What Will We Do in Our Tomorrows?

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Sunday I celebrated the Christian religious holiday of Easter. This is our most important religious day – the foundation of our faith. What I ponder today, one of the tomorrows after Easter,  is how does my belief in the death of Jesus for my sins and His resurrection to sit on the right side of God impact how I choose to live in my tomorrows?

What I ponder today should be relevant for all faiths. Passover will be celebrated in April by those who practice the Jewish faith and I would be interested in knowing what the celebration of God freeing the Jews from bondage in Egypt means for their life choices during  their tomorrows. I’m not familiar with the faith defining events of Islam – maybe some of my Muslim readers will tell my what they are. And whatever they are, do they make a difference in who you are and how you choose to live your life? Not everyone believes in a big-G but they still have little-g gods. No matter who this god is (maybe money, status, fame, power) or where this god exists (nature, humans), what does it mean for how you chart your future and what will be said of you when you leave this existence. Will you be remembered as a good person? Will you leave your community a better place?

I am pondering these questions. Sometimes my environment brings out the worst in me. As JB and I are dealing with several stressful circumstances, like condo politics and U.S. politics and church politics, we can sometimes feel ourselves wanting to get revenge. Sometimes we want to see bad things happen to people we perceive as bad. Sometimes we have a hard time figuring out who is the bad guy and who isn’t and sometimes we come across people who seem just plain evil. Sometimes they seem misguided because they don’t think like me and I know I’m right – right?

JB and I were driving from an Easter service that nurtured our spiritual growth to our usual breakfast at Blueberries and JB said he had made a decision. He said that he has decided that he is not going to let the bad behavior of the people around us impact on who he is as a person. He is going to strive to be the best person he can possibly be (and he is a really good person). I am with him all the way.

We had been struggling with how to be good people. When one or the other had slipped into fantasies of how to get even, of the bad things we would like to do to bad people, the other would act as a balance, a voice of kindness. Maybe speaking our fantasies was a way of purging the anger from our bodies, although I still kicked a fallen pine cone onto their side of the yard. That will show them!

We will continue to be kind and friendly to those who do wrong, but will not allow them to enter our lives enough to influence us to do wrong. We will live to be an example of what is good and right and just. We will surround ourselves with what is nurturing to our kinder, gentler side, like good people, wholesome entertainment and healthy food. We will seek out the beauty of the world and rejoice in it. Our faith has taught us that we should allow the love and grace of our God to shine through us. We believe that the death of Jesus gives us a new beginning so we can shine into all of our tomorrows. And we are confident that God will walk beside us to help us.

And what comes to mind is the commandment that we share with our Jewish friends – from Micah in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“He has shown you, oh [people], what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  (New International Version)

No matter what God we believe in or where we look to for the values that shape our choices, I think that these words would serve us well as we come around the table to solve our world’s problems and live in peace with our neighbors.

(This post is linked to the WordPress’s  The Daily Post with the prompt of Perspective. Check out Ben’s interesting post.)

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20 Comments »

    • You’re welcome, Lois. I am finding that if I am authentic, I am able to find a common ground with so many people. I find when I read the experiences of others it helps me make sense of this growing old thing.

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  1. Pat, You are an excellant writer.

    You mention you will only let ‘good people’ in your life. What is a ‘good people’?

    I was a Christian, but now I believe Jesus was a great man and someone who’s teachings guide my life. Does one need to believe Jesus is the Son of God to live the life you and JB live?

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    • Good question, Art. No – faith is never a litmus test for me. The people who we enjoy having around us are those who respect us and live authentic lives. They are people we can cry with and laugh with. It is very possible for people to live good lives based on values other than from Christian teachings. I know many Christians hang onto the Biblical writing that those who do not believe in Jesus as the Son of God will not go to heaven. I don’t go there because I can’t fully know God. I want to believe that the God I know understands our hearts and is better to able to judge than I am. Constantly I remain open to all people who are honest and caring. That is why I included people of other faiths and value systems and wonder about how their faith/values impact on who they are, how they live their lives in a way that is authentic. Yes, if a person has values that lead to not caring about other, only self, than they can be mean-spirited and be authentic – but not someone I want in my circle.
      Thanks for the compliment, Art. I work hard one my writing.

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      • Sorry, I didn’t proofread this. I meant to write consequently instead of constantly (I not that perfect to do anything constantly). The next sentence refers to my post that includes other faiths and value systems.

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  2. I was once a Christian, but I now am an atheist. Your gentle, inclusive approach is refreshing, and I can easily aspire to fulfill the words you shared – “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly” – Thank you!

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    • Thanks for sharing your walk – and I believe the most important for all of us to walk humbly with each other. I strongly believe that I have the right path but… Life is so complex and we have gotten it wrong so many times that I don’t think we dare be arrogant.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your timely and insightful words. Timely, because my partner and I have been discussing much of the same, given recent world events. Her God and my god seem to be able to work side by side. We share thoughts and values and find that we have most things in common. There is no attempt to force any beliefs on one another. We understand what is honest and true, and has value in our lives, in our families lives, and to the community. I think understanding is the first stepping stone to responsible living. For without understanding we just go about blindly, and are easily influenced by those who perpetrate harm. It is a little bit like picking raspberries, it has to be approached from all sides.
    I might recommend a book by Stephen Prothero, called GOD is not One. “The eight rival religions that run the world – and why their differences matter”. Easy to read, and packed with just enough information on each religion to be worth the read.
    We are still going to get angry, and it is ok to kick a pine cone, just don’t stub your toe! Pat, I am knew to your blogs, but there has never been any doubt in my mind as to your fairness, kindness and love of others and to each other. Thank you. Until your next visit, just remember, as my partner keeps reminding me, LIFE IS GOOD.

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    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Dan. It is a nice antidote for the Trump Town Hall I am half listening to. And I laughed out loud when you advised me to not stub my toe. I will check out your book recommendation.

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  4. What a thought provoking post. It really is true that you cannot control the behavior of others but you CAN control your behavior in response – however – sometimes it just feels good to kick the pinecone into their yard 🙂

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  5. I don’t share your faith, or any faith, but my own personal definition of god would be every good act committed by anyone, anywhere, at any point through time. And evil, or the devil would be when people knowingly choose to do something they know will hurt or harm other sentient creatures in any manner of ways such as physical violence, pollution, exploitation fracking and lies.

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    • Your faith in the goodness of people (towards each other, animals and the environment) fits very nicely with mine. Thanks for sharing Isobel. By the way – most political analysts, even in the Republican Party, don’t believe that Trump can win in the general election. His base isn’t growing and 70% of females (from all voters) don’t like him.

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      • The trouble is that. Crux seems almost reasonable in comparison with Trump. I think it has taken a long time to get our collective jaws off the floor at the stuff. Trump says before taking him seriously. I sent a link I had found very interesting to Steve of http://outward hounds.wordpress.com analysing his language.

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