It’s clear to everyone in the United States of America – and beyond – that things will be changing for us very soon. It’s difficult to be sure of what form those changes will take but change there will undoubtedly be. I’ve spoken before about possible reactions and responses to change. This morning I was again thrust into that reflection by the final verses of Psalm 98, presented in a lyrical way by the following translation.
Let every river lift its hands to clap in time, while hills and valleys join in song to offer hospitality to the Holy One, who comes to right our every wrong. This God will weigh the worth of everything that was, and is, and shall ever be, so mercy can be known in full and justice here be balanced with compassion. (vs. 9-10)
This sense of all things conspiring to offer hospitality to God reminded me of the difference between reaction and response. Turning to Alan Cohen for more insight I read this:
When you come up against a situation that you cannot control, trust that the universe is working on your behalf. When we fight what is, we lose our power. The sage capitalizes on the energy at hand and makes it work on his behalf. Cohen then adds a plea to God, saying: Help me to remember that You are present in all situations, guiding me home even when I cannot see how. (A Deep Breath of Life)
It seems to me that these two messages – one from millennia ago and one from the present age – give the same message. No matter what our feelings about the year that has just begun, we would all do better to stay in the present rather than conjecturing what will or will not unfold. It is God who has the “big picture” and it is ours to take our rightful place in relationship to God, yielding to what is – contributing our best selves to every situation while giving God every opportunity to be our guide on the way forward.