We are not good, we struggle to be good
This morning I had an interesting conversation with one of our employees about his dad. He told me that his dad would often talk to him about the struggle with good and evil. Even when his dad was in his late 80’s he would speak about his inner struggle which even at his extreme old age it still went on. He told his son that every morning when he got up he would make sure that some doors in his mind were opened and others remained shut.
I found the image of doors interesting. I remember when I was very young, perhaps around four or five, I used to have a picture of a long hallway in my mind that went on forever. I would also take events that I did not want to remember into these rooms and shut the door and lock it. Not sure how many doors I locked, but I guess now I am trying to open up some of them.
We each struggle with out inner world. Images, thoughts, desires and other ‘things’ that many are afraid to share with others…..we can be silly and think that most people have serene inner lives because they are always smiling, but that is never true unless someone is truly blessed with a soul that is never in conflict. Never met anyone though who was like that.
Many underestimate this inner struggle and when they do it often comes back to haunt them later in life. The more we understand this inner struggle, the more I believe the concept of ‘grace’ is understood. The grace that others show us by their love and acceptance can’t be forced or bought, it is freely given. This leads also to a deeper understanding of the grace of God, which goes deeper, is more all encompassing and is always present to us if we would only open up our hearts to it.
We are not good, we struggle to be good. The downward spiral is easy because not much struggle is needed to do that. To fight that inner pull towards inner and outer chaos is another matter all together. So, no, to be a decent human being is not an easy journey, the true miracle is that there are so many humans who are more than decent. To be that way is not an accident, it is a choice. It is that struggle that points to the reality of free will. We need free will because we are not yet free, we can go either way……So yes mercy and grace is needed….a loving heart, a caring soul is another miracle of grace that is at work in the human heart.
It should be no surprise that we fail, that our cultures fall apart and die. It just mirrors our own inner struggle. So let us help each other on the way and not hinder. In the end, to live according to the Sermon on the Mount is really the most rational way to go, yet we often do the opposite. So yes, we need grace, help, mercy and healing in order to do that.
Those who are Christian can show Christ by putting on the Mind-of-Christ which comes about by developing a deep loving relationship with Him. Does it work, well asks those who do have this kind of relationship. Also all people who seek to grow in love and compassion from others traditions; talk to them as well. To love those outside of ones family, faith and race is a sign of God’s grace at work. The Holy Spirit blows where it wills.--Br.MD