Be Still and Wait –
This morning our Siberian Husky Trooper was ready to go outside. Getting to the door to open it he was dancing in circles! I opened the door to the house and the screened in porch and he darted out. Almost immediately I noticed a big rabbit in the field adjacent to our home. My eyes grew big wondering if Trooper was going to see it. The rabbit was still. I thought to myself; “Can you stay that still with danger lurking that close to you?” I watched intently as Trooper began sniffing the area and the bunny watched and didn’t move. After what seemed like a lifetime for me and the rabbit Trooper lumbered back to the porch and the rabbit was safe.
Many times in life we face trials and temptations, difficulties and decisions, choices and complications. Our instinct might be to take immediate action, react in the ways which seem best, hurry up and solve the problem. However, wisdom teaches us that when the way is clouded and we can’t see or crowded with chaos and hard to move the best we can do mentally, emotionally and spiritually is to be still and wait. To breathe, close our eyes and find our center. With a hectic mindset, we can focus on the immediate and “fix it” at the expense of the future. We can also become reckless running around trying everything at once and creating more hardships for ourselves and those we love.
A great master was asked one time by his student to help him solve a problem for which he could not find the solution. “I’ve gone over it a million times, looked at every angle, and can’t seem to see the way. The master told him; “When you step into a stream your feet muddy the waters. Only when you are still will the waters clear.”
Stillness, the quietude of the mind, is underrated. Pause, rest, be still, and the way will reveal itself.
Life Lost –
Today, I stopped by Wal-Mart for a couple of items and headed to the checkout area. I had my choice of a person checking me out or self-checkout. The self-checkout had a couple of registers open so I chose one of them. I wasn’t in a hurry, didn’t have an appointment to go to or a schedule to stay on top of, it was simply faster and mindlessly I chose it. Instead of human interaction, an opportunity to say a kind word to a cashier, a chance to stand in line and share a smile, I went with the quickest and the most isolated.
These are the choices we face in our culture. We are able to order online, having most items shipped for free or close to it to our homes, open our doors and live without interaction, relating, or sharing our lives with one another.
At a time when communication is easier than it has ever been in the history of humankind, we are lonely. In a world full of hurting and wounded people we look in another direction to avoid seeing them. On a journey we should be making together we prefer to travel alone. Instead of caring for one another we see the other as a burden to carry.
Most of us have plenty. In truth, most of us have more than we need. I was speaking with a co-worker this week and he was saying how amazed he was at how people in our organization and fellow organizations step up when there is a need in our community. I told him I agreed.
We work with a lot of folks who are having a rough time. In certain situations it’s their own poor decisions, in others, the community, the state, and the federal resources have failed them. They feel and at times are the forgotten ones. There are residences you go into and cannot believe what you see. The basics of food, clothes, electricity, heat, medicine do not seem accessible and many are at the end of their ropes.
It’s hard when you know the suffering of others to come home. There may be cracks in the walls, leaks in the ceiling, toilet paper runs out and food spoils, but your house is a palace in comparison to these you see and spend time helping. These are the ones who empty and need to be filled. Much of what you have becomes superfluous, extra, easily given away because you know you won’t miss it.
It’s hard to imagine but can you, for a moment, think of living in a world where it wasn’t; “This is mine and you can’t have any!” to a place of sharing and; “What’s mine is yours.” Only when we begin to give away what we possess do we discover we have everything we need.
Finding your way through this maze called life can be difficult at best. There are twists and turns, wrong ways and dead ends. Seasons when you travel incredible distances and times it takes everything in you not to go backwards. You’d love your path to be a straight line but most days it seems curves and bends are what your road is made up of.
Wisdom tells us that all paths are unique and yet lead to one destination. We cannot choose how the trail unfolds but we do decide to walk it or sit in defiant despair. Our life’s trek is made up of experiences, choices, realizations, epiphanies and a willingness to take the next step.
We’ve seen the amusing when a woman strolling through a mall fell into a fountain, but there’s a darker side to this problem.San Diego, California police are reporting today that a man walked off of the edge at Sunset Cliffs while staring at an electronic device.
While the device isn’t known, it can be guessed to be a cell phone, though a tablet is a possibility. According to what NBC News is reporting, “Witnesses stated seeing someone distracted by an electronic device and he just fell over the edge”, says San Diego Lifeguard Bill Bender. “(He) wasn’t watching where he was walking, he was looking down at the device in his hands”.” (Betanews.com)
What a terrible story and my heart goes out to the family at the loss of a dear loved one. As I read this article I thought about how often my, and others’, attention are glued to a screen. Accidents and tragedies are bound to happen.
I also reflected on the truth of how what’s in our hands, what we possess, or want to, captures our focus and everything else can be lost. We become so transfixed on having, obtaining, grasping, controlling that our path is obscured and indeed we pay the price with our lives and spirits.
What we possess, possesses us. May we each be mindful, choose wisely, live open handed, watchful and not lose all things dear as we walk this path called life.