Wednesday, December 23, 2015

#AdventWord #REFLECT - Shine Up Our Mirrors to the World

Today's #AdventWord is #REFLECT
I think they probably mean 'reflect upon', as in 'consider', but it made me think of reflections and mirrors instead. We always have a choice in what we reflect back upon the world from going through a particular experience, from hearing opinions difference from our own, from judgement, etc. It's good to consider that other people learn from us, and not just the young and super impressionable, but all people. They see how we behave, how we judge, how we carry ourselves, or how we act when others may or may not be in our presence. 
Then, I thought of Christmas and this seasonal time which includes so much shopping, traffic, interactions under stress, and more. People are pushed to the point of being frenzied. Our patience and limits are tested. "Being Christian" popped into my head. I've seen so many examples (on and off Facebook) of people pushed to the edge who show a passionate release of anger, general complaining, or overt harshness.The "crowd mentality" works both ways though - showing waves of those who express something people don't agree with and then the waves of reaction and commentary. Always the yin & yang.

"Being Christian" carries with it a world of meaning and actions, and, in my opinion, is supposed to promote a high regard for the well-being of all people. Guess what? Many other world religions are also centered upon the same principles of peace and brotherly love. In my situation in the U.S., I'm very fortunate to be able to worship easily and be at peace when and where I choose to pray or to attend church. The reflections around me now are usually strong and good, but they have not always been mirroring love and equal high regard for all people. Even in the U.S., it isn't always as easy for others in certain locations or if you are any sort of minority. Why is this? Who are our models? 

Who should they be? 

If we were all indeed reflecting the teaching of Christ all the time, then we might be in a better position to reflect his ways.The simple act of being Christian is an act of courage in places where Christianity is not welcome. Sometimes it can be a heavy task to NOT reflect what is around us. All the reflections over the ages have brought our world to the point we are now and are still messy, more like shards of glass reflecting in every direction. Still, this can create a natural collective beauty when the reflections and things we choose to mirror will be natural, uncontrived, and will lead us to eventual peace. We are still evolving in this world. Are we yet unfinished? Consider the powers of influence and actions and use them for good: as an individual, as an ideology, as a nation, as one world. The undisturbed reflection of the stalwart mountain below is from my visit to Zion Canyon in 2012. Simple, pure, and upside down. I find it just as beautiful as my usual conception of what a mountain "should be". 
Reflection of a mountain in a puddle at Zion Canyon, October 2012.
‪#‎Episcopal‬ ‪#‎Anglican‬ ‪#‎SSJE‬ ‪#‎EDOLA‬ AdventWord was created by SSJE (The Society of St. John the Evangelist) and is the Anglican Communion's Global Advent Calendar. I'm using it as a daily meditation, prayer, photo post, and a way to connect in spirit to millions during this season of light and hope. You can join me in creating your own. Just take a picture and post it with the day's AdventWord tags! Click HERE for their website and for their daily AdventWords. 

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