Monday, 13 August 2012
None of us knows what today will bring, or even the next hour for that matter. Most of us don’t think about it, nor perhaps should we, at least not to the extent that it interferes with our lives. Getting on the plane or going to the corner store more likely than not runs according to plan -- then for some, things happen, accidents, freak storms and of course crime or a sudden medical emergency.
We live in a strange, wondrous and dangerous world; there is no doubt about it. It is no secret. We listen to the news, see pictures on the internet and then forget it for the most part -- yet we know that it could happen to any of us. This lack of control over unforeseen circumstances can be frustrating and terrifying if mediated on for long periods of time. As we age, whether we think about it or not, this reality becomes ever more real as we lose loved ones to unforeseen events and of course disease.
Aging is an experience that most of us will go through, at least in countries where the life span allows for most of us to do so. It is also very challenging. It is so very easy to get sick, to loose ones youth and learn that when we get older our bodies aren’t as sleek and easy to use as we experienced when younger and took for granted. It is a time to learn patience, letting go of the illusion of control, and to draw ever nearer to the infinite mystery that we are each moving towards.
I believe that the term ‘pilgrim” points to this reality. We never set still, we move on the wave of time and nothing can stop it -- well for each of us it will stop when the wave hits shore. How we ride that wave is perhaps one of the most important questions we can all ask ourselves.
I am beginning to have more than a few medical problems. When I was young I had very few and they were not a real problem. Now, well that is not so. This reality is something I have learned to make peace with, since there is nothing to stop it. Also I have no desire to be made immortal, once is enough; each time of life is a blessing with its own gifts, graces, sufferings and letting goes.
Some people think that faith is a running away from reality, I think that is nonsense, it allows us, helps us, propels us to embrace all of life, knowing that we are pilgrims for a reason, even if it is not always clear. Those who seek find, those who don’t want to probably won’t, but I believe that we are all pursued, because God is real, and if that is true, then to not believe may be the running from reality. The reality that our lives have meaning, eternal meaning, that those we met along the way are of infinite worth to God, and that we will reap what we sow. That is not a fearful thought, just something that I believe to be true. We are here for a short time, so lets make the time worthwhile not only for ourselves but for those we have the honor of meeting and knowing.Does the idea that you have no control over what happens in life scare you? How does a strong relationship with God offer comfort and peace when you realize that you can't control the future?