The most recent series taught on pressure points in life. When relationships collide many things happen that may be simple in their causes but complex in their solutions. Offenses from strangers and from loved ones, blocked goals and opposing agendas are all bedrock for conflict that can easily define and derail healthy relationships and frames of mind.
In my country, we just spent the day working hard to display our abundance of food and to hold closely those with which we have a bond or responsibility. The richness of who we are spread across tables and so too were the depths of our relationships. Sermons broadcast over the radio focused on thanksgiving and counting our blessings. Stories were posted on blogs and across social media focused on thanksgiving and counting our blessings. Many sermons and posts from the religious sector were about forgiveness; many posts and stories from the secular were about how to maintain healthy boundaries for the holidays within our unhealthy relationships.
Interestingly enough, that most recent series covered a wide range of conflicts that occur in relationships and revealed steps to take according to the particular conflict. The common denominator in the solutions for conflict and healing relationships was not a blanket of forgiveness, but constantly seeking Wisdom and Truth. Interestingly enough, the solution suggested for one particular type of conflict was to back down and the solution for another type was to stand up. The solution for another was to guard against and to repent of selfishness. Yet the solution for another was to distance yourself from a fool. Resolution and reconciliation may not always be possible; redemption is.
The most recent series for me came at a very timely manner. Life is busy and complicated on any given day; the holidays can tend to intensify the stress in an effort to pursue the ideal and, sometimes, unattainable. So there is conflict in life and each one has his or her own coping mechanisms and approach to dealing. Sometimes the dealing leads to healing and sometimes the dealing leads to bondage. Interestingly enough, ”
The most recent series reminded me that there is more to the story than the superficial and that Wisdom and Truth will guide you in the healthiest way to deal. Keeping up a holiday tradition may be the order of the day and then again, it may not be.
I left at sunset one of my sacred places of retreat yesterday. The surroundings were an expansive private property that had been amazingly transformed and maintained by wise stewards for more than a century. There is beauty at every curve in the road; there is a certain air of controlled wildness and deliberate abandonment. There was a light layer of snow on the ground. The sunset silhouetted a dozen deer across the open field. Cars were pulling over to the roadside as the occupants gazed in wonder and tried to snap the perfect photo.
Controlled wildness and deliberate abandonment showcased a panorama of purity and serenity and sacredness. There was much to gaze upon and there was much wonder to take in. It was a physical display of what a few of the radio broadcasts have been sharing this week. There is something altogether breathtaking and transforming in the power of praise and worship.
The national holiday of Thanksgiving for this year has passed and onto another holiday we run. The conflicts may increase and we can feel as if there is no end and no hope in sight. Being caught up in that pristine and innocent scene of controlled wildness and deliberate abandonment took me to an unearthly level of awareness. It is breathtaking and transforming to be reminded and to realize there is a Redeeming Power above and beyond the traditions we cling to; there is a Redeemer who will guide you in the way of Wisdom and Truth in all our conflicts.
As one of my favorite authors proclaims, there is hope and help for your turbulent times. “You will get through this.”