...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Does Everything 'Happen for a Reason'?

Time to engage, not suspend, thought 
Can there be a more deadening chorus of our culture than everything happens for a reason? Its prevalence is probably a good indicator of the complete dearth of thoughtful reflection, a malady caused, in part, by life-in-nanosecond.  

Perhaps post modernism has had its way, but instead of post- modern faith, which supposedly finds whatever works, regardless of origin, these words have become the mantra. The purpose of mantras is to suspend thought, not engage it. 

Like bumper sticker theology before it, theology by hash tag can come up with some goofy stuff. No, there isn't a reason for everything that happens. In Scripture, we again turn to The Preacher in the famous third chapter to find what's actually in the Bible: 
 There’s a season for everything
    and a time for every matter under the heavens:
  a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
 a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted
  a time for killing and a time for healing
 a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
  a time for crying and a time for laughing,
    a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
 a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
    a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
 a time for searching and a time for losing,
    a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
    a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
 a time for loving and a time for hating,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

We'll note that there is a time and season for absolutely everything. God designates the seasons, the times, and the nations. Acts 17:26  What about reasons for everything? Not for us to worry about, or at least to know about, right now. Or maybe ever.

Who cares who said it first?  When it comes to actually explaining goofy, catch phrases, like the old-school game kick- the- can, whomever last says 'there's a reason for everything' is IT."    

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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