A Thought for the Day - September 21, 2023
Time possesses a remarkable ability to humble even the proudest of souls. We, who often yearn for control and self-sufficiency, inevitably find time's gentle yet unyielding hand shaping our lives. Bodies weaken, minds mature and eventually weaken, and the relentless march of time leaves none untouched.
In our quest for perpetual youth, we may lament the passage of time, with its inexorable transformation of youth's vitality into the wisdom of age. But, let us not forget that youth serves its own purpose, just as every season has its unique beauty. The vitality of youth, once spent, bestows upon us the wisdom that only time can grant. Youth is never wasted on the young, it is only for the young.
Autumn is here, that annual reminder that all things change, nothing is static in this kinetic universe of which we are a part. The leaves on the tree in my front yard, a tree that when I’m in a prayerful mood I find myself occasionally talking to, is beginning to change colors. The leaves will fall, I will see it change daily reminding me everything changes… I change.
Control is an illusion; self-sufficiency, a mirage. Our bodies, once dust of the earth, will return to their source. Existence itself, regardless of one's beliefs, remains a profound miracle—a story of cosmic stardust mingling to form life. Whether you ponder the scientific dance of atoms born from ancient stars or adhere to some literal biblical interpretation, the fact remains: we did not create ourselves; we are but threads in the intricate tapestry of creation.
In the midst of this cosmic dance, Jesus proclaimed, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God." Blessed are those who recognize their own humble origins, acknowledging that they are dust, reliant on the Divine, the universe, fellow beings, sustenance, and the very elements that comprise our existence.
Blessed, not happy as some are tempted to translate it. The Greek can be translated that way, but it is blessed; because blessed is a gift from beyond, and happiness is a feeling within. Blessed because, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” Perhaps one can be happy about it, but the happiness is the byproduct of the blessing.
To embrace our reliance on the Divine, to relinquish our illusion of self-sufficiency, and to accept the inevitability of change is to grasp a fragment of heaven here on earth. It is to acknowledge our blessedness, not in the context of eternal happiness, but as an enduring state of grace, irrespective of life's joys or sorrows.
In embracing our poverty of self, we discover the richness of our shared existence. We realize our interconnectedness, recognizing every face as that of a sibling. In the understanding that love created us for the purpose of loving and being loved, we find meaning.
Is life always happy? No. Is it always a blessing when we are honest about it? I think so. And, when I am humbly accepting that, I am happy. In my poverty of self, everything becomes rich.