I started to preface this post with a long discussion of the incredibly dynamic and fluid world situation, and our country's precarious perch on the precipices of danger and potential. But really, what matters is not whether I can provide the x,000th "9/11 and the Internet, Gee, weren't they Something?" post.
My little world, after all, does not take place in desert nations, in the boardroom of major corporations, or among a rising prison population. I'm just one more guy who lives with one more girl in the middle of a life whoses guideposts continually become less effective in showing me what will happen next.
My little world takes place among brick tract homes, down the street from an elementary school. On a special Saturday, I take a cane pole and some worms to a tiny couple of fishing ponds in a county park an hour away, and maybe take an hour's hike, during which I span photos I take with a dollar store throwaway camera.
I have a lot of the things that make life worth living--a bright, loving wife, a caring family, a disposition to contentment, an interesting career, and a love for simple fun.
The biggest concern I face in my life is how to get my work done and organize my life better. Yet, when I turn on the radio, I hear so many tales of wonder and of woe. We have evolved as a world of people to the point that we can do incredible things. We have also proven ourselves capable of things that even the most ruthless and territorial ants would find unimaginable.
Sometimes I want to commit the sin of saying "Enough. I am satisfied". But there's just too much to do. We're entering an unpredictable time. We're all going to have to find our way clear--what does one do?
I have for years believed that the answers are fundamentally spiritual. The changes must be within if we are to really achieve a time in our country in which people work really effective change.
But it's so easy to use the "spiritual" as one more amulet--another cheap thrill. I abstain from doing x, so I must be a good person. I feel my heart strangely warmed when I sing y hymn, so I must be saving the world. I submit my doubts to a corrosive which erases all doubts, so I must be liberated through my faith.
I don't think that the thrill of feeling saved is salvation.
I guess I've come to believe in a wary spirituality. A belief that one's behavior must be informed by one's spiritual practice, or the practice is without value. I'm cautious of quick fix conversions, just as I know too many people who lost 25 pounds on one of those odd flake-type dietary supplements in a cannister, only to gain 30 pounds back. I guess I want to experience the "real stuff", and I cannot believe that the real is apathetic or complacent.
Ultimately, world peace will come, if at all, when wary people nonetheless find a common connection. I will pray tomorrow for a time when ethnic violence is not the norm. I will pray for a time when execution of criminals is abolished. I will pray for a time when we do not sit, enthralled, watching video footage of a parent beating a child. I will pray for a time when people are able to talk out their problems, not because they have sympathy of spirit, but because they believe no other option is acceptable.
I do not know how this will happen. I only know how to pray, and that simply. But imagine all the people, living life in peace....