Musings on life and death of Senator Edward Kennedy


 Senator Edward Kennedy passed on this week.  Now there are lots of posts, commentary, and articles praising and vilifying the man.  The man clearly showed care and compassion for others. He went out of his way to help those in need regardless of political affiliation.  Senator Edward Kennedy also is well known for his role at the Chappaquiddick death of Mary Jo Kopechne.  Now several accounts have pointed out that Senator Kennedy seemed a changed man later in life and heard of his friendship with Jerry Falwell.  Yet, neither his villainy, care for others, or apparent change of behavior will impact the place of his soul.  No, it is not about what he did, but about what he did with Jesus.  God only knows the truth. Now having pointed out that only God knows the true state of Senator Edward Kennedy’s heart there are things to examine further. 

In Senator Kennedy’s attempts at helping others, it is always about political power.  It is using the power he had obtained to impact others. It was about exercising the authority of the political position.  The fact is political answers and solutions have limits. Power and influence can help people and hurt people. It can be used for good and bad. Clearly Senator Kennedy has stood for both good and bad.  The fact is though we do look for political solutions.  We want equality, justice, freedom, pursuit of happiness; and so on in this life and assign the government to provide us the means and structure by which it will be accomplished.  Fact is any political answer is limited and temporary in nature.  The people in power change and what was once meant for good can be turned into evil all in the name of political perspectives.  So Senator Kennedy used his position of power well, but he did so by serving his agenda and being assured of his own importance within the political structure.  

So in thinking about this man and his so-called legacy, all that really exists is but temporary. It has no eternal value. It certainly had value in the lives he impacted for the good, just as his evil impacted the lives he touched as well.  Each of us in our own spheres of influence or power does impact people for the good and bad.  We engage in helping others, we engage in self-protection, we engage in assorted ways of self.  The fact is this life is but temporary. The good, the bad, the pain, the conflicts are but short. Yet, we focus on this life and the assorted ways to get our best life here and seek freedom from suffering for self and others.  God’s way is really not about freedom from suffering but rather freedom from the root cause of all suffering.  This freedom is only found in the work of Jesus the Messiah. It is only found in moving from the kingdom of self in its various sundry for forms and turning to the Kingdom of God which comes from self-surrender. It comes by taking any authority and power and influence I have and turn it over to Jesus. There are always two paths. One that seems right and a focus on temporary solutions to the assorted elements of the tyranny of suffering and the narrow way which involves turning to self and give power to stand and be content regardless of situation. It is the ability to have true love and joy in the midst of the travails of life.  So choose this day your path, not all paths lead to the same place. The broader path leads to destruction, the path of life is found only on the narrow path that touches lives not out of duty or obligation or a personal need of redemption but rather flows from the love that comes by surrender to the King of Kings.

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