"I believe most folks
are doing about the best they can;
and I know there are some things
that I will never understand..."
It must be Carrie Newcomer season in my heart. I can't seem to get enough of her lyrics or her music. Her beautiful "I Believe," reminds me of something my husband often says:
"Everyone is doing the best they can
with the information and experience
they have to date."
It's become an axiom for me. I return to it whenever I feel exasperated by someone's choices, words, or actions - even my own. I am doing the best I know how, based on the information and experience I have to date - at each moment.
None of us is intentionally doing our worst. I truly believe that.
I don't think I could live in a world where I thought that people were intentionally setting out to hurt, trick, use, or abuse others. Where people could "go rogue," and had the self-determinism and power to extricate themselves from God's omnipotent control.
But, there are days when holding-my-toes-to-the-fire of really living this Truth is difficult and painful. There are times when injustices feel intentional, and unkindnesses seem deliberate. When greed appears to rule over charity, and lust for power over humility. But even then, I know what I believe. And I believe that God is supreme. Always supreme - not just when someone consents to His sovereignty.
For you see, this is not about another person's choices or actions - for me. It is about my relationship to God. Do I believe that He is all-powerful? Do I trust His promise that we are all His children? Do I honestly believe that we are made in His image and likeness? Governed by love? Our affections enriched by His Word?
Anything less is a violation of my love for Him, and my trust in His care. And isn't this the most vital act of love for God - to trust Him? As a parent, there is nothing more loving than to have our children can say, "I trust you mom."
Well, I trust You, dear Father-Mother God. I trust that You have all of Your children under Your divine care. That each of us is learning lessons that may not be clear to us when we look at one another's path from the outside. Who am I to judge another person's journey. The arrogant may be on their way to a remarkable lesson in humility. The greedy to learn something new about charity.
I have to trust our common Father to know the lessons we each need on our journey from sense to Soul. From seeing things through the distorted filter of personal sense, to experiencing life through a clear God-centered lens of love and trust.
In her Manual of The Mother Church, Mary Baker Eddy shares this "Daily Prayer" under the Article "Discipline" for members:
"Thy kingdom come let the reign
of divine Truth, Life, and Love,
be established in me
and rule out of me all sin,
and may Thy Word enrich the affections
of all mankind and govern them."
This prayer is with me all day, every day. It brings focus to my discipleship. It shows me whose sins I should be aware of, and addressing -- mine. And then it encourages me to leave the affections of others, to God's care and government.
What we love determines who we are. I can leave mankind's love for charity over greed, patience over frustration, integrity over corruption, kindness over absorbed self-interest - to God. To God's Word speaking directly to every man, woman, and child's consciousness.
This prayer, coupled with my husband's constant reminder that "we are all doing the best we know how with the information and experience we have - to date," - has brought me much-needed peace in these troubled times.
God is informing each of us, and He is giving us experiences that will soften and strengthen our hearts. And as brothers and sisters in Christ, we can inform our neighbors about value of consideration, honesty, thoughtfulness, integrity -- not by our words, but by our actions. And in shared loving company we add to to one another's library of experiences to draw upon. For, in the words of Ram Dass, aren't we all just "walking each other home?"
This is what I believe.
offered with Love,