Some of the most frustrated people I know want to make sense of the world’s mysteries so that their lives fall into place in a way that makes sense.
It’s understandable. After all, the age old question is why do bad things happen to good people? isn’t it?
The most beautiful and most frustrating thing about mystery is that it doesn’t make sense. It simply IS.
But how do we find what we’re looking for in mystery if we cannot make sense of its ways?
Perhaps we look to what opposites can teach us.
Maybe we go outside of ourselves to figure out what’s happening inside.
Maybe we make our own voices quiet so our soul’s voice can be louder.
Maybe we kneel so that we are lifted up.
Maybe we become like children to really mature.
Maybe we love when we should hate.
Maybe what is small opens up the whole world to us.
Maybe we trust when all we want to do is worry.
I asked my husband recently if I should continue writing weekly letters to the president, something I’ve been doing since inauguration day. I told him that I’m tired, and that I don’t really know what to say anymore. I told him that I don’t know if it’s helping.
He told me that people often give up when they don’t see results. He reminded me that many movements fail because the people leading them decide that the efforts aren’t worth it anymore.
I sat quiet for a few seconds and said, “Well, then. I won’t stop writing.”
I choose the opposite. I choose to do what shouldn’t be done. I choose what doesn’t make sense because I know it produces some sort of fruit in me.
When we are so tired, maybe instead of working harder like the world tells us to do, we actually stop and rest.
Maybe instead of telling ourselves we can’t do it, we say that we know it’s possible.
Maybe I learn to listen to my ancestors, to be grateful when things are anything but great.
Maybe, like Jesus, we flip tables over when we’re not supposed to and we make messes when the church asks us to keep it neat.
Friends, there is a whole world of opposites, and if we live in fear, we miss them.
And if we live in fear, we might miss the irony that is the mystery of God, this strange thing called Spirit that we get to encounter.
I go outside and see a hawk in the sky, and I am grounded.
I shut up for a minute and my two young sons end up teaching me a lesson.
I pray for leaders I don’t agree with and God floods me with compassion and courage to do the right thing in the face of all that is wrong.
The Mystery simply is.
But always, there is an invitation. Always, there is a world waiting for us.
It’s just often not what we think.
It’s just often the irony that gets us going in the right direction.
Because somehow, the rain falls on the just and the unjust, doesn’t it?
Somehow, the wind blows around all of us and we are just here to do the work, the good work, called to make peace where there is war and beat weapons into tools of harvest.
That is the work of Mystery. The work of Spirit.