STEPPING OUT OF THE SHALLOW END
Changing our mindsets is work.
In the context of how we Create a Better World Today, I believe we are all created to fulfill a mission, a purpose that is different from others. Customized some might say. Have you spent any time thinking about where the gifts you uniquely possess are to achieve? As a Christian, your first experience, no doubt, was your Baptism. It was your first experience in the public square, a faith community joyfully accepting you as a new member. A celebrative moment. Many attended without knowing or participating in what Baptism was initially supposed to mean.
Baptism for the early Christians was an outward celebration of conversion, a ceremonial act to accept Jesus Christ and His teaching. While many believe that Baptism originated with John the Baptist, it is a myth. Jews practiced a form of Baptism in traditional acts of purification for converts to Judaism, a kind of washing away the old to welcome the new.
How curious was this symbolism transferred to contemporary times? We baptize infants by bathing them clean to be formally robed in purity. Why is cleansing a newborn needed? What sin could an infant commit?
The origins of Baptism signified an acceptance into a Christian-faith community to walk a spiritual journey as the infant grows and matures. This communal commitment was rich in calling the community to serve as life mentors. Today, the meaning of many rituals and sacraments have lost their original intent. A friend recently shared an example of this when she was upset by a Baptism she was organizing and learned that one of the Godparents couldn’t attend at the last moment and sent a proxy, an example of a total disconnect and this is not an isolated incident.
These times just bluntly don’t feel good. There is a quote from Matthew that seems applicable to these times. “It is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7: 13-14) Our world is no longer predictable as it was in the past.
Change is often a disrupter that forces a transformation. Change happens and will continue to happen as it is here to stay. Transformation, however, requires “a letting-go” within the chaos, upheaval, and disheartening consequences as the transition continues. We’ve all experienced like situations when we help a child learn how to ride a two-wheeled bike. They are ill at ease, frigthened that they’ll fall as you run along side to have them experience balance. Then, the magic happens as the child feels a surge of independence and joy.
It’s like that for all of us. It’s time to jump into the deep end of this chaotic American culture and examine it from the inside out, to think for ourselves and co-create a future legacy for our children and their children.
Either we see God in everything or we have lost the basis for seeing God in anything.”Richard Rohr