25 Aug 2016

The powerful truth about earthquakes - in our souls - why we are armed and the only way to true disarmament.

Physical quakes are the plain-speak of the reality of life. It is a true and honest metaphor for the upheaval, breakage and wreckage we see in the fault lines within our souls and between us.
A quake just struck Italy.
In fact, quakes happen with astonishing regularity - list of quakes for 2016 up to mid August - and we would be hopelessly disheartened to know about each one. 

It's been slight over a year now when Nepal practically fell apart from a richter 7.3 quake. The images recently portrayed in a CNA docu Nepal Living Dangerously are even more tragic because it is a people who are abandoned. The aid had arrived; but there was no proper bureaucracy and machinery to distribute it. People continue to live dislocated, lost, on less than subsistence.
 We are familiar with the story by now. Our vulnerability to forces that surprise us and the impact of the decisions by those in power on the ruled and governed.

But before we point to the powers there be; I remind us we are all at least a government over one: our self.

fault line :  something resembling a fault :  splitrift 

The fault line is the point of weakness. 

Within our souls lie many points of weaknesses -


It's hard to recognise, much less admit that these do live within our castles of being; which we have painstakingly built, renovated and decorated. We haven't been schooled in the knowing of our hearts and the speaking of our souls. Instead, it's "look at my strengths! See my passion! Watch me fly!" - and we know our strengths easily become weakness, our passions fizzle and we are often, really flightless birds.

The person we must be at peace with is ourselves.

Looking endlessly to others to tell us we are O.K. won't work because we all seek the same, and very few of us can offer the consolation and assurance for we are aware of these very real fault lines within; and often more worried and exhausted by the tension and unrest we feel; and the possibility that a rift will occur.

And then there are the many points of weaknesses between us. Yes we laugh, we share, we work hard together. But let's face it, good friends part way, as do team-mates and soul-mates.

What we forget often is that the dynamic between us is the outcome of the dynamic within us first.

It is the man at peace who lets other have their peace.
It is the man at peace who embraces others.

So we are armed, and dangerous.

Armed to defend against the faults within us. We rationalise, explain away, blame, attribute to what is outside for what is really going on inside us.

We are also armed to fight when there are tectonic shifts. Suddenly, it is you versus me. Your territory, your burden, your portion, your right....

You versus me
We versus them

That's our way world!

Alas, that's the world we are so used to, we bring it to church too. So many sermons I have heard and preached a few are about defining us-against-them. It is needful to define and often that means a need to draw distinctions. But if we are not careful, we are basically training more sword bearers. O LORD for the day when You shall bring this to pass -

"...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." ~ Isaiah 2v4

In the meantime, with terror rising, once peaceful folks are starting to purchase arms to protect themselves.

this kind of guide?

Why such a move is wrongheaded-
"...for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" ~ Jesus in Matthew 26v52"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more" ~ Luke 12v4
Jesus tells us there is something far more fearful than being physically killed. Our bodily, physical existence is limited and will end. The thing to truly fear for is the state of our soul.

Violence is never the solution.
Not in personal salvation (working yourself to death trying to be righteous).
Not in parenting.
Not in politics.

These are concentric circles radiating outwards from the centre of the individual person; the soul. If anything out there is going to improve, be made right, move towards integrity and harmony; it has to begin within us.

Alas, each of us is a long way to peace within our bosoms.

Perhaps, peace is not an attainment (the Nobel Peace Prize?). It is a posture. A posture is how we present and respond because we have learnt to control and direct.

posture - a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude [Merriam Webster]

It takes time to correct, align, strengthen a posture; until it becomes natural, at ease. It requires the right exercises to create new muscle memory and even cause some disruptive pain for a bit before a new, better, way is established.

Until then, tremors, tension and even earthquakes may occur. We certainly want to avoid all of these; but in truth; they provide very pertinent information:

Energy released during earthquakes (seismic energy) provides much information about Earth’s interior 

How is your Interior life?
How are your feeling today?

related reads {right click to open in a new window to read (later)}: 
when your soul is in grief
a longer read: an account of soul care - a retreat experience
an encouragement for old-er souls
a soul care series with Jesus

May we all be able to say with increasing equanimity, It is well with my soul (song) - grab your ear phones!"

and for those who prefer a visual, here is art:
beautiful image of swords into ploughs by Sharile Monnier

Finally, pause to pray that such scenes will multiply:

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