Does it ever happen to you that a message arrives from the outer galaxies just when you really need it?
I won\’t speculate about who sends these messages, but today mine came through Facebook by way of Bridgett (http://south-city-musings.blogspot.com/). It\’s a quote from Thomas Merton:
(Here is the quote if you can\’t read it in the illustration: \”You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.\”)
Is this not the ultimate prescription for sanity and happiness?
I think it\’s even a prescription for productivity, and here\’s why. We\’ve all been hammered by success gurus with the need to focus constantly on our desired outcomes, to ask of even the most mundane act, how does this relate to my goal? With the result that we are always thinking about that other thing, the thing that we want and do not yet have, instead of concentrating on the water on our face or the soup in our bowl.
And if one does too much of this, as I am prone to, first anxiety and then paralysis set in, followed by the loss of courage, faith and hope.
On the other hand, how relaxing, how energizing and inspiring and ultimately productive to embrace the possibilities of the present moment with courage, faith and hope. And to just do what needs to be done, right now.
For me, the hard part is faith and hope. I read Sartre at an impressionable age, and I can imagine his Gallic pout at those words. But the time has come to adopt a more pragmatic stance. Is existential anguish, the nausea caused by the absurdity of the human condition, going to make me a kinder, happier, more useful person? It hasn\’t so far…
But with a bit of faith and hope–both of which take courage–I could sink into the embrace of the present moment, get stuff done, and have some peace.
Thank you, Unknown Sender of Messages,Thomas Merton, and Bridgett…and you too, Facebook.