After hanging out all night, some of my friends and I went to a gas station for coffee at 6:00, New Year's morning. I know, how random. That would be us.
Was it coincidental that the song playing at the gas station was Matchbox 20's "Let's See How Far We've Come"? I thought it highly appropriate. That song is one of my favorites; if you haven't heard it, check it out. It is a secular band's look at our world and the "progress" we've made as humanity, and a warning. "I sat down on the street/ took a look at myself/ said where you goin', man/ you know the world is headed for hell/ say your goodbyes if you got someone you can say goodbye to/ I believe the world is burnin' to the ground/ oh, well, I guess we're gonna find out/ let's see how far we've come/ let's see how far we've come/ I believe it all is comin' to an end/ oh, well, I guess we're gonna pretend/ let's see how far we've come/ let's see how far we've come".
This year, I don't want to pretend things are OK in my world. They are not. Closing my eyes only puts me in the category of the oppressor. To the oppressed, to the poor, to those who are pretending the world is fine the way it is, I want to be what St. Francis asked in his beautiful prayer.
"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.