Greetings, Good Friends.
This will be relatively brief. I felt like an update would be good today. I don’t intend to back off on the blog — it has been a wonderful addition to my life this year — but I’ve had to move over and make room for Life this week. I’m sure you can relate: You’ve got this fine week planned out, one with few outside interruptions beyond the usual, so you make plans for several things you want to accomplish with “your” time…then Life interrupts.
I realize you all represent varied views on “the meaning of life, the universe and everything” (to borrow a line from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — the answer, of course, is “42”). I am learning something that is so true, so valuable, so dangerous to human nature: Life is easier lived without fear and complaint.
The one thing we have control over is our ability to choose — our will (if you will). We are employing it whenever something “happens to” us. When we fight against the apparent hijacks of our day, our schedule, our mood, our expectations, we are missing an opportunity to learn and be blessed. How will we see the good things that might be coming to us through a perceived “bad” experience, the important lesson to be learned, if we’re rebelling like children against Change, complaining, wailing loudly, pounding our fists against an imaginary chest?
I’ll loosely quote a line from a Martha Beck article I read a few days ago, “Some people believe pessimism is a virtue.” I know some very religious people who live as if this is so. Turns out, they believe in a god, just not one who can be trusted.
I’m not trying to shake your chosen paradigm, not its whole, anyway, just the part that says “what’s against me is greater than what’s for me,” the part that truly believes in Murphy’s Law.
I’m learning happiness and peace really are a choice. The reason I dare to say “I am learning” this is because I’m actually starting to put it into practice, to exercise the muscle. At the onset of this week’s shake-up, my knee-jerk was to panic, question and complain. Then the wiser part of me reminded the child in me of the questions I’ve learned to ask in all things I initially perceive to be bad: Where is the gift in this particular moment? Where is the lesson? — keeping my eyes and ears open for the answer, taking a deep breath, reminding myself that I’m alive and that everything else in my life is evidence of abundant blessing, that this moment, just by virtue of its presence, is to be cherished. Embraced. Not rejected, not rebelled against, not criticized, not regarded as an enemy.
When we rebel against change and upset we are expressing unwillingness to accept life on any terms but our own, that we are sure there is no way we can have joy but inside the parameters of our own prescription. When you think about it, that might actually be the most dangerous way to live life.
Every breath is a gift.
Phil 4:11 & 12; I Thess 5:18; Luke 12:27; Phil 4:6