Sunday, July 9, 2017

Laws of Life I: We need God

"Apart from me, you can do nothing."

This startling  declaration by Christ describes our ultimate reality: we are completely dependent upon God. St. Paul states that the entire creation is held together by God, which includes our lives. When we recognize this reality in our hearts and submit to the God of love, we begin to live in harmony with God, with one another and with the creation.

When we turn our backs on this reality and live as if we are autonomous creatures who can do what we please, we are filled with dis-ease. As physicians we spend much of our time contending with disorders and diseases that come as a result this dis-ease.

People are filled with anxiety, despair and compulsions that overtake them.

They are gripped by a seemingly infinite number of addictions: to overeating leading to a host of diseases from obesity; to alcoholism that destroys their lives and bodies; to drug addiction that kills humans and decimates entire countries; to promiscuous sexual relationships leading to a variety of sexually transmitted infections, prostitution, human trafficking and innumerable social ills; to gambling and pornography that poisons the person's mind and destroys the family; to coveting everything under the sun that consumes the one coveting and wrecks the planet.

Indeed much of what we call "stress" in our lives is self-inflicted due to our forsaking of this first Law of Life.

Saint Augustine's opening reflection in his Confessions is that our hearts are restless until they find rest in God. The beginning to a life of wholeness, to harmonious relationships with others and our very selves is a surrendering to God in our hearts. Indeed the first step in living a life of peace is surrender. When we kneel to the God of our lives, our passions, desires, emotions and choices begin to straighten from their bent and broken state. When we surrender, we turn off the road of dis-ease onto the road of shalom - peace. Peace with God, peace in our hearts, peace with our neighbor, peace with the creation.

We need God. Each day, choose to surrender to God.

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