A lot of inspiration can be gleaned from the grocery line. Most recently, the check out girl was whispering to the bag boy that karma was going to get him, because he was teasing her. Three seconds later she said God bless you to a woman who probably should have stayed home in bed. Which is it check out girl? Karma or God? Since she wasn’t Hindu, she really can’t have both.
Granted, she was only 16-years-old, but throwing around religious and spiritual language without understanding what’s behind it, is, well, what many Christians do, but that’s beside the point here. The point is that this girl is developing her belief system on what she reads on Facebook and what culture dictates.
More and more people are developing their own belief systems – good or bad – because most religious voices sound ridiculous, can’t practice what they preach and therefore can’t spread salt and light, as they say.
Karma is the cause and effect belief. Karma literally means deed or action. Do good deeds. Good things happen. Do bad deeds, watch out. It’s a system based on natural consequences. Hindus add a supreme being into the mix. But in short, our natural actions (anger, resentment, greed, pride, lust, envy…etc) suggest that under this system, we’re in deep doo-doo. Hey, the check out girl says so!
While it’s true origins are unknown, saying God bless you is primarily a Christian practice. It came into widespread use in the 5th-6th century under Pope Gregory. Arguments for the purpose of its use range from warding off the bubonic plague (as in the case of Pope Gregory) to good fortune. Either way, it was invoking God – Yahweh – the Hebrew God. Today most folks just call him God, and the practice of saying God bless you is simply polite.
So, I’m going to go out on a limb, as I often do, and suggest that God (Yahweh), can indeed bless the Karma. You see, we will never live up to our ideals. Only one person ever has – Jesus. But rather than judge us and punish us, he forgave us. Despite our nasty deeds and actions. God blessed us with forgiveness, and an invitation into a new way of life – the kingdom of God.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson