March 28: Simply enter and give thanks
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“Open to me the gates of righteousness…”
“This is the Lord’s doing…”
“This is the day that the Lord has made…”
These three phrases within Psalm 118 suggest to me that the Lord is in control. God is the gatekeeper inviting us to simply enter through the gates and give thanks, to accept the Lord’s grace and receive righteousness.
Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, defines life as two halves in his book Falling Upward. In the “the first half of life,” we tend to be preoccupied with order, control, safety, pleasure and certitude. We manage and define ourselves out of fear. Rohr goes on to note that life is about much more than building boundaries, protecting identities, creating tribes and teaching impulse control. It is in what he calls “the second half of life” that we find “the inner experience of God.” The need to differentiate ourselves, our faith or our place in society as superior is past. We no longer feel the need to have such strong opinions about everything. We find more contentment in what we share in common than in how we influence and change others.
For all the benefit of Apple’s technology, cutting edge influence and impact of change on the world, I am reminded of the story of its co-founder Steve Job’s final words. His sister Mona Simpson, shared in her eulogy after his death last fall: “Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them. Steve’s final words were: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.” I can’t help but wonder if this man of great positive innovation, imagination and influence suddenly experienced something much greater.
As we live today, may we live in the acceptance of God’s invitation and God’s grace. May we find “the inner experience of God,” putting aside fear and our need to control. And as we look to the future, may we also anticipate great things to come as we enter God’s gates of righteousness. Both today, and that day “tomorrow,” are days that the Lord will have made.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!”