About a year ago I had the opportunity to spend a few days writing in collaboration with a colleague in England in a beautiful and peaceful part of that country. Towards the end of that time, as I was preparing to leave a very sacred and sheltered space and head back into ‘the real world’, a simple frame of reference came to my mind for the journey forward. A kind of set of anchor points from which I might navigate each unfolding day and face the largely unknown and uncontrollable future. This frame of reference has stayed with me and I share it for your consideration:
Living in the day: The future is too weighty, the past beyond my capacity to influence. But I can live in this day. I can get through this day. I can find points of blessing and gratitude in this day. I have what I need to do my duty and just get on with it, this day. I can bear with this day’s challenges, boredom, mistakes and frustrations. I’m not always sure how I’ll get through the next week, month or season but I can do this day. And life will never ask any more of me than just that.
Reaching out in love: To move towards the needs of another in simple and sustainable ways is the key to my own salvation. The act of noticing, caring listening, serving takes me unconsciously out of the dust clouds of my self concerns and brings me back into the present moment in a way that simultaneously blesses me and my neighbour.
Resting in faith: The rest of faith flows from my action and attitude of reaching our in love and also from my willingness to choose at the level of my will and prayer to let go and to believe that God cares about the things that deeply matter to me. I can feel fear, anxiety, doubt and despair and yet there is always a sense that is deeper than emotion and higher than reason. This sense is the love of God that is with me, that sustains me, that bends the arc of my story towards a good and just outcome.
Being enough: Who I am is enough for my family and friends. I am enough for my job. My job is enough for me. I am enough for myself and for God. God is enough for me. My family and my friends are enough for me. My life is enough. More than enough. It overflows with goodness. The invitation is for me to notice this goodness. To ask for the grace to see what has been hidden. To recognise the flow of love and grace. The wonderful secret of contentment that is at one with the posture of surrender to my life as it actually is. This is the life, the situation, the circumstance, the personality, the lack, the plenty, in which the love of God is present and active.