Most wars, genocides, and tragedies in history have been waged by unquestioning followers of dominating leaders. Yet there is a strange comfort in staying within the confines of such a leader and his ideologies, even if it leads us to do evil. It frees us from the burden of thinking and from personal responsibility. We are creatures who love the familiar, the habitual, our own group. Most people will not leave the safety and security of their home base until they have to. Thus the Gospel call, again and again, is to leave home, family, and nets (Mark 1:16-20). Without that necessary separation, order itself, and my particular kind of order, will often feel like a kind of “salvation.” It has been the most common and bogus substitute for the real liberation offered by mature religion.—Richard Rohr, Falling Upward
As Richard Rohr points out in Falling Upward, none of us can know much about second-half-of-life spirituality as long as we are still trying to create the family, the parenting, the security, the order, and the pride that we were not given in the first half of life. The consequences are enormous as the above excerpt points out. Those in leadership positions who are still building their personal towers of success, have little ability to elder the young or develop a “deep-time” vision like the Iroquois Nation, which considered, “What would be good for the next seven generations?” Completing the first-half-of-life tasks is essential not only for our personal growth, but for those who come after us.
This Sunday we will continue our exploration of what Rohr means when he says we must learn the lessons of the first half of life in order to hear the “deeper voice of God” in the second half of life. UCOG congregants Yolanda Logan, Trish Phelps, and Penny Seay have taken a deep dive into these issues and will share their insights with us at our service this week. Our Sunday services grow richer and richer as we join in conversation together. Your voice is an important part of this conversation. I hope you will join us! Love, Linda