Saturday Scrutiny

It’s that time already. That moment when we look back at the week that was, here along our shared path, we call, “Becoming Today”. 

So where to begin? Let’s start at the end and work our way back to the onset. 

Yesterday in “Friday Freedom”, we shared some really random thoughts, quotes, verses and ideas. Things that have been on my mind, looking to be expressed, including,

  • The beginning is exciting. The end is rewarding. The middle can be messy…
  • Invest in your life. Release baggage. Concentrate on the essentials.. Remain at peace, hopeful, positive and believing in miracles. 
  • Experience is aiding our becoming. Allowing for us to develop and continue learning.
  • The idea of learning to become content in the moment is not new, though some might say it is born of a revolutionary spirit. As centuries ago it was given light in the writings and experiences of the Apostle Paul

In the Scriptures conceived while Paul was imprisoned for his beliefs, he shares in Philippians 4:11-13, how he overcame lack, hunger and so much more by the realization that he ‘can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’.

  • Everyday it seems we hear about increases in prices and how the value of this and that continues to reach record highs. But what about you? Is your value increasing? Are you taking steps to ensure that it is or are you allowing yourself to be devalued by others?
  • Believe it. Receive it. You are changing everyday. You are Becoming Today. 

Thursday our discourse involved understanding a “Compassionate Consideration”. Our shared definition of becoming compassionate involves a developing of skills, levels and achievement. It also makes compassion an active action. Something we must not only understand and accept, but must also decide to give and receive freely.

I ask you to choose to accept this understanding that I have developed:

“Becoming compassionate is accepting the conscious process of showing kindness and sharing empathy with others, so that we may then decide to assist all those we can.”

In sharing compassion we do show kindness and empathy towards others (and hopefully ourselves) though empathy is used to describe a whole range of emotions. The primary difference is empathy is when you can accept the emotions of another in a given situation, while compassion also includes the desire to take action to aid the individual. 

To live an empowered, compassionate  life you must open yourself fully to “Becoming”. Be purposeful in living for great expectations, realizations and continued growth. 

Empowerment means that you are stronger, bolder, more secure. Better able to deal with those distractions, circumstances and moments of stress. Deciding to empower yourself allows for you to make superior decisions, including having the conscious  determination to be “Becoming”. By that action you are committing to continue evolving to the next higher level.

Yes you will still encounter delays, obstacles and troubles. However, accepting the responsibility for your own compassionate empowerment, by focusing on who you are and where you want to be, allows for you to live a life that is truly authentic, more rewarding and of significance.

On Wednesday we are involved in our extended odyssey. Seeking to search for and rescue wisdom. “Living Like A Queen” was our study of Proverbs 16.

In the first section we undertook an examination of the wisdom that glorifies and pays tributes to God.

It begins with a cautionary reminder, “Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps”.

We can wish for or talk about our ideas all we want however if they are not in accord with the Lord, they will not come to pass. Failing to seek his guidance, insights and counsel on the paths we choose to undertake can not only delay things, but allow us to be steered off course many times with painful results. 

That’s why it is so important to remain humble and surrender ourselves daily to God’s will. That way we can rest assured that our motives are true. As we heard in verse, “2 We are all in love with our own opinions, convinced they’re correct. But the Lord is in the midst of us, testing and probing our every motive”.

When we pass those tests we are rewarded with wisdom, enlightenment, satisfaction and personal growth. So as the chapter continues in verse “3 Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed”.

And the first section of this passage ends with an important prompt, “Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there”.

On Tuesday I called for action. In wanting to restore a phrase to the course of conversation. Seeking also to bring back some civility and improve listening skills. That expression we need to hear again is, “Agree to Disagree”. 

Three simple words that I can not recall the last time I heard anyone utter in this particular order. 

A simple yet insightful phrase. Fifteen letters separated by two spaces that are so needed right now.

our inability to consider agreeing to disagree is bringing too many to the opposite consideration. We have become far too divisive, allowed many to be far too manipulated and the extremes are being heard as a majority.

They are not. And should not be considered as such. The recent rulings from the nation’s highest court indeed point to the evidence of this.

The years of stacking the court and allowing those bought and paid for to pretend to be “our duly elected” public servants have led us to this point. We need those who have the integrity and character to not only lead but also are capable of remembering that their allegiance is to be to ‘we the people’, residing, working and trying to live in the districts they are to represent.

This fundamental agreement comes before any loyalty to an organization or campaign check.

We are in need of a serious course correction. 

One of calm and moderation. One in which people listen to one another and consider things carefully, respectfully and allow the good of the whole to be considered. Not more screaming, bullying and attacking.

So how can we get to this place of being able to ‘Agree to Disagree’?

First we need to have a common understanding of what the phrase means.

“After serious consideration, discussion and  evidence considered, we at this time are unable to reach an accord that suits our mutual needs to progress with compassion, dignity and respect. Seeking to ensure an atmosphere of allowing for the acceptance of all party’s certain inalienable rights, including, but not limited to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at this time we are choosing to calmly set the issue aside for a future conversation.”

There is nothing wrong with taking a pause, for any cause. To allow cooler heads, more diverse input or new evidence to come to light.

Then reconvening with an attitude based in peace and seeking common understanding consent to taking another opportunity to come together to quite possible- agree to agree.

Monday on Independence Day, we declared “Let Freedom Reign”. 

After looking at the historical significance of the day, we examined the intentions behind some of the foundational writings that birthed this nation. 

After all, the defining document that followed the Declaration of Independence, was made on behalf of not just five men, or 56 who signed it, rather it was for the benefit of all Americans then and now.

Those five pages of parchment are at the top inscribed with the words , “We the People”.

Not the people who wrote it. Not those perceived as powerful. And while the definitions of “we” and “people” were by no means totally inclusive of all, due to the limited beliefs of the time, though non-unanimous feelings, they were commonly held in law and regulation and helped  to shape the basis of what we later be becoming known as American History. 

Though while referring back again to that ‘second paragraph’ of the Declaration, note the Truth asserted based on the individual’s beliefs that came from the Creator were that all are to be equal and that certain rights granted by God, not government are unable to be taken away from or even given away by the possessor. 

It was on this foundation that we grew to accept the Constitution not to rule over us, but to assist us and help to guide us in defining our community, allowing it to communicate in unity for as the Preamble states, specific purposes and needs:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Drafted to set guidelines for all to exist within based upon principles we are taught from a much Higher Source. To live a life based in Justice,  at Peace, ensuring the needs of our neighbors are met and protected, because in doing so we know will bring blessings to us and generations to come.

While there are a multitude of Scriptures that speak to these issues, I’ll share just a few, after all this is a holiday… ( she says -audibly giggling)…

Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,” while Proverbs 28:5 notes, “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely”.

To remain at Peace, flip or scroll to 1 Peter 3:8,  “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble”.

Concerning ourselves with the welfare of the community dates way back as we read in Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord”. As well as in the Gospel of Mark 12:31, when we are told without exception, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”.

Plus in knowing we are honoring the requests of the Creator, he guarantees you and I these blessings as it is written in Acts 20:35, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

Constitutional beliefs brought forward from the Declaration’s call that we are all endowed to “certain inalienable rights”, which while named as “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” are not limited to just those three.

Next week we’ll begin to look at some life altering events that have changed the course of my individual past within the past 12 months. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend and come Monday, join us again for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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