This sermon is part of the sermon series "Piecing Together the Puzzle of Life". See series.
How do you put together the pieces of the puzzle of life? When a terrible storm sweeps over your life and blows your careful constructions to smithereens, how do you handle it? When you suddenly have the chance to steal what isn't yours, or to drive an airplane into a building full of people who seem to have, unfairly or arrogantly, so much more than you have, how do you respond to that impulse? When you see other people in need and know that you don't have to give them what is yours, how do you deal with it? When things are busted or falling apart—in your family, your health, your workplace or city—what do you do? How do you make sense of the pieces of the puzzle of life?
Today, just as in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, Americans are working to answer those questions. On the surface, the response that people are giving seems to be all about feelings. "I just felt like I should take what was in that store. Everyone else was doing it." Or, "I just felt like I should load my car full of supplies and drive down South." One person says, "I just feel like some of those people who stayed behind deserved what happened to them," while another person remarks, "I just felt like if I'd been in their shoes, I'd want somebody to come and get me."
So much of life seems to be cast in terms of feelings, doesn't it? We feel angry or resentful, so we lash out. We feel sad or sorry for somebody, so we do something kind. We feel entitled, so we grab for what's on the shelf. We feel anxious or afraid, so we protect ourselves. We feel upset so we eat or buy. We feel guilty so we try to make it up. Our world today seems to turn on the intensity and velocity of people's feelings.
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