Finding God on Gannon’s Campus
Monday night was filled with many uncertainties, but Hurricane Sandy is moving out. The time spent watching footage of the storm gave me an opportunity to reflect about the comfort of my day and how routine this life becomes.
Complacency is definitely part of our lives. When I was driving to work early Tuesday morning I realized there were trees and debris on the roadway. I thought about how much more out of sorts someone in New York may have felt when he woke up to find the storm tearing up the trees and water rushing down the street.
As I reported the news on the radio that morning I can tell you that seeing the reports coming in were heartbreaking and the loss of life brought sadness to my heart. I thought about the millions of people who were without power and the population of people who had their lives changed in the span of a day.
It is hard to think that Jesus felt the same feelings that we do; after all Jesus commanded the storm to settle and it did. Why would he feel that way if he could command the environment to be still?
I think if we can remember the shortest sentence in scripture we will recall that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. The sadness that he felt was definitely real. The sadness that we feel is real and it is OK to cry. The unfortunate concept that the male population has about the image they must uphold is that it is not OK for men to cry.
Jesus cried, so why is it not acceptable for our modern man to cry? I attribute it to the primitive mind and it is that primitive mind that continues to bleed through the fabric of his being. Funny how we humans have the desire to grow and become a better race, yet we continue to hold on to those basic ideas – the same ideas that generate fear in us when placed in a position in which we are uncomfortable or perhaps when we meet someone who is different than we are.
We are fortunate in this country to have the right to vote. We are also privileged to have a mind in which we are able to reason through our differences. The many ads on television can be so confusing to the most seasoned voter. The novice or first time voter may be overwhelmed by the process of the big day, but the months prior to it are definitely difficult.
This week is a time when we are called to overcome our complacency and search for our new commander in chief. There are many reasons on both sides that may draw you closer to a particular candidate.
What does all this mean to you and me? It is quite simple actually. We are called to act. We want to act when we see the physical destruction that has been the result of a natural disaster by sending clothes and food, or perhaps preparing a mission group to travel to be there in person.
I propose that we use the same desire to repair the community that we live in. The repair can be right in your own dorm room, building or perhaps the family of a fractured fraternity or sorority. Your biological family may be in rubbles and in need of one person to pick up the hammer and nail and start the work.
I say this because I remember the story of St. Francis and how he thought that our Lord was calling him to actually fix the physical church when in fact God was talking about the spiritual church. The healing of a torn family or community will be much harder because we can’t see the flood waters drowning a person, though if we look closely it may be our roommate who is struggling with a personal issue and that will be the sign we need to go to action.
The campus of Gannon is a wonderful place to be present and allow the spirit to work in and through us. There is a wonderful call that is echoed over centuries to “put our house in order.” I am always curious when a student says that he or she wants to go to a foreign country to help the poor or repair a community. We have so much disaster in front of us daily.
The difference is we are complacent. Like the daily drive to work I see the same dead tree or torn and battered house and it wasn’t until the hurricane made it visible by throwing it in front of my car that I took notice of the problems.
This week look at your daily surroundings as a mission field, or a hurricane-ravaged town and then just do the same thing: act.
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