A Peace of Mike’s Mind…
Our Whole Souul Living Theme for December is Salvation. We don’t necessarily mean this in the heavenly sense. I personally think of it in a wholeness sense. I think everyone who lives in this world needs a little salvation from the forces that keep us compartmentalized, isolated, fractured. The whole planet needs salvation from our own worst, human impulses of short-sightedness and greed. Sometimes salvation is just hanging on to a little hope.
Thinking about this I remembered a small wonder. Years ago, my motorcycle had a tenant. Every morning for about two weeks I would find a beautifully formed spider's web in the space between the gas tank and the right handlebar. The spider was never to be seen, though I often looked for it before swiping away the web and tooling off to wherever I was headed that day. I don't mind spiders and tried leaving the web alone, but there is a need to steer, and the freeway wind always destroyed it anyway.
The motorcycle was clearly beyond the comprehension of the spider. My eight-legged tenant was persistent in repeatedly spinning its web in righteous oblivion to the bigger picture.
It doesn't appear humans are so different when taken as a species. Civilizations come and go. We build homes and cities on fault lines, on flood plains, in the path of hurricanes, etc. and when the earth moves or the wind blows or the soldiers arrive we tremble and hunker down much like my spider must have done every time I started the engine of the motorcycle. We pollute the planet, engage in senseless wars, pour our resources into creating implements of mass destruction, create economic and political systems that exploit the many for the sake of the few, and elect leaders who don’t serve our best interests.
I think that if my spider had a glimpse of the bigger picture, it would have moved to a more suitable location where the quality of its life would have improved dramatically. Whether or not we see the big picture, humans don’t have the option of just picking up and moving to a new location. We have to find a way to make this work. Salvation.
Religion, at its best, gives a language to ideals and relational notions that go beyond the short-sightedness responsible for so many of our present ills. Science grapples with what is, but not with what to do about it. Perhaps if enough of us insist, some of the decisions about deforestation, health care, bomb making, refugees, violence, and resource distribution might be made with a bigger picture in mind. Too much of the world has to hunker down and tremble.
There has got to be a better way.
Peace, and Merry Christmas,