I have been shocked in the last week or two how quickly it’s getting darker at night and how much longer it’s taking to lighten in the mornings. Days have been darkened on the west coast by wildfires, and in the south by hurricanes.
And even more exhausting, our world seems to be becoming more shadowed. Politicians on all sides are vilifying “the other”. Russian bots are working overtime trying to drive wedges between us anywhere they can find a crack — race, politics, religion, whatever.
Almost 200,000 people here in the US have died of COVID so far, and yesterday the spunky light of Ruth Bader Ginsburg left this world. People I love are in crisis in a variety of ways.
So much gloom and shadow.
And I want to fight it. I want to push against it and hold back the night. I want to pull hand-over-hand to bring an early dawn. I want to make people understand our common humanity and belovedness from God. I want to keep anyone else from dying.
So there’s good news and bad news.
The Bad News: All that wanting, striving and desiring? It’s exhausting. And it will fail. There is nothing I can do to change when the sun rises and sets. I can not change a virus’ impact on humanity, or the fact of a person’s brain chemistry.
The Good News: It’s not all up to me. When I get clear what is “mine” and what is “not mine,” then I can stop wasting my time being ineffective.
It is obvious that God (or the tilting of the earth if you are a pure-science person) is in charge of our hours of daylight. Clearly, there is nothing I can do to change that.
As our daylight hours continue to shrink, I will be taking some time in the next few weeks getting clear on what is my work to do, and what is wasted energy. I invite you to join me. Turn away from outside influences. Set down those things you want, but that you don’t have the power to change. Rest in nothingness for a moment. And then, when you are rested, pick up those things that are for you. Expend your energy and intelligence and love in ways that matter to you, and to those you love. That is how we, together, can change the world.
I’ll be on vacation the next few weeks, and will take up my Rector Reflections again in mid-October. For now, I’m going to set down the heavy load of responsibilities I’ve been taking on and rest.