Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Focus on the lesson

Karma says, if you focus on the hurt you will continue to suffer,

If you focus on the lesson you will continue to grow




I have made mistakes


I have been hurt

Many times


to put it quite another way,

I have been hurt by others

and I have hurt myself


all of this is inevitable

all of this is ‘life’


and one of the things I have learned over the many years

is that the quality of my life depends less on what happens to me

than what happens in me


my joy or my misery

is an expression of how I respond to what I encounter

as I journey along life’s way


and how I respond often depends upon the questions I ask


I had a moment, some years ago,

when I hit a dead end

after many years of service to my organization, I was encouraged

to step down from a position of leadership


a younger and more energetic leader was waiting in the wings

and I remember thinking

“they want to replace this old Crown Victoria with a bright red sports car”


it hurt


but at that moment I had a choice

to focus on the hurt, or to focus on the lesson

the hurt was real

but so were the lessons


there were lessons about letting go, and lessons about self-care

there were lessons to be learned about slowing down,

and about embracing accomplishments


I did not leave my organization mad

I did not leave at all

I found a new role, and a new passion

I created a new program


And I learned, and flourished


I have not always done so well

But even when I have struggled, I have found

that eventually if I ask the right questions

if I am open to learning

and if I give the Sacred Presence that wanders around my soul

permission to work


eventually every situation becomes an opportunity for growth

and the beginning of something new

and I am able to echo the words of Paul

“all things work together for good”  (not easy, not painless, just good)


this pandemic is one of those moments when we can suffer or grow

our choice


will we focus on the hurt, the losses

and become those who spit in the faces of people wearing masks,

and strut angrily around with guns and flags?


or will we grab the opportunity to learn

about what is really important, and how to slow down,

and how to reconnect with those we love?


will we be resentful, and act accordingly,

or will we be grateful, and live our gratitude?


will we follow the one who makes us resentful

or will we follow the One who makes us joyful?


Back in the early days of English history a Saxon missionary

was asked by an Anglo King


“What should I expect if I accept your message and become Christ’s?”

The missionary answered

“If you become Christ’s, you will stumble on from wonder to wonder,

 and every wonder will be true”


today I am going to live in the realm of gratitude and wonder

I am grateful for the rain

I am grateful for those who encourage me

I am grateful for breath

I am grateful for morning walks with Finn (the dog)


and I am grateful for that presence within

that fire in the belly

that calming presence

that renews my mind and transforms me


so that I can live life from the inside out, and grow

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