to completely remake the college using a small, Christian college in Michigan as his blueprint for excellence.
As a result, students who chose New College because of its innovative and collaborative approach to learning find themselves searching for another academic home base. Parents are shocked, unsure about how best to advise their sons and daughters. Faculty and administrators aren’t sure they’ll be allowed to stay on or not. If allowed to stay, will they have DeSantis’s anti-woke watchdogs looking over their shoulder, poised to spring into action? Yes they will.
Everyone is in a state of exasperation and exhaustion. They are grieving the loss of the school they loved and are confused about how best to navigate their uncertain future. Why? Because one powerful man believes liberals always indoctrinate and conservatives are the only ones capable of educating. Crazy, huh?
The fear of many of us is that this newer New College will only accept one kind of world view, i.e., a radically conservative one, heavily peppered with Christian nationalism ideology, indifferent or perhaps openly hostile to matters of inclusion, equity, and diversity and will feature a view of Western Civilization that extols the virtues of white people, ignoring and/or minimizing any nefarious matters such as slavery and the conquest and genocide of Native peoples. The worry is that the school will become nothing more than an indoctrination center for the kids and grandkids of the MAGA crowd.
2. “Sometimes I grow weary of the days, with all their fits and starts.
I want to climb some old gray mountains, slowly, taking
The rest of my lifetime to do it, resting often, sleeping
Under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks.
I want to see how many stars are still in the sky
That we have smothered for years now, a century at least.
I want to look back at everything, forgiving it all,
And peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.
All that urgency! Not what the earth is about!
How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.
I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.
In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.” ~ Mary Oliver
I definitely grow weary of the days at times. Slow steps and appropriate thoughts help. As does finding an old gray mountain to climb. Or in my case, a bike ride to the Gulf.
3. Christianity, I’ve discovered, is a full contact way of being faithful. Jesus modeled this. It’s impossible to be a person of faith and not get bumped around and bruised in the process. It’s part and parcel of the normal experience of faith. No scars =no faith. But it is also a joyous faith which offers us a storehouse full of blessings. The bumps, bruises, and blessings all serve the same purpose. They shape us into the image and likeness of Jesus. It’s easy to be faithful amidst the blessings. It’s quite another thing when bumps and bruises are our reward. But when we keep on keeping on, I gotta believe that pleases God. As I used to proclaim at weddings “in sunshine and shadow, through good times and bad, stay faithful to the promises you make.”
4. “The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true.” ~ Galadriel. Lord of the Rings
As long as the Company is true hope remains. Never underestimate what a loyal, committed band of people can do. Better yet, be part of one.
5. “The only way evil can succeed is to disguise itself as good. And one of the best disguises for evil is religion. Just pretend to love God, go to church every Sunday, recite the creed, and say all the right things. Someone can be racist, be against the poor, hate immigrants, and be totally concerned about making money and being a materialist, but still go to church each Sunday and be “justified” in the eyes of religion.” ~ Richard Rohr
When I’m in a spiritually constant and healthy place I understand full well what it means to “work out my salvation in fear and trembling.” It’s sobering. It starts with keeping what I do consistent with what I believe. Some days I do a better job of that than others. But keeping faith aligned with actions remains a priority. Pretending to be a person of faith and doing it in the company of other pretenders isn’t a very good strategy.
6. “ … the words of Meister Eckhart, of course, ring true for us, “God is at home. It is we who have gone out for a walk.” Out we go into the world, often looking for God and we are told, God is out there somewhere and if we do certain things and behave in certain ways, well, we might connect with God, we might glimpse a little of God. And so we try and we try to attract God’s attention and we try and we try to be good and to be faithful and to do the right thing. And often we fail and we hurt and we get disillusioned. We have forgotten: God is at home; it is indeed we who have gone out for a walk…” ~ Edwina Gatley
God is inviting you to keep company with Him. Do it. Linger. Sit in the quiet of the presence of the Almighty. Be at home with the Lord. See what happens.
7. It’s early yet, but we are seeing very clearly that the differences between Speaker McCarthy and former Speaker Pelosi are, well let’s just say, ‘many’. I’ve figured out for sure that one has the spine of a jellyfish and the other still has no problem standing tall.
Speaking of spines, President Biden stood very tall, resolute, and in command during his State of the Union Address. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her crew not so much.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders in her State of the Union rebuttal said: “The dividing line in America is no longer between right and left — it’s between normal or crazy,” Believe it or not, I agree with her statement. I just apply it differently.
8. “Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate…”
I think this is one of the saddest lines in Scripture.I know full well who Pontius Pilate is because I’ve seen him in the reflection in my mirror. Not as much these days, though. Maybe it’s because I’m older and currying favor with the crowd is just too stinking hard and frankly the short term reward isn’t worth the effort because it just blows up in my face. Going along to get along isn’t a healthy way to live is it? There’s another way. There always is. And it’s a better way. But it is a harder way.
9.Take it to the bank. Here’s my long awaited 😀 Super Bowl prediction. KC by two touchdowns over Philly.
10. Early on in my life I knew God was watching me. Over time I realized he was watching over me. That was a turning point moment.