Long Story Short: Do you have a secret?

People are on edge.

Whether the inspiration is stress caused by the economic crisis or the tumult of this year’s election, many of the folks around me are looking for something.

Some of us don’t know exactly what that “something” is but continue to turn to old and new sources for encouragement, guidance and/or advice.

In tumultuous times, that’s what people have been doing for generations.

We look for spiritual rejuvenation. On the other hand, some of use may choose not to go the all-out spiritual route and simply take time to reflect on the state of our lives. Economic, political or personal crises give new reasons to look for meaning to fill the voids of our hurry-scurry existences.

Maybe turmoil is God’s way of keeping us in check.

Crisis provokes us to flirt with introspection.

Warning: Getting too close could be costly.

We might actually have to change our approach to people or situations.

It’s sort of like the Anglican responsive prayer that gets me every time I read it.

“We confess our shortcomings. We ask forgiveness for our sins — things done and things left undone.”

Asking forgiveness for the things we’ve done and know we’ve done wrong is one thing. It’s a biggie. According to all sources, reflecting on those actions and seeking forgiveness is a definite step in the right direction.

However, seeking forgiveness for the things we haven’t done takes introspection to a whole different level. While I’m no forgiveness expert, more knowledgeable folk have explained that a part of the process of sincere repentance includes plans not to make the same mistake all over again.

Imagine the head-trip you could take in asking for forgiveness for the things you haven’t done – and not planning to make the same mistakes all over again.

Things done and things left undone.

On the other hand, think of the lives we could touch.

Not the least of which would be our own.

Here’s a challenge, try to think of the people you know who live their lives by that basic tenet. You know the type. Those people who seem so peaceful and unflustered by the workaday world. Yet, they’re not zombies – though you probably know a few of those, as well. I’m talking about the people who go about doing what they can do to make the world – not just their own lives or the lives of those they know and love – a better place.

What’s their secret?

Let’s find out. If you know someone who fits that category – and a couple of folks come to my mind immediately, e-mail me your ideas. Send me the names of these fine folks who live in peace and harmony and try to make the world a better place. I’ll do what I can to track them down and talk with them. Chances are these people aren’t the types who go around tooting their own horns. It’s time the rest of us do the tooting for them. Send me their names and an example of the way you see them living their lives not having to ask forgiveness for “things done and things left undone” nearly as often as the rest of us.
I’ll see if I can find their secrets, and then I’ll share them with you.

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