I am going to give you a choice and it is a fairly simple one. In a room before you there are two groups of people. The one group is very quiet and seems to be doing a lot of whispering. They seem to be a little agitated. The second group is markedly different. They are a louder and really seem to be enjoying themselves. At first glace it is a pretty simple choice, correct?
Yet, the reality is more often than not, I believe many people would end up gravitating to the group that looks a little agitated. We seem to be a little mistrusting of people that seem joyful and hopeful. For many of us, our natural inclination is to assume the worst in people or of situations. I know it may seem harsh but how else do you explain what we are witnessing in our country?
The political process is running full steam and poll after poll suggests that our country is not one filled with hope and change but instead on filled with fear and mistrust. We are a people that are apparently willing to keep a certain group of people out of our country based on race or religion. In essence, we have given corporations the designation of people but certain groups of actual living and breathing humans we are okay classifying as “less than”.
There is “good news” of a sort though. The good news is that this does not seem to be a new thing. I was reading the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Luke this morning and was reminded of the story of Zaccheus. We all know the story but here is a link in case you need a refresher:
I was taken aback at the end of the story by the crowd’s reaction to what they had just witnessed. Instead of being filled with joy and excitement they were that group on the one side of the room that looked agitating. They began to grumble at the good fortune of Zaccheus. They didn’t like what they were witnessing. There reaction was all about keeping people out and at a distance. They had a choice to react with joy at the sudden transformation that they had seen but instead reacted from fear and doubt.
How often have we done that? How many times have we chosen to grumble instead of participating in someone else’s joy? How often have we grumbled ABOUT instead of rejoiced WITH others?
Dear Lord, bring us a moment of clarity this morning. Help us see live with joy anf hope instead of doubt and fear. Amen.