We’re coming up on an important celebration in the life of the Church Universal, the Feast of Christ the King, or The Triumph of the Reign of God, and already I’m getting swept up in the powerful statement of faith that this day holds for each of us. Life is so challenging sometimes, and tragedy and loss threaten to derail us and maybe question whether God is really in charge after all. But then comes this special Sunday, and we’re drawn once more into a quiet inner place where we simply KNOW that, of course, love will always triumph.
Our lives are created on a moment-to-moment basis. Every one of the thoughts we think, the words we speak, and the actions we take contributes to the complex quality and character of the Reign of God unfolding. It is simply not possible to be alive without making an impact on the world that surrounds us. Every action taken affects the whole as greatly as every action not taken. And when it comes to making the world a better place, what we choose not to do can be just as impactful as what we choose to do.
For example, when we neglect to feed the hungry, recycle, speak up for justice, vote for candidates that share our ideals, or help somebody in immediate need, we deny ourselves the opportunity to be an agent for God’s dream for humanity. And likewise, we withhold something potentially precious for someone else who might then be empowered to make her or his own contribution to the final victory of Heaven. To decide not to do something can, in fact, enable a particular course to continue unchallenged, picking up speed even as it goes along. (Think of the obvious example of Nazi Germany in the late 1930s.) By holding the false belief that our tiny actions make little difference, we will find ourselves deciding not to act more often than we might expect. Alternatively, if we see ourselves as important participants in an ever-evolving world, in an ever-expanding awareness of the impending Reign of God, we will feel more inspired to contribute our unique perspective and gifts to such a proposition.
It is wise to be somewhat selective about how and where we are using our energies and gifts in order to keep ourselves from becoming scattered. Not every cause or action is in the highest or best interest for every person. However, when a situation catches our attention, and speaks to our heart, that is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s important that we honor this impulse and determine how to take the action that feels right for us. And it’s not generally going to be something extravagant or dramatic. It may be offering a kind word to an unpopular student, helping a neighbor rake her leaves, or –God forbid– just taking responsibility for our own behavior. By doing what we can, when we can, we add positive energy to our world, change the trajectory of someone else’s life, and most importantly, advance the unstoppable, irresistible onslaught of the love of Our God. It might just be your smallest act of kindness that finally tips the scales and effects the final victory.