Mike’s Rumblings – 06-09-23
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. “Until a drag queen walks into a school and beats eight kids to death with a copy of “To Kill A Mockingbird’’, I think you’re focusing on the wrong s#@t.” ~ Wanda Sykes
Sometimes in life, it pays to focus on what’s really important and to hold loosely to what’s not. If we don’t have that kind of focus we’ll end up acting like fools, majoring in the minors, making mountains out of molehills and then patting ourselves on the back for being so big and strong. “Stupid is as stupid does” the philosopher Forrest Gump reminded us. There’s a whole lot of stupid going on these days. But we can choose to stand against all the nonsense. We can do that, right?
2. “Jesus seemed to have been less distressed by faux pas born of benevolence than by errors arising from legalism.” ~ Brennan Manning
Translated that means Jesus didn’t sweat the small things such as the tiny stumbles of well meaning people. He also wasn’t a fan of the mean spirited legalists who tried to make something alarming out of nothing.
3. My take is that the ban books movement is a quasi political/religious crusade driven by people who want to save the world from any idea that’s contrary to their own.
It took a bit of time but folks on the ‘other side’ are fighting back.
The headline in the Washington Post read: “Protester opposed to book bans gets Bible pulled from some Utah schools.”
The story is that “The Bible has been removed from libraries in a Utah school district after being challenged by a person making a jab at book bans.
After a state law allowing school districts to pull “pornographic or indecent” books from schools was passed last year, someone in the Davis School District submitted a complaint about the King James Bible, arguing the text was “pornographic by our new definition.”
A school district committee determined that the Bible was not age-appropriate for elementary and middle-schoolers, though it ruled that the text does not contain the type of “sensitive material” the law seeks to keep out of schools.”
I was wondering when an astute group of protestors would hand the conundrum of ‘the Bible’ to book banners. After all, they’re saying, the Bible is filled with all kinds of gritty material. There are stories of adultery, murder, genocide, deceit, larcency, rape, betrayal, and conquest. Which of these are appropriate for young minds?
I understand completely what they are doing. I doubt they’re anti-Bible, just using it to force a necessary debate and to let the bullies know that they have a foe. My guess is that this is but skirmish #1.
4. Various astute authors suggested that growing old gracefully requires us to make practices of faith such as prayer, silence, solitude, meditation, sacred readings, sacrament, and community the essential habits of of the latter stages of our life.
There is a spiritual dimension to aging that is oftentimes neglected. Those who attend to their souls in the last years of their life seem to grow into what it means to be an ‘elder’.
5. “The world we’ve built using technology is less and less good for the most important thing about us, which is our design for love. From the moment we come into the world, what we are most looking for, most in need of, most designed to learn to give and receive from others, is love — intimate, profound, mutual relationships of giving and receiving, even at great cost to ourselves. That is truly what love is. In the psychiatrist Curt Thompson’s beautiful phrase, we’re all “looking for someone looking for us.” None of us were born looking for a screen. We were all born looking for a face.” Andy Crouch in a Tish Harrison Warren NY Times Opinion piece.
Yes. Not a screen but a face.
6. “I will never surrender to the woke mob.” ~ Florida’s Governor
I wrote to him saying this:
Just chill a bit dude.
Where’s all this anger coming from? Who wounded you so deeply? What could happen if you quit calling people names and initiated dialogue with your self proclaimed enemies? I bet you’d learn a few useful things.
My guess is that all this sounds scary to you. It offends the macho facade your false self has created for you. Any softening would force you to look at who you really are. My hunch is that you’d like the person God intends you to be a lot more than the man you currently see in the mirror.
By the way, that mob you so despise is populated by helpers, teachers, nurses, ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, moms and dads, firefighters, lawn care people, and bartenders. They’re just regular folks, trying to do what’s right and good, and who don’t need your derision.
In the meantime awakened voters aren’t going away. They’re already mobilizing to make your next campaign a bumpy ride.
P.S. Playing ‘gotcha’ games with refugees isn’t a good look. It’s mean spirited. Not a good look at all.
7. When we meet the Creator and His Son and the Holy Spirit, we will know it’s ‘real’ especially when our posture towards money, success, relationships. and power begin to change. And if nothing changes, chances are that spiritual encounter wasn’t all that real.
8. A commercial.
As many of you know, I am a trained Spiritual Director. It is one of the deep joys in my life to walk alongside men and women who need someone to help them care for their souls. I go to a Spiritual Director and that monthly time is helpful to me. In many respects, as Richard Rohr suggests, we are all “awkward stewards of our own soul” and most of us need a bit of help sorting things out. With all that said I have room for two or three more directees. Message me if you’re interested and we’ll set a time to talk it through. My wife Anita also has an opening or two so if you want a spiritual director and prefer a female let me know and I’ll connect you.
I’m also considering doing a couple of ‘group’ spiritual direction sessions a month. Group direction is a way of listening to and reflecting with a community of fellow seekers on our encounters with God in everyday life.
If interested, or have questions about this let me know.
9. “Most young adults I know aren’t looking for a religion that answers all of their questions, but rather a community of faith in which they feel safe to ask them.” ~ Rachel Held Evans
Actually, I think this is true for all of us who need to ask questions. We’re after a safe place and a community of faith willing to grapple with the answer to questions that rock the boat a bit
10. “I’m not interested in whether you’ve stood
with the great;
I’m interested in whether
with the broken.” ~ Sue FitzMaurice
Maybe ‘having sat with the broken’ is the ultimate litmus test for political candidates. And us.