There is a chill in the air, or for some, it has become downright cold. It is eighteen degrees outside right now: three o’clock in the afternoon and the temperature has not been able to break the twenty degree mark, and it is only mid-November. I am not going to get into whether it is the polar-vortex, or a result of global warming, or climate change. Science that tells us average temperatures are have been increasing, I accept that.
I also believe the science that can land an object on a comet, land a plane by remote control, and clock the speed of a fastball before it lands in the catcher’s mitt. Science reveals to us incredible things, and I am awed by the discoveries, as much as the mystery of it all. Science, and the math that drives it, can tell us where the planets have been, where they are going, and even come up with a pretty good estimation of how fast they are traveling while expanding outward.
I also believe that to deny science, to deny the basic principles of physics, is to discredit what I consider to be sacred; that is, that the universe operates in way that is consistent and yet ever-changing. The world, indeed the entire universe, has evolved over eons of time, as a result of properties of physics, and a capacity or desire of living things to survive and grow and reproduce to their fullest potential.
Water does not magically turn to wine, food does not magically appear out of thin air, and people do not walk on water; but people do develop sacred stories to enrich life and provide order through which humankind can better prosper. Religion does that for our species, it points us toward the sacred wherein we find the warmth of love. We make the world a better place to live through compassionate teachings. We create avenues down which people can venture to find more soothing, fulfilling and meaningful lives. Humankind possesses the ability to create peaceful solutions, and will one day live by peace; comforted and strengthened by our sacred myths which have given us direction. For some cultures, that is a God; for some it is the peace that exists in all things of this world; nevertheless, the road upon which the sacred is found does lead to co-existence in a more positive and peaceful way.
That path for me is enlightened by the one we have come to call Christ, so I am Christian. Jesus is, for me, the revealer of the sacred path; the “saving way” born, so the story goes, in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. Through his teaching we find a better way to be accepting, to build a better community, to survive together and create a better place for all people. Compassionate acceptance will bring a new warmth that may never be able to combat the winter chill outdoors or change the course of global warming but it will “save” us from a form of self-destruction. Our love for one another, taught by Jesus and others, moves us toward a spirit of caring … and if we care enough, we might just be able to change the world.
Note – A special thanks to Mary Hall who, each week, helps to make sure these article makes sense.