What kind of imprint do I really want to make on this world, in my life, on the people that surround me? Richard Rohr reflects on two possibilities: “Kingdom people are history makers. They break through the small kingdoms of this world to an alternative and much larger world, God’s full creation. People who are still living in the false self are history stoppers. They use God and religion to protect their own status and the status quo of the world that sustains them. They are often fearful people, the nice, proper folks of every age who think like everybody else thinks and have no power to break through, or as Jesus’ opening words state, ‘to change’ (Mark 1:15, Matthew 4:17) and move beyond their small agenda. Courage is certainly the foundational virtue. Without it, faith, love, and hope do not happen. It takes immense courage to trust your own experience, and to be willing to pay the price if you are wrong. And you might just be!”
Today I find myself lacking courage to a degree that has the potential to dislocate my faith. But, when I consider what it is that is so troubling to my soul, when I inspect more carefully this thing that wields far too much power over me, I see that it pertains to such a small agenda—miniscule, really. “Kingdom people are history makers.” The Kingdom alternative that is God’s full creation—in breathtaking beauty, unfathomable grandeur—reaches so far above these petty concerns that others try to blow to unnatural proportion. But, the air is thin and the matter inconsequential when measured against this alternative—not expanded by dissipating air, but by this full, rich, emblazoned and powerful Love. Still, I must plead as the father in Mark 9, “I believe. Help my unbelief.”
Am I willing to surrender to a path, a lifestyle, that requires such courage yet liberates the possibility to live it most fully? Rohr reflects, “Mary and Joseph walked in courage and blind faith that their own experience was true—with no one to reassure them they were right. Their only safety net was God’s love and mercy, a safety net they must have tried out many times or else they would never have been able to fall into it so gracefully.” And, this is my desire: to fall gracefully into God’s love and mercy. It is there that I will find the courage to be who I am most truly, one who is a part of making history!