Dr. Mike Obsatz, Professor Emeritus at Macalester College
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The world can be a challenging place to live. Jesus told us to be "IN the world, but not OF the world." To be not OF the world means that one does not live needing earthly approval, praise, or validation. It also means seeing the limitations of worldly values, beliefs, and activities. Success, position, wealth didn't matter to Jesus. He spent time with the lowly, the hungry, the outcasts.
We must learn to navigate a world filled with pain and suffering, as well as joy, love and compassion, and still maintain our spiritual connection and Divine Essense. Since we are children of God, children of the Universe, we have only one label or definition. We are not lured into worldly descriptions of who we are "supposed to be."
We are not our race, gender, age, position, social status, sexual orientation, etc. We are more than any of these. India Arie sings that "I am Light."
Navigational skills can help a great deal, as we try to maintain our Divine awareness, and yet cope with worldly issues.
Here are some of the situations which require our Divine Coping and Navigational Skills:
Pressure to conform to others' perceptions of who one "should" be and how one "should" act.
Interacting with difficult, arrogant, self-righteous, hostile and narcissistic people.
Going unnoticed for the good that one does. Not being appreciated, praised, or valued.
Dealing with other people's projections -- their own self-hatred, for example.
Empathizing with the world's suffering while not trying to fix people or situations.
Grieving worldly losses, but not staying stuck in grieving.
Wars, injustice, brutality, insults, shaming.
How do we navigate an often depressing world?
We navigate these challenges through continually reminding ourselves that we are Children of God, doing the best we can, a world that doesn't always act in loving and compassionate ways.
Choosing our battles. Knowing when to speak up, and when to keep quiet. Maintaining a low profile when it makes sense. Standing up for fairness, justice, and inclusion when we can.
Living in gratitude. Seeing the blessings in seemingly impossible situations.
We realize that we have one foot planted on Planet Earth, and another foot connected to Divine Light.
Good luck on your navigational journey, Child of Light and Love.