Mike’s Rumblings – 03-24-23
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. I’m thinking that Putin must be giggling like a little kid opening presents on Christmas Day. Why? He’s learning that prominent people in the USA aren’t really all that alarmed about what he’s doing in Ukraine, are growing more ambivalent about the value of NATO, and kind of like cozying up to dictators.
2. Most political usages of the word ‘woke’ today are a bit infantile. It’s being used as a curse word on one side of the political aisle and presents itself, all too often, as smugness on the other side. Neither is particularly helpful.
A common sense application of the word ‘woke’ implies that those awakened become alive to the possibilities before them and live with a deep, mature sense of curiosity and wonder. Let’s go with that and ditch using ‘woke’ as an epithet and let’s lose the smugness.
3. “Let nothing disturb you. / Let nothing upset you. / Everything changes. / God alone is unchanging. / With patience all things are possible. / Whoever has God lacks nothing. / God alone is enough.” ~ Teresa of Ávila
I believe this but am often befuddled by the aura of mystery contained within it, delighted with the simple truth it proclaims, and frustrated by my inability at times to live in a less perturbed manner.
4. “Senate Bill 1718, part of Florida Governor Desantis’s broad repressive legislative agenda this year, targets not just undocumented people but also anyone associated with them. The bill, which is likely to pass the Republican-controlled state legislature, criminalizes anyone who transports an undocumented person “into or within this state.” In other words, anyone—co-worker, friend, neighbor, classmate—giving a simple ride to someone they know or care about who is undocumented would be guilty of a third-degree felony.” ~ Prem Thakker, The New Republic
It’s estimated that Florida has 775,000 undocumented immigrants within its borders. That’s roughly 4% of its population. That’s a lot of people to target, treat poorly and marginalize.
I have given rides to undocumented people. I have broken bread with them. I will do so again if the need and/or opportunity arises. And, if this legislation passes, I guess I’ll be risking arrest. If I’m fortunate, I might end up on the same cell block with some of you.
5. Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
There are days when I’m convinced we are standing before the very gates of Mordor, outnumbered and afraid.
How then shall we live when scary things and people are out and about?
Who will hear our cries when we beg for rescue?
Who will be our heroes?
6. “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.’ But the Lord said to me,
‘Do not say, “I am only a boy”;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord…” ~ Jeremiah 1
What a dramatic encounter with God. I’m sure I would have protested just as Jeremiah did. “What? Who me? Surely you jest?”
Is God still speaking? Is that true? I think so. I sense God poking me about one thing or another every day. I pray these Rumblings can be used by God to touch your life. Have they? Hope so. Creation speaks. Music speaks. Stay open to hearing. Who knows what your next divine assignment might be or who God assigns to deliver it.
7. Our former president (the one with all the much deserved legal troubles), once again, has managed to show his disciplined, masterful and poetic command of the English language and his edifying commitment to a moral code that honors God and others. 😂
He recently wrote:
“Congratulations to Kellyanne Conway on her DIVORCE from her wacko husband, Mr. Kellyanne Conway. Free at last, she has finally gotten rid of the disgusting albatross around her neck. She is a great person, and will now be free to lead the kind of life that she deserves … and it will be a great life without the extremely unattractive loser by her side!”
Perhaps school children will be encouraged to memorize those words someday, huh? Possibly, someone will put music to his words and the song will become a favorite in classrooms throughout the land. Maybe a play, entitled ‘The Disgusting Albatross’ will be crafted for a Broadway run.
Sometimes, a person is easy to read. It doesn’t take much to discern whether he/she is mature or immature, right? Nor is it difficult to determine if that person is safe or dangerous.
8. “The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.” ~ Aldous Huxley
Expert testimony about things that aren’t true is plentiful. Hearsay, rumor, and innuendo do so much damage. The untruth that is passed on by seemingly mature adults is at times mind numbing. It happens on pickle ball courts, at churches, book clubs, and on the sidelines at soccer games. I live in a 55+ community and there are brief moments when I feel as if I’m back in middle-school with all the name calling, rumors, and catty behavior.
We all need to do our homework and quit passing on and believing lies. Read widely. Look for and listen to wise people, even those with a different point of view. Challenge the liars. Desire, find, and tell the truth.
9. “You have given all to me
To you, Lord, I return it
Everything is Yours
Do with it what you will
Give me only your love and your grace
That is enough for me.
Amen.” ~ Pray as You Go
What a challenging prayer. “Give me only your love and grace. That is enough for me.”
This is an aspirational prayer, not necessarily the reality of our lives. That’s OK. We’re all a work in progress, right?
Praying these words as part of my spiritual practice has reminded me that my desire for a God who is ‘enough’ is still strong. Without that desire, I’m sizzled. All that’s left is for me to actually turn that desire into true submission to God.
10. “Young people say, “What can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?” They cannot see that we can only lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform these actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.” ~ Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day was a moment by moment, day by day, one person at a time, difference maker. She had a prophetic edge, not afraid to stir the pot while standing up for justice and compassion.
With love, it’s one brick, one action, one step at a time. We all do what we can do. That’s our calling. It is our daily discipline. Then we trust God to accept what we offer and multiply our offering as He sees fit. It leads to a simpler, less exacting way to live.