In light of so many recent tragedies and tragedies yet to come, it is often very difficult for someone to believe there could be a light at the end of the tunnel or that there could be some good left in a world that seems consumed by so much that is bad. The Good News we have heard so much about in our places of worship seems at times far too distant or too abstract to fathom or grasp to be of any real immediate relevance to us in the moment when we seem to need it most. We are taught the answers are right there in the Bible or in the Scriptures or in the Quran. We want to believe that there will be an end to such things as gun violence, racism, bigotry, discrimination, hate crime, police brutality, injustice, corruption, exploitation, and so on. And we pray for not some future, distant end to these things but an immediate end. Yet nothing seems to change. History repeats itself. The changes that are made are easily rescinded or ignored or neglected in the passage of time.
It seems as though society and civilization or even just human nature craves or wants or thrives on violence, hatred, perpetuating inequalities, and so on. It seems easier for humanity to be corrupted than it is to be humane. Those with hearts filled with compassion do what they can and some simply pray to God for strength, answers, peace, and so on.
I am sitting here realizing that God has already answered many of our prayers. God has gifted us with hearts and minds and souls. God gifted us with the capacity to make choices and act on our ideas, ideals, values, and do as our conscience may dictate. We have the means to be inspired by God to do good for others. But it seems too many of us ignore or neglect or choose to shun the gifts God has given us. We forget that we have the means to put an end to gun violence or racism or c0rruption or bigotry. We have the means to choose how we conduct ourselves.
When we realize the answers are already present within us, when we come face t0 face with what we are capable of doing– then we can affect change and decide to make it stick or not. But at some point, we must decide whether we love humanity more than guns, violence, money, bigotry, an idea of racial superiority, political power, etc. What could be more valuable than life and our own soul?
I do not believe God put us on this Earth to kill each other or to destroy ourselves. And all our prayers will come to nothing if we don’t start appreciating God’s gifts to us and start using them in the ways that God intended for them for us. At the very least we have got to start using our hearts as well as our brains and figure out what is more important– a fight against our fellow man… or our fight against Satan, who has led us to believe there are more important things than our own souls.