Living in Balance with Grace
Written by Rev. Bentley deBardelaben
December 23, 2013

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As I reflect upon this year as it comes to a close, I cannot help but ponder what the days ahead may bring forth in the New Year.  As I celebrate “light entering a world of darkness” with the birth of the Christ, will that light be powerful enough to overtake the pockets of pitch black that surround us?

It is my belief that humanity, fashioned in the image of God, has the capacity and propensity to love, forgive, be kind, and hopeful. Unfortunately much of the information we daily receive, streamed through multiple platforms, is undesirable. This throws us off balance and pulls us away from any source of light. Because of the fears which plague us, we often forget that there is light. For some, brokenness and despair has become a constant companion. It is the devil that we know. The one we trust.

Yet for us to live well, we must commit to live in the balance between light and darkness. When able, we are to allow the light into those dark places in our hearts and minds in order to illuminate our souls and uplift our spirits as well as those who suffer around us. No matter one’s faith tradition, belief system, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, or creed, we each have an ability to make this world a better place for all. Additionally, I believe we are purposed by the Giver of all Life to do so.

One such person who committed his life to live in the balance was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Because of his determination to acquire this skill, Mandela was able to change his attitude and understanding about his own life, but also that of an entire country and world. One of my favorite quotes which embody Mandela’s wisdom and strength states "Difficulties break some [people] but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he [or she] will rise even in the end." Another such quote is "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies."

Before I end this article, I want to answer the question I asked in the opening paragraph. ‘Will that light be powerful enough to overtake the pockets of pitch black that surround us?’ The answer is a resounding, YES!

We each carry that light within us. However it requires constant vigilance, sprinkled with grace. I continue to remind myself that no matter what the future holds, with balance and grace, humanity can overcome all things. Too much of one and/or too little of the other is unhealthy for humanity’s soul.

I am aware that applying wise teachings from people such as Mandela as well as those from religious traditions will guide us as we enter a New Year. If our past is any indication of our future, humanity will find its way through any possible dark days. I believe light will always overcome darkness. This is my guide today and will be my truth tomorrow. May you find wisdom herein and apply it in the New Year.

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Bentley de Bardelaben
Executive for Administration and Communications Justice & Witness Ministries
Education for Faithful Action Ministries
Justice And Witness Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3713
debardeb@ucc.org

Ms. Annie Congress
Administrative Assistant, Justice & Witness Ministries
Education for Faithful Action Ministries
Justice And Witness Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3720
congresa@ucc.org