Guess what? ‘The dog ate my homework’ is actually a thing. Who knew.
Ligio, a year-old mastiff just couldn’t resist and chewed an entire assignment to mush in his mouth. Mush was also the laptop motherboard he crashed a water glass onto. Did we learn a lesson here? Not really likely. But one might wonder if this was some sort of karma, like did my dog know something I didn’t?
Karma, it’s that nice general term that describes ‘cause and effect’ or even ‘reaping and sowing’. Newton must have loved this one, but there’s a catch. In Newton’s third law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. “Whenever one object exerts a force on another object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite on the first.” Well, alright then, makes sense with physics but when applied to human relationships, it has remarkably yucky effects. I hit you, you hit me. You feel offended by me, you cold shoulder me. A superb way to perpetuate grudges and keep relationships shallow or dead.
I had a disturbing 2021. Given the reaction of the world as of late, most of us have been hit hard by events that spilled out from the past two and a half years. People truly got weird, hedonism’s became a norm, and protecting one’s self and family takes top-dog to anyone else. In my case, it came down to an attack on my land and horses from a trusted source, and’s it taken me more than a year to stop hurting so much. To let the offence go. After all, trusting again is like picking up a scorpion; you know it has that tail and you are not about to be stung again.
You know, I think the band U2’s Bono and I would be good friends if we met. He has a viewpoint that I couldn’t say better:
“It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe… and yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so will you sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep shit. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace… “ (https://gracetruth.blog/2014/01/26/bono-on-the-difference-between-grace-and-karma/)
I really like that. And I agree with his idea that if only the world were a bit more like Him (Christ), it would be a better place. Though I must admit the dark side of my human nature wants revenge, nodding to John Lennon’s provocation that instant karma’s gonna get you. There are a few folks I’ve wished that on, but for all the bad karma I may wish on somebody, the same finger points back at me.
Karma aside, all the ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ nonsense is just keeping up pretences and defences and calling the grudge a dead thing. Just smile and wave and let your good intent guide you seems to be the idea, but it’s still all just childish pretending. Haven’t you heard? Dead won’t stay dead ‘till it’s dealt with and done.
Truth is, it takes Grace to forgive. I’m not alone in not having a ‘just let it go’ button to push, no matter how many people try to drill that catch-all phrase into me. Grace is a miracle, it comes from a Higher power and it comes by asking for it. As for grudges, I think they need to be exposed and let go. At the end of the day, a grudge won’t give you better health or a better sleep and it won’t make you happy.
The heart is disturbingly grudging about dislodging offences that, built over time like a fortress, strives like a searing poker to protect the mind, will and emotions of the soul by disabling pain and feeling, yet all the while hardening the heart into coal.
Yours is a good heart. May it be that the only wind that whispers over your soul is the breath of God.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.