We have to be clear about what we would go to hell for-- about what we would serve with our life because it is life itself for us. This isn't some grand principle, "My family," "My country," "Human rights," etc. This is what we do every day because we cannot imagine a day without doing it. Don't tell me you have nothing like that in your life! That your days are empty hours strung together with entertaining pastimes and all the alcohol it takes to get you through to another one! The time we have been given is the most sacred thing we have. What we do with our time is a testimony to what means the most to us. What do you do with your time? How much does it mean to you? Why are you wasting your life on meaningless activities? What is your heart asking of you that you will have nothing to do with? Your heart is your internal guide, the best guru you could hope to have! To cut yourself off from your heart and to go at life on your own, without direction, orientation, or recommendation, is to live without hope in the world. Hope is not what we have, but what we do-- because we must! Not because it is going to work, but because it is what we are here for! What do you do because that is what you are here for? Gerard Manley Hopkins said, "What I do is me, for that I came." That's it! What can you say that about? If you don't know, you have to stop everything and get back in good grace with your heart! Sit quietly and apologize. Rise and give yourself to the thing, or things, you have been rejecting as beneath you, stupid, unprofessional, expensive and never going to pay for itself, etc. If it is playing the alto sax, start playing the alto sax. That won't be the end of it. The alto sax is just the door. Open the door. See where it leads. Throughout the time left for living.
Our life together depends on our keeping faith with one another. Our broken democracy is an existential exhibit of our failure to do that. The promises of democracy have not been forthcoming. The divisions separating us have grown deeper and wider. Our words do not match our actions. No one can count on being able to depend on anyone. The basic systems of government providing education, health care, clean air and water, livable wages, affordable goods and services... are increasingly unable to meet needs and expectations. The presumption of good faith has been replaced by the presumption of bad faith, and where is help to be found? It gets worse. We are all we have. There is no Savior. No God of the Machine to whiz in and solve our woes. Our agony is ours to resolve. And we do not want to do the work We just want to be happy. We are about to meet the hard truth: The work is ours to do alone! It is the work of squaring ourselves up with what's what and doing what needs to be done about it. What's what is that we have no relationship with ourselves, and nothing to offer in relationship with others. The work is spiritual to the core-- to the core of ourselves. We are spiritually bereft, and begin the work of growing toward a spiritually sound foundation by sitting still, being quiet, and meeting That Which Waits to Greet Us within. This will be the Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being. This is The Other Carl Jung was speaking of when he said, "There is in each of us another, whom we do not know." It is time we make acquaintances. Our spirituality waits for our spirit/soul/self to enter communion with The Mystery from which we come, in which we live and move and have our being, and to which we return. Theology, doctrine, creeds and catechisms are of no help here. We meet who meets us and form a partnership, living what remains to be lived in accord with the Mystery living within us in service to all sentient beings, with good faith commitment to the best interests of all concerned.
Our life's purpose is to be better at being who we are everyday. That gets lost somewhere along the way, and we throw ourselves into being better off than we were yesterday everyday along the way. Personal gain, advancement, acquirement, acquisition... rank higher with us than any other thing. "Profit At Any Price" is the slogan that drives us forward. We will sell ourselves, our soul, for 30 pieces of silver, or its current equivalent, any time. What is a life full of silver with no idea of who we are and how we need to incarnate/ exhibit/express ourselves in the way we live? What does our life say about who we are? How accurate is that? What is there about you that isn't evident anywhere? Today is yours to work with in bringing that forth!
There are people we can't do anything about. Locking them up, sealing them off, is the best we can do. They exist to kill people, hate people, knock things over, blow things up. They have no life of their own. They live to destroy what others create. Theirs are the outlaw bands that have roamed the world throughout history. We will always have to deal with them. Don't be shocked and appalled. Just pick up your cross-- the cross of life in the world on terms we don't get to choose-- and step into the day, everyday. And do what we can to make it better than it was yesterday everyday. Think of our task here as the Sisyphean Task of rolling the stone up the hill, following it down the hill, and rolling it up the hill through the ages. Making the world better every day is rolling the rock through all the days of our life, allowing nothing to stop us, or even slow us down. It is our work. It is what we are here for. To build things up. To treat people well. To be kind and generous. Caring and compassionate. No matter what. Relentlessly. Forever.