From floods, to plagues, to personal misfortune, people in biblical times attributed their suffering to the punishment of God for their misbehavior. These events were seen as God calling them to acknowledge their sin, repent and change their ways. Our increased understanding of the physical world does not allow us to blame a vengeful God for natural disasters. Yet, the plagues we face are real. We are threatened by two major issues; the pandemic and climate change. Both are warning us to change our behavior and act responsibly. They are a wakeup call to become less selfish and more community minded, less comfortable and more willing to sacrifice for the common good. They remind us that we do not exist alone but are part of a whole. They warn us that we continue as we are to our own peril. The message is old even though the challenge is new: ”Love your neighbor as yourself.”
May I act responsibly as a member of the sacred earth community
Reflect on the fact that this country which has prided itself on its scientific leadership has over 200,000 deaths from Covid-19 and a rising number of cases in various states. Think of the fires, storms and floods we experience as part of the world community. Is this the call to responsibly change our behavior? What can you do?
After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
But go and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
The present moment is a propitious time to be open to the Spirit, who can inspire us with a new imagination of what is possible.
Through each crisis in my life, with acceptance and hope, in a single defining moment, I finally gained the courage to do things differently.
Sharon E. Rainey
These so-called bleak times are necessary to go through in order to get to a much, much better place.
Climate change is sometimes misunderstood as being about changes in the weather. In reality, it is about changes in our very way of life.
I finally figured out that not every crisis can be managed. As much as we want to keep ourselves safe, we can’t protect ourselves from everything. If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
When faced with a radical crisis, when the old way of being in the world, of interacting with each other and with the realm of nature doesn’t work anymore, when survival is threatened by seemingly insurmountable problems, an individual life-form — or a species — will either die or become extinct or rise above the limitations of its condition through an evolutionary leap.
This is not about remote science; it is about where we live and work, and it gives us a cue on how we might be able to contribute to that massive change, because everyone is going to have to be involved.
Dr. Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC
Sometimes, I picture America as a person and think that, like a person, our entire nation has an inner self. If so, does our nation recognize that it has an inner self, does it nourish that inner self, listen to its breathing in order to know who America is and what it believes in and where it is going?
The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.
But there was a special kind of gift that came with embracing the chaos, even if I cursed most of the way. I’m convinced that, when everything is wiped blank, it’s life ‘s way of forcing you to become acquainted with and aware of who you are now, who you can become. What is the fulfillment of your soul?”
The real problem of humanity is the following: We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology. And it is terrifically dangerous, and it is now approaching a point of crisis overall.
Edward O. Wilson