Today’s first reading from the Book of Genesis tells the story of world-wide famine and the fact that Joseph, the boy whose brothers had sold him into slavery, used the power he had gained as governor of Egypt to feed starving people everywhere. It’s when his brothers appear before him that Joseph has his most important moment. It’s one of the great mercy stories of the Hebrew Scriptures and has many lessons to teach. (GEN 41-42)
Most of us won’t have the opportunity to sit in such a place of power and decide whether to be merciful or vengeful to those who have harmed us but we would be wise to practice unconditional love on a daily basis so we will assure our ability to act toward others as God would act when tests of our “mercy quotient” arise. Meg Wheatley had some comforting words this morning for the times when I – and all of us – are not as successful in life as we would hope to be.
When we fail, which of course we often will, we don’t have to feel discouraged. Instead, we can look into our mistakes and failures for the valuable learnings they contain. And we can be open to opportunities and help that present themselves, even when they’re different from what we thought we needed. We can follow the energy of “Yes!” rather than accepting defeat or getting stuck in a plan.
This is how the world always changes. Everyday people not waiting for someone else to fix things or come to their rescue, but simply stepping forward, working together, figuring out how to make things better.
Now it’s our turn. (Perseverance, p.13)