Very often it is difficult to get people to have hope that things will change especially when they are entrenched in despair over their situation. They come in and meet with us and I can see in their faces, they want to believe something can be done, but the despair is too great and they think they need to charge in not with the hard road of changing themselves but with a mouthpiece or a sword or vengeance or hate because they are too hurt to rise above it. Conflict resolution in your life most often begins with changing your own life by taking a good, hard, true look in the mirror and seeing yourself and your problem for what it is. We move quickly to despair because we are conditioned not to look inward and come to know our weaknesses but to focus only on our feelings. If we do not feel good, if our ego is bruised, or we feel shame, or we do not get the attention we want, the prominent chair at the table, then we quickly react to those feelings by self-justifying, gossip, revenge, and a host of other behaviors that do us no good and keep us enslaved.
Repentance is the true answer. Repent and be converted within yourself to wash away the sin of pride, of ego, of the need to be first, of an overly-curious nature, of the need to “feel good” all the time. That is not life. Life is about getting to know yourself and taking the hard, labor-intensive track of being upset over your poor behavior and bad decisions. That is repentance. It is not easy and you feel yucky but please do it now or else later you will find that there is no more time to do it – either you have given in to the false illusion of continuous sin and/or your life is over and you are eternally damned to live in the sin you have embraced.
And turn to Christ when you repent. He is an ocean of mercy waiting for you to trust in Him so that He can work in you and show you the way out. He can act in you and cause you to be different and live differently but you must surrender to Him and not expect some kind of magic feel-good pill when you do. Christ is about forgiveness and love and sweet fulfillment not of the worldly kind. He sets out exactly what is sin and you will know it for yourself when you take the time to quiet down and reflect on yourself as the sinful soul you are. We all are – constantly moving toward sin and it takes loads of love and self-control and, above all, attachment to Him who suffered first for us to move in the right direction – to resurrect from our life of sin and despair. He is there to forgive us and help us clean up our memory, take control of our wild will with reason and patience and roll our own stone away from our tomb and walk out. That is the true miracle of Christ. He does for us if we let him what He first did – Rise! But we must stop looking for miracles we want – amazing events – miraculous change in our life unattached to the hard REAL road of change.
“The resurrection, you see, is not amazing. It’s a prototypical experience. It’s the miraculous nature of things woven into the very fabric of life. People who have been dwelling among the breathless tombs of alcoholism have been raised from that creeping demise into sobriety. Every day, someone caught in the death grip of an abusive relationship finds help and rises up to new life. Even hour by hour, the power of resurrection breathes through your experience. When you find yourself facing the dead-end of the same argument with your spouse, the same challenging relationship with a parent, the same incorrigibility of a child, the same humiliating experience with a colleague that you’ve dealt with over and over, and you feel the hope for any better outcome draining out of your soul, sometimes all it takes is a touch, a look, a laugh, a brief conversation, to feel the breath of possibility coming back into your lungs. Resurrection is not amazing; it’s the way things are. That’s what the young man at the tomb said: “Don’t be amazed. Jesus is raised from the dead, and he is going on ahead to meet you – as he said he would.” ” (From “Don’t Be Amazed” A Sermon by Rev. Michael Scott)
He will show you the way – through Himself as the Word of God, through Scripture, through Tradition, through others, through nature – just open your eyes wide to life for He is the Way – the way of humility – to the Truth that God is Love – and the life – He sustains you in energy, hope, beauty, – to LIVE and to BE and to be fulfilled in the only thing that fulfills us – Him Who Is!
Cary and I see ourselves as conduits to helping people see themselves as they are and curing their own ills through love, compassion, hard truth, and appropriate action that can bring a new perspective on their situation. Our clients are most amazed by the change that happens in their lives – not being “right” or getting all “they want” but the peace that they begin to experience as well as a new sense of hope and handling of their difficult situation. I cannot help but proclaim what helps me move forward each and every day. For me, He is the inspiration and the reason I can get up in the morning because each and every day is a struggle with my own wild will and it is only when I intentionally stay close to the suffering man on the cross that I can overcome. I can only pray that I transmit this to our clients whether directly through message or indirectly through love, compassion, and prayer.