Mike’s Rumblings – 10-06-23
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. We live in difficult times. The House of Representatives is a mess. Our former president is a moral disgrace. Christian nationalism is gaining momentum. We’re banning books and our allies wonder if we are trustworthy.
I find myself growing agitated. The nonsense sometimes becomes just too much. And when I’m agitated, I need to turn to things that breathe life back into my tired soul, to things that reminds me of what is true and good.
Poetry is one of those things.
“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests
in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” ~ Wendell Berry
And Scripture helps.
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
“Are you tired? Worn out? … Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~ Jesus
2. “My abilities are only limited by my lack of opportunities.” ~ Henry Aaron
One of the greatest gifts we can offer someone is an opportunity to do what they were created to do and to be who they were intended to be. Those who refuse to give opportunities to others do grievous harm to individuals and society.
3. The man in a super hero costume says: “My superpower is turning anything I don’t understand into a conspiracy theory.”
Ain’t that the truth. Instead of seeking to understand what’s happening, too many people these days just stand on the sidelines bellowing nonsense. What’s sad is that they draw an audience.
4. “We are closer to God when we are asking questions than when we think we have the answers.” ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel
I like to read things that make me squirm a bit. It leads to questions I want to find the answers for.
The very best people I know periodically re-examine what they believe and why. It’s a good discipline. Sometimes they discover that what they believe just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny anymore. Sometimes they discover they still do.
It’s also wise to periodically look at ideas we’ve dismissed a time or two. A second look might unearth something we missed the first time around.
It’s good to know where we stand and why.
5. “I must become the unique person I am meant to be. The more I become what my creator called me to be originally, the more I will be united with my divine origin. I must find my original self as hidden in God. The original life of a Christian, Saint Paul says, is hidden in Christ.” ~ Fr. Adrian van Kaam
6. “President Biden last Thursday sharply rebuked former president Donald Trump and his supporters for continued attempts to undermine American democracy … Biden called Trump out by name before detailing what he described as his anti-democratic behavior: relentless attacks on the press, praise for the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attackers, plans to consolidate power in the executive branch and a desire to fire civil servants who are not sufficiently loyal to him.
“There’s something dangerous happening in America now,” Biden said. “There’s an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs in our democracy.” He added, “We should all remember: Democracies don’t have to die at the end of a rifle. They can die when people are silent, when they fail to stand up or condemn the threats to democracy… This MAGA threat is a threat to the brick and mortar of our democratic institutions, but it’s also a threat to the character of our nation that gives our Constitution life.” ~Tyler Pager and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez WAPO
Preach it loud and strong.
“… Representative Greg Cesar (D-TX) asked the members of the House Oversight Committee to raise their hands if they believe that both Hunter Biden and Trump should be held accountable if they are found guilty on any of their indictments. The Democrats all raised their hands. The Republicans did not.” ~ Heather Cox Richardson
I’m not shocked by this but I am disappointed and a little frightened. Democracy is indeed under attack and MAGA folks are leading the assault.
7. There can be no self-care without self-compassion, which is compassion turned inward. It is the ability to connect to our feelings, to respond to our suffering with kindness, and to desire that our suffering be ameliorated. ~ Chanequa Walker-Barnes”
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ~ Maya Angelou
“I can’t be a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, nor toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.” ~ Pope Francis
“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” ~ Blaise Pascal .
8. Throughout the New Testament we are invited to model ourselves on Jesus, the Christ, taking on his way of seeing and living in the world.
And what does Jesus see? How does Jesus live? How did Jesus experience this world of ours when He walked and talked with us?
Keep reading the gospels over and over again. Catch Jesus in the act of being His version of being human. Then do likewise.
Philosopher Dallas Willard once said: “Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you.”
9. I love thinking of my spiritual life as a pilgrimage, an intentional journey through life that isn’t necessarily a straight line from Point A to Point B. I’ve read several Creeds of the Pilgrim and then cherry picked some thoughts and made my own.
The Pilgrims Creed
1. I am willing to be flexible.
2. I’m neither in control, nor in a hurry.
3. I journey in faith, hope, and peace and offer them to those I meet.
4. I know God will provide for me in a variety of ways and will use me to help provide for others.
5. I will savor the journey and find meaning within it.
6. I joyfully accept the sacrifices, challenges, and blessings that come my way.
10. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., weighed in Tuesday on the historic ousting of Speaker Kevin McCarthy by saying to his House GOP colleagues that they should ‘…follow your heart but take your brain with you.’ Sen. Kennedy also advised they ‘take their meds.”