Mike’s Rumblings – 12-16-22
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. “Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.” ~ Thoughts Wonder
Your worst moments don’t have to define you. That’s a lesson I’ve struggled to embrace. Now they only haunt me a bit. 😀 They no longer imprison me. That’s a good thing. It’s only taken me 70+ years to learn this. Our best moments, too, can trap us. I’ve watched too many people rest on their laurels instead of building upon them.
2. Stephen Colbert, after the Georgia runoff election, quipped that he had a couple of different thoughts about the outcome: “Gratified, because Raphael Warnock defeated Herschel Walker, 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent, and terrified, because 48.6 percent of Georgians looked at Herschel Walker and went, ‘Yeah, that guy should be a U.S. senator.’”
Even some (not enough) Republicans in high places are starting to admit that the quality of their candidates leaves much to be desired. My take is that as long as they cower in fear every time Trump’s shadow passes over them nothing will change. They’ll just keep churning out one bad candidate after another. Our democracy suffers when that happens.
It’s very sad to see a political party that continually trumpets their love of virtue continually lacking the will power to actually be virtuous.
3. Comedian Trevor Noah has bid adieu to “The Daily Show” after seven years as host. In his final appearance, Noah thanked his fans and gave a “special’ shoutout saying, “If you truly want to learn about America, talk to Black women.”
Currently, I’m in a book club with several Black women. Their insights about America come from places I’ve never inhabited and never will. I’m the richer for knowing and listening to them.
4. “It’s a universal law – intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill- educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education, breeds humility.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Hard to argue with him. He’s spot on.
Intolerance has been found in faith circles ever since there was a thing called faith. In some circumstances an inadequate discipleship system produced a whole lot of church folks who were ready and waiting to settle for a caricature of Jesus, who somehow became a belligerent, fractious, culture warrior. That Jesus is A-OK with arrogance and is not all that fond of humility.
It’s not the real Jesus.
I’m thankful for those who know the difference between real and fake.
5. Me: “Jesus, what’s the plan for carrying on your work?”
Jesus: “You are, and all the others who say they love me.”
Me (chuckling): “What if that plan doesn’t work?”
Jesus: “It’s got to. It’s the only plan I’ve got.”
6. “Kids were going through our programs and still ending up on the street. . . . They were still just one step from being hurt or even killed by a drug dealer or pimp. That is when I was forced to change. I started feeling helpless, and my confidence was shattered. All that I was left with was faith . . . [and] trust that I was where God was calling me to be.
As a result of the crisis I underwent, my work evolved from a highly praised, solution-oriented, and evidence-based practice into something much more intuitive. It really moved into prayer. And when I say prayer, I don’t necessarily mean that I was saying prayers with people. Instead, I started showing up for every person who needed my help in the same way that I was showing up for prayer. Gathering all my knowledge and tools and entrusting them to God. Saying to God, “I think you’re calling me to do something here. This is what I come with. I offer it to you. Take it. Change it. Make it useful. Because I feel so small and useless here.” ~ Adam Bucko, Let Your Heartbreak Be Your Guide: Lessons in Engaged Contemplation
Humility is a strength. Admitting something isn’t working is a sign of a good leader. Trusting God is always a very, very good thing.
7. “I often say that a vote is a kind of prayer for the world we desire for ourselves and for our children.” ~ Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock
I find this to be incredibly sobering. It’s a powerful way to look at what casting your vote actually means.
8. “It is not that the Annunciation leads Mary out of doubt and into faith; it is that her encounter with the angel leads her out of certainty and into holy bewilderment. Out of familiar spiritual territory and into a lifetime of pondering, wondering, questioning, and wrestling.” ~ Debie Thomas
I confess to once upon a time being addicted to certainty. The faith I could once upon a time categorize so effortlessly demanded better of me.
As my faith has matured I have rather enjoyed being faced, at times, with a version of holy bewilderment. And I’m OK with that. I like asking questions of my faith and have appreciated the way my faith interrogates all facets of my life. It grows me up. And I have no doubt Mary (who was very brave) had many moments of questioning and wondering. After all, she was human. And her story was strange and hard to believe. I’m sure she had her ‘moments’.
9. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
“We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”
James Baldwin was a force and his work still challenges us. His authenticity might scare you a bit but once you settle into it you realize that he is the kind of writer that offers you the invitation to think, feel, reassess and then act.
Read books my friends. Good ones. Like the ones activists are forcing school boards to ban. When you do you’ll be far less inclined to deny anyone the right to exist.
10. I Feel Sorry for Jesus
by Naomi Shihab Nye
“People won’t leave Him alone.
I know He said, wherever two or more
are gathered in my name…
but I’ll bet some days He regrets it.
Cozily they tell you what He wants
and doesn’t want
as if they just got an e-mail.
Remember ‘Telephone’, that pass-it-on game
where the message changed dramatically
by the time it rounded the circle?
People blame terrible pieties on Jesus.
They want to be his special pet.
Jesus deserves better.
I think He’s been exhausted
for a very long time.
He went into the desert, friends.
He didn’t go into the pomp.
He didn’t go into
the golden chandeliers
and say, the truth tastes better here.
See? I’m talking like I know.
It’s dangerous talking for Jesus.
You get carried away almost immediately.
I stood in the spot where He was born.
I closed my eyes where He died and didn’t die.
Every twist of the Via Dolorosa
was written on my skin.
And that makes me feel like being silent
for Him, you know? A secret pouch
of listening. You won’t hear me
mention this again.”