June 21, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner
This is a great time of year to be out walking, and there are so many simple pleasures to enjoy in the process. Yesterday I saw a sight that made me smile: I came across several grass blades that were emerging through cracks in the concrete sidewalk near our house. The sidewalk was poured decades ago, and so I imagined the blades of grass celebrating their victory after all of these years of being smothered and oppressed by concrete. Concrete is strong, but over time it breaks down. Grass seems weak, but it is alive, and it has the ability to adapt and persevere.
This battle between the grass and the concrete reminds me of the battle we see being played out in a multitude of governments right now. Millions of people all over the world feel they have been lied to, and that their voices are not being heard. Political leaders often seek to silence those who are protest, but concrete always cracks. Passionate supporters of truth and freedom will find a way to communicate their ideas with the world. Look how Twitter and Facebook have helped Middle Eastern protesters get the word out, despite government-controlled media limits. It is the nature of truth that it cannot be silenced for long, no matter what obstacles stand in its way.
In our personal lives, we see a similar phenomenon. When the truth is being ignored, it will not go away. Think of your own life. Is there some truth that you are denying? Is there some small, persistent voice asking you to stop doing something that is not good for you? Is that same voice asking you to make amends and make a new beginning? We need to ask for the same level of integrity in our relationships and in our work lives that we ask for as individuals. Is there some truth we either need to tell or need to hear that can bring healing and growth to our lives, even if it’s difficult to face?
Here are some concrete (sorry about that!) examples:
*You worry that you are drinking more than you used to, but never do anything to address it.
*You are upset about the growing distance and tension between you and someone you love, but have not yet had the courage to talk about with them to begin to resolve it.
*You feel a lack of purpose or meaning in your life and long to find a community where you can develop your spiritual life, however you don’t take action to make that happen.
*You have hurt someone you love, maybe even a long time ago. You need to make amends and ask for their forgiveness, but somehow you haven’t found the right opportunity to do so.
Nine out of ten times when someone comes to see me for coaching or counseling, they begin by saying, “I knew I needed to do this years ago. I only wish I had.” We may try to resist, ignore, or deny the truth, but eventually it pushes through the cracks in our lives. The truth will emerge and be heard, no matter where in the world the struggle takes place. It’s only a matter of time. The truth will emerge and triumph in our lives as well. You and I cannot do much about the volatile political struggles, but perhaps we will be inspired to do all that we can to speak and hear the truth in our own lives.