Road to Healing – Lenten Journey 2014
There’s a palm reader down the street from us. She does a brisk business. People come by to get a peek
at the future. Growing up around Armenian coffee (yes, that’s the PC way to say it around here) made me aware of the practice of reading the grinds for a glimpse into life yet unlived. The unknown is intriguing and very profitable. Astrology is a multi-billion dollar industry.
A few days ago we looked at anxiety in our life and followed it up with lessons on risking. If anything this would seem like a formula for aggravated worry and a walk backward on the Road to Healing. But today, let us understand risking as a part of accelerated living. As such, risking is not about adding anxiety to life, rather it is an answer to anxiety. It sounds strange but I ask you to think about it for a moment. By living, you actually answer anxiety and fear head-on. You are now taking control of your own life. What happens in your life is not dependent on outside forces.
One of the appealing features of future-forecasting is that it reduces responsibility. If your destiny is already written out for you, you don’t have to take responsibility for your life. “The stars were aligned,” “It was in my palm,” “The cards came out like that,” are all convenient excuses, just like, “The devil made me do it.”
The reason we are seeking healing for our illness and problems, is because disease has taken away our responsibility for life. It may not be about cards, palms or stars, but it’s about the cancer, the addiction, the temper, the anger and the genes. It’s a way of tossing the blame elsewhere. I’m not to blame for my illness… my anger, my genes, my hormones, my personality is skewed and I am not responsible. But we are here for a healing, therefore we want to take responsibility for our life and it begins by taking responsibility for our place in life today.
Religion is one of the number one killers of responsibility. Unfortunately, religion – especially the Western varieties – has an element of future-forecasting built into it and followers of the religion forfeit their right to live tomorrow by grabbing a chunk of pre-destiny and concerning themselves with end-times.
For instance, in Christianity, there is the concept of a final judgment, linked to the “Second Coming” of Christ. There are those who calculate, speculate and wait in anticipation of this day, much like those who wait for someone else to take care of their ills and problems. All the while, life passes by.
I have been intrigued by the Armenian Orthodox understanding of the Second Coming because the emphasis is not on tomorrow but on today. It is found in the lectionary reading on the day of Advent. Jesus is put to a test to reveal the greatest commandment. His response is, “Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”
Imagine that! We just heard it from Christ! The commandment is for today. Tomorrow has enough worries for itself, focus on today. The best way to be prepared for the Second Coming is to live the message of the First Coming. That is: Love!
When you love you take control of your life. You regain responsibility. Life is meant to be lived and filled with love.
Today we take control of our life by taking responsibility for our disease by understanding that something very simple is demanded of us. Tomorrow and the future, may or may not be there, but today is real. The only requirement necessary to live the day is to love and to love without restrictions.
Let us pray the 13th hour prayer of St. Nersess
Heavenly King, grant me Your kingdom, which You have promised to Your beloved; strengthen my heart to hate sin, and to love You alone, and to do Your will. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
This is Fr. Vazken inviting you to join me again tomorrow as we continue on the Road to Healing.
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for https://epostle.net
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