Easter Hope - East meets West

I was driving between patient visits on Wednesday when I saw a billboard with a saying that always makes me laugh, "My karma just ran over your dogma." It reminded me of an amazing conversation I had a number of years ago with my big sister.

My beautiful and brilliant sister is a practicing Buddhist. I only have the opportunity to see her a couple times a year, yet we have maintained a fantastic relationship grounded in mutual love and respect. At the time of our conversation, I had just begun my interest and expanding study of Eastern philosophy. I had a lot of questions for her concerning her beliefs, and I was encouraged by her openness and desire to share her thoughts. One of the main points of our discussion was regarding
karma. I wanted to wrap my head around how karma is different from what other faiths call sin. I came to the conclusion the negative aspect of karma and sin are basically the same. Both negative karma and sin are "missing the mark" regarding how we live out our lives. Both negative karma and sin are obstacles to a connection we hope to achieve.

The conversation then turned to whether or not one can live out a
perfect enough life, a life in which one dies without any leftover bad karma. Both of us, knowing in our hearts how we have missed that mark, could only answer, "I don't think so." There was a brief pause and then I added, "If we can't do it, where is the hope?" A longer pause followed.
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My personal belief is that Jesus nailed my karma to the cross. Something magical happens when we
surrender our ego to the point where we can admit, "We can't do it ourselves." But we cannot just hide behind this Truth without living the Way of love He intended. I feel this is the true meaning of surrender, and without it, karma does run over our dogma.

Respecting another's beliefs has never diminished my own. I have learned the hard way that God does not want me to strive to change a heart, He wants me to love in a way that softens it. He is always more creative and effective at that changing gig than I could ever dream to be.

May the hope of Easter shine a light on your path, ignite a spark of excitement in your eye, and place the glow of love in your heart.
God Bless you, Michele



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