Remembering my friend, Neil
September 7, 2021
Treat with compassion and speak truth – Archbishop at webinar on gender
September 7, 2021

Keeping ‘woke’ on the way

Each day, as we go about our daily business, we have choices to make. We want to be smart and sure when processing often difficult decisions amidst the cacophony of voices or the sedative effect of attractive advice on reaching our goals. What’s the best path or whom can I depend on?

Discerning reputations and following leadership options requires taking risks. If one is daring, entrepreneurial and courageous, making a counter-cultural choice still sees us checking with peers or clients on how we’re perceived.

We want to know ‘what town saying’, how our brand is being received. Do our partners on the journey really ‘feel’ us? Do they really have the whole story about us?

These are all considerations which keep us ‘woke’. In particular, each of us needs to continually check on the alignment of our compass. Who are we really following?

Even with touted peer back-up and guru advice, if our expectations are not met, how sturdy is our faith and trust in the Source of all help and the shield in every circumstance?

Whilst we may be running with the thoroughbreds and rubbing shoulders with the ‘Who’s Who’ in society, those relationships are very often shallow and convenient.

The Markan account of this Sunday’s gospel (Mk 8: 27–35) which drives this commentary, along with supporting scriptural treatises, urges us to grow deeper in our relationship with God.

The call is for consistent trust and faith, even as we process the realisation that followership often involves unpleasantness, pain, grief.

Still, we may not yet understand the full story. So, it’s best to take time to let God’s way take precedence in helping us to understand our real place in the community and to what and how exactly we’re being called to serve.

Sometimes, media accounts lead us to take sides with the victim, the sufferer, or the cross bearer. Witness the conflict for individuals in the ongoing pandemic response.

Science and economic interests, political expediency, and preferential individual concessions, as well as religious perspectives and not least, the impact of health policy—for any good those influences have on the quality of daily life and expectations of a negotiable future. In many instances, the integrity of the human person and individual choices are being bastardised.

Despite the rhetoric of ‘doing it for the common good’ and the philosophies of governance right and might, it would be quite useful to mediate the utilitarian bias and take a compassionate account of how all these goings on are affecting the sanity and well-being of our citizens.

Over the past few weeks, images and narratives on all media platforms have been showing us ‘morbidities’ of depression, suicides, domestic and corporate abuse.

One can validly question, then, how sustainable is the perpetuation of ideologies and idolatries which threaten life. In taking calculated risks, how can we use our experiences and faith to strengthen and inform our choices, amidst the doubts, the grief of loss, the uncertainty of the destination or the actual definition of what’s involved in self-denial and cross-bearing.

Jesus invited all, crowd and disciples, to join and share the burdens and the blessings. Companions of sound like-mindedness, with honest feedback, keep us ‘woke’ to the challenges of the unfolding ‘new normal’.

Bring your time, resources, gifts, and energy to the journey. We have sustenance in the One who has the real power to purify our society, to re-establish order, to lead us into the new normal of peace. The best is yet to come. Stay woke!

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash