This is a question that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Life always seemed to be twisting and turning in directions I had not imagined. In High School a Jimmy Buffett song, Cowboy in the Jungle, became a theme song for me. The refrain is:
With no plans for the future
He still seems in control
From a bronco ride to a ten foot tide
He just had to learn to roll.
Roll with the punches
Play all of his hunches
Made the best of whatever came his way
What he lacked in ambition
He made up with intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may.
In this morning’s reading from The Rule of Benedict, Joan Chittister writes concerning Priests becoming part of the monastic community. The Priests needed to know that they were becoming part of a family and their ordination would not get them special privileges. Yet, Chittister’s commentary is also about getting on with our lives.
“Benedict knew what most of us learn sooner or later; it is hard to let go of the past, and yet, until we do, there is no hope whatsoever that we can ever gain form the future”
She also quotes the Tao Te Ching,
“The Master leads
by emptying people’s minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.”
I am living a life I never imagined. It is a challenge to let go of the past and the expectations that were a part of that past life. Yet, if I do not let go of those expectations, I will never see what is in front of me. I think it is an opportunity, one more time, to cling closely to the Divine and find the peace and joy and gifts waiting in the present moment.
I experience wonderful blessings everyday; perhaps it is not the way I thought it would be, but I find myself grateful and hopeful.
I pray for you this day, as you reflect on the path you are on, that you see the beauty of God in this moment. Maybe it is not what you expected, or wanted; but it is beauty all the same and we cannot experience the richness of it until we let go of the past.