This week's word is NOW.
If you've followed this blog for a while, you may have noticed that generally I'm defiant in the face of death. Sometimes you would have noticed despair; less often, I hope!
These are natural processes. Faced with the inevitability of passing from this life, one can naturally be expected to rail against 'the falling of night' and other times to despair. (And yes, they're part of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's 'five stages of dying' paradigm.)
But now I'm a bit different.
But now I'm a bit different.
It has, however, lately occurred to me that despair and defiance are really obverse sides of the same coin, yin and yang, action and reaction. Defiance is rooted in despair and can't exist without it.
In that way, it's a closed circle, one that affords no growth.
The one thing that can break the cycle is discipleship. That word is taken as a 'Christian thing', and to a large degree it is, but whatever your faith – and perhaps even in the lack of it - it can
afford you something of value.
For the Christian, discipleship is the following of the example and divinity of Jesus Christ. It's taking what He said to heart, living with His earthly life as an example and His promise of salvation as a grounding for action.
For the Zen Buddhist, discipleship is following the precepts of Gautama Buddha and Dogen Zenji, incorporating them into daily life and action.
For the Muslim, discipleship is found in living life in the way of the Prophet, with a hand to action and a mind focused on Allah.
For the Sikh disciple, the path is found in the lives of the ten Gurus, codified in the Guru Granth Sahib.
In short...discipleship is found in living; not living for oneself, but living a contextual life, rooted in and guided by belief in the validity of the teachings and faith one holds dear and true. Discipleship is a purposeful life with a purpose which takes one beyond one's own soul.
Defiance and despair are the path of the donkey at the mill-wheel, blinkered and hooded to walk his unending circular path.
Discipleship is the open road, the road with a destination. There may be delights found along the way, and there will assuredly be terrors. But the light of a purpose in living is the guide to one's steps and the illumination of action taken in the fidelity of belief.
Defiance and despair are the safety of the known. Discipleship is scary, because it can and will force your hand to play the cards you've been dealt for a cause.
Tonight's musical theme is provided by Soundgarden, with Live To Rise.
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update...he's probably going to be moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
He's up over 200,000 signatures, but PLEASE keep the pressure on. If you haven't signed, please do! Please click o his name in the paragraph below.
If you have a moment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.