Every year a Templeton Prize is presented for outstanding work in religion. This year the prize was presented to the Dalai Lama at a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on the afternoon of Monday, May 14. A news conference with the 2012 Prize Laureate preceded the event. For decades, Tenzin Gyatso, 76, the 14th Dalai Lama – a lineage believed by followers to be the reincarnation of an ancient Buddhist leader who epitomized compassion – has vigorously focused on the connections between the traditions of science and Buddhism as a way to better understand and advance what both disciplines might offer the world. The question of faith and the focus or science are related in positive ways but this is news that you probably will never hear from the mainstream media. How do you view yourself? How do you view your world? How do you view your faith in relation to people of other religions? “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves…” St Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians. News media tends to exacerbate the ways that we don’t get along, the conflicts between religious groups, the bad news that drives the headlines because they know people will stand and watch a train wreck – they will buy copy of bad news because it grabs their attention by merely shocking them. That will not change but you have control of how you view yourself and what you view.
Yesterday, when I was speaking, I asked people to get up Monday morning, look in the mirror, and say, “we are God’s masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10). How we view ourselves has a direct bearing on how we will view our world. If God sees us as a masterpiece, who are we to disagree? We can look for things that divide us as human beings or we can search for ways in which we see a future our Creator intends. What will you see in the mirror and in your world – what will you look for? The Good News is something that heals and makes us whole – live it – experience it – share it.