“Everything is clean to those who are clean, but nothing is clean to those who are corrupt and without faith.” (Saint Paul’s letter to Titus, the pastor to the church in Crete, the first chapter and fifteenth verse)
This past week here in Texas, we were all taken by surprise that our utilities, something most of us don’t spend a lot of time pondering except if our bill is out of bounds of our expectations, are not completely and absolutely reliable. Through an unfortunate series of events (to put it mildly) which included unusually extreme weather events, a majority of Texans found ourselves without electricity, natural gas, and then water. And these failures then disrupted the distribution of gasoline and groceries. It was a perfect storm that kicked off a domino effect unlike anything we’d seen in memorable history.
As I regularly checked the updates from my local utility provider on social media I saw two kinds of reactions: those who continually offered their thanks to those who were doing all they could to repair and restore our local utility infrastructure, and those who were yelling about how incompetent everyone else was because they didn’t have what they needed. There were those who expressed concern for those who were working outside in incorrigible conditions while their own families were without the same utilities we were and there were those who wanted to place blame and find fault and demand they get what no one had access to.
We see this dichotomy of responses not just in crises, but in daily life as well. We witness it in something as common and simple as slowed traffic: there are those who try to race to the front, cut others off, demand and defend their place in line, and there are those who wait patiently, let others go in front, and understand that we are all in the same situation with someplace to get to.
Our responses to the events of life come from what we choose to see – our fellow human beings created in God’s image with struggles and joys just as we have or others whom we are in competition with and must defeat in one way or another. If we look for the good – and God – we will find it. If we look for what’s wrong, we will find it.
If we look for opportunities to reflect God’s love and compassion, we will find them. If we look for God’s image in others, we will see it. If we look for things to be grateful for, we will be grateful. If we look for signs of hope, we will be hopeful. If we look for ways to argue, we will create a fight. If we look for things to be angry about, we will be angry. The choice is ours.
How do you see the world around you? What is it you find?