Lent – Day 15

If you had a choice between being well-known, respected, and highly followed (on Twitter or wherever your social universe resides, be it electronic or physical), or having made an impact in several people’s lives (of which you were directly aware), which would you choose?

It’s easy to pick the second choice, altruistically speaking, yet I wonder when we look at our daily lives, which choice our actions reveal to us. Is there much of a difference between the two? I think it boils down to the reasons behind our behavior. And that’s part of the discovery process, in terms of choosing a new behavior. After identifying the root of our existing behavior, (if we are successful in that, which is not a given), we consider how we might behave differently, what actions we might choose to perform instead, from the standpoint of that root cause – not to perpetuate it, but to change it.

And so I want to discover a new action that brings out the best in me, not to glorify myself, but to glorify God, quietly.

J

Lent – Day 14

In a discussion yesterday someone pointed out two extremes – altruism and psychological egoism – and we talked about them, about how easy it is to do something that looks good and bask in the glow of praise from others. And it is difficult, when the adulation comes, to deflect it, accepting the thought without letting it puff you up.

“You should be proud,” is often heard from others when you do something worthwhile; yet, how opposite this is to Jesus’s teaching, to Buddha’s teaching. (And probably to others, as well.) When you focus on God, and focus on shining God’s light, then the need for praise, for boosting yourself up, diminishes. If you’re capable, it might even vanish if your focus is complete.

As you discover what to do instead of what you were doing, don’t judge the action on how it would make you appear, but rather how it fits in with your personality. If you try to do something that is not you, like an extrovert trying to keep quiet, you’re bound to meet with disappointment. Here we are working to reveal who we are in a way that does not glorify ourselves, because when we reveal who we really are, what we are doing is glorifying God.

J

Lent – Day 13

Discovery, the third phase of the RADAR change process, is twofold in its purpose. It is about discovering what you might do differently from what you are doing now. And it is about discovering the deep-rooted cause of the unwanted behavior. In this way, we can see discovery through the first three phases, semantically speaking; but then, DDDAR would sound like someone with a stuttering issue.

One might consider that we are moving too slowly. Again, resist the urge to accelerate, but at the same time, if you discover something and want to use it, go ahead. What I find interesting is that if you take the time, you’ll find yourself making changes almost effortlessly as the momentum of the process takes over. You’ll find that instead of thinking about what you want to do, you’ll just start doing it.

This week is about discovery: What could I do differently, naturally, to replace my unwanted behavior? Take time to discover, because over time you might find that the first idea is not the one you end up using.

J

Lent – Day 12 – Sunday 2

Okay, I guess I missed Friday when some new windows were being installed. I went back and corrected the day number on yesterday’s post.

Last night I attended a Buddhist prayer meeting, I believe it was to honor someone’s passing, the father of a family, grandfather, and possibly great-grandfather. So we sat in back and prayed with them. The chants/prayers were in two different languages. I believe the first was Thai, although my wife said the monk had mentioned Bali. The second was Vietnamese. As I prayed and listened, it struck me how familiar the feeling was to one experienced when saying a rosary in a group. And how similar to an Indian dharma prayer meeting I had attended as well.

I thought of the commonality of humanity and wondered again why we spend so much time trying to differentiate ourselves and despise those unlike us, when at the core we are all the same: human beings.

This week wraps up the Awareness phase of the RADAR system, and we consider and reflect on how aware we have become to when our response is triggered. By now I would not be surprised if you can anticipate the opportunities for change before or as they are occurring. I’ve reached that awareness at times, and can sense a change in me even when I’m not purposefully doing anything different.

Do you feel a change in the level of peace in your life?

Lent – Day 11

Another Saturday, and now we are just about ready to close out a week of Awareness. It’s easy to make a change during this week, but without a plan of action, I think it would only be temporary. So I want to leave the Discovery phase for next week. Why? We still have today and tomorrow, and if you work the typical five weekdays, then the opportunities that arise on the weekend may be different. The situations will be different. We’ll take stock tomorrow of all the opportunities experienced this past week, filing them into different folders of situations and triggers, before we work on discovering our alternative action/response.

I don’t know why Christians or other religious have a problem with atheism. Other than never seeing any contributions from them, what’s the threat? And when you think about it, in the end we’ll all know who was right. And if they were, well, they won’t be able to tell you, “I told you so.”

And this Lenten reflections book is usable by anyone, believer or not? If you don’t believe, just skip the Scripture reading.

J