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Beside Restful Waters

"Life just keeps passing by. I guess I had better get involved."


I heard this recently from a dear friend. I almost fell off my chair given the simplicity and profound impact of the statement.

It reminded me of the hundreds of times I have said and heard the statement: "There is a reason for everything."

I hear these statements so many times that I become numb to the the depth of their importance to my life choices.

We hear such statements, but usually without the intention applied by my friend when she said: "I guess I had better get involved." Likewise, I guess if there is a reason for everything, I had better direct my intention focused on listening for that reason rather then just blurting out the statement.

I reflect on such profound one liners, but rarely take time to ponder and listen for direction. It's like I make an excuse for my errant mindset with such a statement. Oh, there's a reason for everything. Then I don't look for the reason.

I am noticing that as we sit together in spontaneous chat, formal groups, planned prayer, or any variety of social interactions, I have to make an intentional effort to engage in the opportunity. Often at home, Ann and I will be chatting with each other without connection. We are more absorbed with knitting, carving, news casts, etc than we are with the opportunity to connect. We are getting better at calling each other into the intention of our conversation. This takes practice and 'ardent effort'.

Ardent effort! This is a phrase used in "The Secrets of the Yoga Sutras". I hear this term, ardent effort, as a call to presence. Again, in reflection on my practice of prayer, conversation, asana, meditation or in a hug from a friend, I need to be present to the moment. (Oops, here's another one of those cliche's!) I need to know that I am engaged with you. I really, really need to direct my effort to our interaction. This is how I come to know you. This is how the substance of relationship is formed. In this way, honor and respect evolves, allowing us to more fully relate rather than co-exist. This is how I come to empathize with your joy and pain. This is how we contribute to the energy of life.

The energy of life: I like that. We are the energy of life. We are the beauty that results in shared joy, pain, anger, angst, all of which contribute to the richness and vibrancy of our sobriety and holiness.

This is what happens when we get involved in life.

This is what happens when I look for the reasons of life.

After the storm, we know stillness.

We know each other.

We know God.

We experience divinity.


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