The low hum of a mourning cry stays steady in my heart.
I look out the window and see piles of trees lining the ditches of our neighborhood, and I mourn for them. They spent tens and even hundreds of years growing, and then gone in an instant. As we were cleaning up yesterday a neighbor made the comment, “Regardless of what you put into life, you aren’t guaranteed anything back out.”
True. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Storms like this remind us of how little we actually control. Disaster and tragedy are also great reminders of what’s important and where we should be spending our time and energy.
If all your material possessions are gone or ruined and you are left standing there, what is left? Your mindset. Your wisdom. Your attitude. Your spirit. Your relationships. Your God. What deposits are you making into these on a daily basis so that when your world is turned upside down you are able to make it through and come out with more strength, courage, wisdom, and love on the other side?
Don’t miss this moment to wake up. This opportunity to change your perception. We have created a world and a way of life that does not allow us to successfully deal with how quickly our world can change, built through force, fighting, and the need to control and conquer things.
“But for most men, what is unpredictable can be difficult to handle. Therefore, when the world seems too big and out of control, rational knowledge serves us to make it look smaller, more ordered, and manageable. This is all good and useful; but, when afraid or arrogant, we overdo it. We know when we are overdoing it when we only listen to ourselves and to no one else.”
This excerpt from The Time of the Black Jaguar by Arkan Lushwala hit me to my core. We are reducing our lives to something small, manageable, and…mediocre. Playing it safe and losing out on the best parts of life. Unable to see the beauty in the mystery, and unable to recover when disaster strikes. When we rely on our own understanding and our own strength instead of on God’s, we miss out on the life He wants us to live.
My hope when something like this happens in our community, when disaster strikes unexpectedly, my hope is that we will wake up to new ways of living and being. As this book has shown me, there is another way…a better way. A big question posed in the book is what if instead of an economy built on conquering and control we had one built on wisdom, generosity, and compassion?
How do we do that? The book suggests that, “This will be possible when the consequences of all that we do are measured, taking a serious look at their possible effect on the health and well-being of all people, all forms of life, and generations to come. The first urgent necessity is that those who have economic and political power, no matter how large or small, regain their freedom to use the heart when making decisions that affect the lives of others. When we remember our true nature, we feel good and content for being what we are.”
Remember the two most important commandments: Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. It starts with you. Turn back to God. He has been relentlessly pursuing you for your entire life. He loves you no matter what you’ve done. Let Him help you see in yourself what He sees in you, and then get to know yourself again and re-open your heart. Use it in your decision making in all aspects of life. Then let go of your need to control your circumstances or other people.
“When possessing things or people we take away their capacity to be in sacred motion and, as a result, we weaken the power of our own motion. In time, this not only makes us lazy, it also makes life boring. In order to have a good relationship, it is better to let go of the other and be open to meet again and again. We know from experience that a good relationship needs freedom, open doors, and equal power between the two parts. To respect each other’s freedom is a strong way of becoming united; in this unity, there is the greatest opportunity for truly getting to know the other.”
This passage from the Lushwala’s book had me reflecting deeply on my own journey of surrender this year. I fought hard for control in all aspects of my life for many years. It left me frustrated, fearful, and exhausted. As I began to let go of trying to control relationships, outcomes, plans for the future, etc. I thought my life and sanity would go out the window…but the opposite was true. I have never felt more free and relaxed and confident. The best part? As I allow the mysteries of life to unfold just as God would have them, and not force them the way I want to, unexpected doors have opened up and opportunities have come in and love has been more abundant than ever in my life.
Don’t miss out friends. This is our opportunity to live and work differently here forward. Get to know God, open your heart, and let go.