Once upon a time, when I would return to the old homestead, I remember watching many of my nephews and nieces beginning their journey of life. They were filled with curiosity and wonder. I remember them reaching out to touch a leaf – to look at it and to experience it with wonder. They might see a worm on the ground or a bird – and reach out and catch it. Once in a great while, we would take a walk to the local Dairy Queen, which was located about four or five blocks away and on the journey, they would find wonderful surprises along the way. They would be filled with wonder at a stone or a twig – or something that caught their eyes on the way and would pick it up and run, squealing with delight with their treasure. We would finally arrive at the old D.Q. and enjoy a a delicious treat – and then begin our trek home once again, filled with curiosity and wonder and life.
Over the years, I somewhere came to realize how much they taught me about the love of life itself. To be curious and to ask the questions – to be open to learning and enjoying the journey that we have walked together for many years. Curiosity is being able to look and listen carefully to the sights and sounds that surround us and to reflect with wonder are the very miracle of life that we are part of. It is that process that we learn to let go of our fears and to reach out to enjoy our common journey, trusting in that spirit of life that is holy and sacred in all of it’s diversity and wonder. And in the intervening years, I continue to watch them deal with the struggles and the pain that life sometimes brings, but at the same time, they are there for and with each other, bound together by love that touches the world.
When we allow fear to dominate our lives, then we become closed off to new possibilities – we become accustomed to walking in the dark, afraid of everything and everyone -afraid of change and afraid of life itself. We may not consciously choose death, but by not opening ourselves up to life, we choose death of the mind and of the spirit. Life is gloomy and dark and dangerous and we hang on to that illusion that only we know the dangers that exist everywhere – in in those who don’t think or look or act like we do. We can no longer see the wonder in the small things that surround us and create artificial walls to protect us from the unknown. We can no longer ask the questions – we can only give the answers that help us to survive in our own little world that we have created for ourselves and not the miraculous world that we are part of. We have assumed the cloak of Infallibility – and become a pond that is rancid and with little real life. There no excitement in discovering new ideas or visions; life becomes boring and stagnant. Change becomes a fear word – and we work hard to hang on to the past as our only point of reality.
To choose life is a a leap in trust in the Spirit of Creation that breathes life onto our Universe – our small planet Earth winging its way around our Galaxy for Billions of years and to trust that we are part of that; we are stardust come alive and conscious with the possibility of growing up and accepting responsibility for our world. We live in a world of countless possibilities, and much like small children, allow our curiosity and imaginations to run wild with awe. We are able to run with abandon and look at the miracles that surround us and to find that same miracle of life within each of us. I think that this might be where we start – to find the excitement of life growing with unknown possibilities first and then to see that same life in others – all others. And it is here that we find the Spirit of Creation – that divine spark of life that connects everything – Love itself. In this journey, life is never boring – a struggle perhaps – but not boring or death giving. Life is dynamic and changing, aways exploring and moving around and within. It is not a static pond, filled with the stench of death, but a flowing river, filled with energy and possibility – That is the journey that we are called to share with one another and with all of humanity – with all of life. That is the GOOD NEWS – the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.