Underneath it all, if we’re honest within, we all identify with something that is at our core. John, who is Irish, prompted this response (“I’m not Irish…, I’m only human.”), from Doug, another friend. It struck me that John truly was Irish. Though he was not Ireland born, everything about him bespoke of his Irish heritage. He looked and felt like someone who had just descended the cliffs to the moors with that damp exhaustion that craved a pint o’ Guinness. John found solace in the asceticism of spiritual retreat at monastic centers and enclaves near and far; he found his faith expressed in the ancient forms of meditation and retreats of silence from the frantic demands of daily life. He knew God in ways that few in our postModern/postChristian commercialistic society could bear; not that we all couldn’t use some silent escape more frequently.
Living out our faith, beliefs, core values, is difficult for Atheist, Muslim, Jew, or follower of Christ. We ALL are pressed by the world in which we live to conform so some monolithic, homogenous behavior ethos that seeks to disperse with individual principles for the sake of the whole. “Anyone can adhere to whatever beliefs they chose…, as long as those beliefs do not affect the functioning of society at large.” But this is an inoperable axiom. Are there truly any among us whose beliefs do not impact both our individual actions and bear an influence on our interface with those around us?!? Core values surge through everything we do; they shape belief, lifestyle, relationship principles, etc. [Incongruously, we often throw off our beliefs and values when it comes to sex and success. More on that later.]
Now I need to come-out. I am NOT Irish, though I have a keen penchant for Jameson. I am of Danish/Welsh heritage. My ancestors hold the dubious distinction of bashing in the heads of Saxons and milking cows—not, most likely, at the same time. They did sing a lot, though. But my ancestral heritage is not my core value, my life-definer; my life-reference-point goes further back. It goes all the way back to the founding of the universe, to the creation of this planet; it is grounded in the relationship I sustain with the God who created all that there is— Jesus Christ. His stability and permanence, and the principles by which He directs us to live, are at the basis of my core values, beliefs, and daily actions.
If you are an Atheist, Jew, Muslim, or whatever, you should not agree with this. I would challenge you to reexamine your life to see if you are, in fact, living by the principles you say form the basis for your life. Wouldn’t it be fun, sometime, to talk about our differences to see how we can work together to bring more peace into this world?
Have a nice week.