This week has been ... different.
What we assumed would remain the same Monday night abruptly and permanently changed in 2 very short hours Tuesday morning.
Abrupt and permanent changes that leave gaping holes in our lives.
Abrupt and permanent changes that leave us asking on behalf of those so very innocent, Why?
Abrupt and permanent changes that leave us wondering, What can we do? Besides grieve, strike out, and retaliate?
Change is often painful. Yet change is part of life. Such abrupt change shakes us out of the slumber of our daily semi-conscious lives. And such change does offer us the opportunity to change our world and ourselves for the better.
I mentioned change is part of life. In fact, life is the process of change.
Everything is in the process of becoming something else. A tree releases a seed that grows into a seedling and then into a tree that eventually offers new seeds. The seed does not remain the same. It changes and grows and becomes something else.
We can ask ourselves, Who are we becoming?
And if life is the process of change, that change can be gradual or abrupt.
Change can be gradual: The seed sends out roots and a stem and leaves sprout from the stem. This change unfolds gently over time.
Change can be abrupt: The field in which the tree and the seed live catches fire and burns, changing the field forever.
We cannot always control which it will be, gradual or abrupt. Clearly, abrupt change is painful. It forces us to re-examine who we are.
Whatever the type of change, we are left with new possibilities.
We can ask ourselves, Are we changing gradually with purpose? Or must we have abrupt change wake us up?
If we are to change gradually with purpose, we need to be open to change.
Like our treeís branches which sway back and forth in the strong wind, we need to be willing to adapt to our new circumstances. Not passively. But with the flexibility and willingness to change ourselves without losing the essence, the spirit, of who we are.
We can ask ourselves: Can we learn to change? The answer depends on who we are.
Thereís something in this for all of us.
People paid for this with their lives. Beneath the horror and the rubble 5 stories deep lies buried a precious gift for all of us.
Letís not squander this moment. If people have souls that donít vanish like ephemeral wisps of smoke, then letís not allow this event to recede into distant memory without improving our world and ourselves.†
Letís consecrate what has been desecrated.
Letís see every moment as indeed a gift.
Letís use that rubble and the memories of the departed souls as rich and blessed ground in which to plant new seeds for a better future.
Because all we have in life is change.
Itís time to wake up.