We Are All One | Worship
Last updated 8/18/2021 at 12:12pm
Editor's Note: Father Bill Mobley was a Worship columnist for The Beacon in the early- and mid-1990s until his death in 1996. A few times this year, we will be revisiting his columns. This column ran in 1994.
An awkward moment can happen when a child presents us with a freshly finished page from a coloring book. We look at it and say, "That's very good."
But often we are making a quick judgment. "Did she stay within the lines?" If so, we will let the compliment stand. But if some of the colored scribbles go beyond the printed outlines, we may kindly point this out to the child.
We are so uncomfortable with messiness!
We spent much time and energy trying to keep ourselves within boundaries. We keep a "lid" on our emotions. We like fences to mark off our property.
It would be nice if life stayed within our boundaries. Things do get out of our control. Constantly, life seems to break beyond the limits we try to impose. In the face of the threats to order and predictability, we find ourselves in a constant struggle to "keep it all together." Faced with life's constant threats, large and small, is there any other way to live?
Jesus says there is. He reveals the secret that life comes when we let go of familiar boundaries. As long as things have to remain within certain patterns to which we are accustomed, life is predictable, safe, orderly; but it is not really life! The gift of life, the wonderful experience of being part of something greater than ourselves, can come only when we let go of our usual limits.
It is ironic that those very times in life that seem to break us apart actually usher in new life. A failure in school or work seems like an end; we can see no life beyond it for awhile. A divorce or death close to us brings life as we know it to a halt. Depression is, by definition, a time when we cannot function "normally," as we have been accustomed to seeing ourselves.
We can respond by reaching frantically for more control: accumulation of material goods, unchecked pleasures, social dependencies that are more diversions than real encounters with other people. When these fail, we may resort to fits of rage, whether external and violent or quiet and inward.
But we can also respond with faith and trust. Not that we will not have our emotions of anxiety, regret and sense of loss. We are entitled to these and we ignore them at our peril. But even these feelings are not the limit. New life opens up: a new house in a new neighborhood, new working companions, new opportunities and directions, a new sense of ourselves.
Part of the Christian tradition says that our arbitrary distinctions about who we are, and why we are who we are, are meaningless. All are one!. That is the truth picture. There is no male over/against female. Distinctions among us are sheer fantasy. The truth is that we are all one. This is who we really are, and we are always on a journey until it is realized.
What does happen when we let go? We become part of something greater. Physicists tell us that no participle of matter or energy is ever lost. Not the slightest, tiniest bit ever just vanishes into nothingness. It may be transformed and become part of some other reality, but it is not lost. Is it so important that we always remain intact? We cannot keep everything within the boundaries we are comfortable with. Like the child's drawing, life will burst out of the constraints we make for it. Can we let go and become part of a greater reality. Sure, we can!