I had conversations with two people today that were reminders that the world is full of hate and loss. I also had the chance to go to a celebration of life for someone who was 95 when he died, and who leaves a legacy of love and faith and steadfastness.
There is something about someone’s “homegoing” that makes most people, me included, reflective about how they are spending their time.
“…There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on….” We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.”Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community? By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When I think about how I am spending my time, I think about what is most important to me in terms of my relationships. And I think about my work. And I think about my calling to be various things, including an ally and a bridge builder and restorer. When I think about what it is I am vigilant about and what it is I neglect, I (in the words of Dr. King) think about the choice between nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. I also think about the choice between speaking up (however imperfectly) or being silent, and between showing up (however imperfectly) or being absent. I think about the choice to be intentional in our relationships and in my efforts to build community (however imperfectly).
In what feels like a million years ago, I read the Steven Covey books as part of a leadership program at an organization where I was working with children and families. There are some things I could take or leave in these books, but a couple of things have stuck with me. One of the things is this: to be proactive is to make choices on deeply held values.
I have been stressed lately (as usual) with more things to do than time to do them, and have felt like I am really just surviving day to day in terms of doing the work in front of me. That doesn’t feel proactive in the way I usually use that word. But. I said “yes” to work that is meaningful and to things I believe in and to things I prayed for. I value and hold dear the root of all the things I said “yes” to, and now (when it is all coming to a head at once it seems) I am trying to just do the next right thing for each of these. Pretty imperfectly, but still proactive. Still in pursuit of community. I am confronted with the “fierce urgency of now” (also from Where do we go from here?). I also know I need to rest.
What is your fierce urgency?