Stephanie Salisbury: The one message most people never hearPublished 10:35pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I’ve done a great many things in life simply out of fear of what might happen if I did not.
My grandmother would get me to behave at her home by telling me that Santa just called and said that, if I didn’t stop misbehaving, I wasn’t getting any presents that year. (That worked even when it was April.)
As I grew older, an aversion to being grounded kept my grades up and my room clean, and a decisive phobia of brimstone kept me on the straight and narrow as a “good church girl.”
Though both fear and reward are great motivators, I’ve found through the years that the sense of wholeness I receive from doing the right thing in the most intolerable circumstances is even better.
This is the essence of the “Journey of Reinvention.” It’s a series of steps in the right direction to bring just a small slice of the Kingdom of God right here to Earth. How often we get bogged down with bitterness, tension, rage, hopelessness, selfishness, the need to be right, to win, to be the best, the most powerful. In essence, none of that will make our days on this planet any more pleasant at all.
What will? Forgiveness. Generosity. Patience. Humbling ourselves. Above all, love.
People spend a great deal of time telling others how to act, what to do or not do, but they miss the big picture. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, in a nutshell, “Love God and love others.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
It’s the stripped down, simplest version of our mission here, and it’s the one message most people never hear.
In the coming months, I’d like to offer some real-world views of how the journey will help focus our mindsets on loving God and others.
Stephanie J. Salisbury (formerly Stowe) was born and raised in Niles, graduated from Brandywine High in 1995 and the University of Michigan in 1999. This column is a branch of her inspirational blog, “A Journey of Reinvention,” at www.sjstowe.com, or you can follow her on Facebook.
Tags: Stephanie Salisbury