Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DAY 03) The Third Day


Resurrection connotes good things. The friendships resurrected. The faith resurrected. The living legend resurrected. The marriage, the relationship, the memory, the past, the... Well, not everything we seek to resurrect goes well. Many a memory comes to haunt, unless, as Andy Andrews writes in The Traveller’s Gift, the buck stops here.

The Traveler’s Gift was read on the plane, cover to cover. Essentially its middle-aged protagonist, at the end of his foreseeable fortunes, drives himself into a tree and goes on a spiritual journey of seven enlightenments. He has visits with President Truman (the buck stops here); King Solomon (wisdom serves others); Joshua Chamberlain (action impacts others); Christopher Columbus (decisiveness despite others); Anne Frank (happiness is a constant choice); Abraham Lincoln (forgiveness of self first gives compassion for others); and Archangel Gabriel (persistence of faith without let-up). Paraphrasing it all helps my own understanding. Adhering to a formulaic seven-step ideology, impeccable precision of wording notwithstanding, will not work for me. Whichever mnemonic device one employs to practice the seven steps, the essence is that one is responsible for one’s thoughts; that wisdom is best understood (ha!); that decisive action is better than over-vacillation; that unyielding passion of intuition leads beyond boundaries; that attitude is a choice; that compassion arises from forgiveness; and that persistence is the only way of faith.

This third day finds me resurrecting my spirits. There is a pleasant sense of ‘being in the present’ despite the physical recovery from yesterday’s sojourn. Discomforts of travelling were to be expected. Wrong hotels with same names (almost). Two taxis. Angry people. Misguided people. Overpricing. Paper thin walls. Suspect cleanliness. Rattling window with constant heavy traffic. Pavement level window so no open curtain. And the list might go on. So too for our lives. Response to things is different from reaction.

So I type, awaiting my friend Anthony Brink. He will come take me from this “cold dark hotel room” and spirit me away to vistas as yet unseen. And this third day finds me concerned for my sister, who emailed this morning to say a rather huge complication has returned regarding her cancer. Archangel Gabriel, why does directness of prayer not necessarily get directly answered? Is it not like receiving something different in the mail than that which one has expressly ordered? But the buck of self-pity stops here; the focus on the welfare of others augments; the action of communicating continues; the passion for life’s insights persists; the choosing of a grateful attitude coalesces; forgiving myself and hereby others has immediate resonance; and persisting in faith that someone, somewhere, is perhaps still to benefit from my best of intentions buoys me. You too?  

Feeling resurrected? The third day has a ring to it. That which is arisen on a journey into the future settles down to the pace of the passage. The past is a place. The future is unknown. And having faith that life will take care of itself has a meaning in “a purpose driven life.” So too for all those caught in the dreadful Queensland floods. So too for those just yesterday so ‘shocked’ by the Australian Prime Minister’s September 14th electoral announcement. Even so for the many boat refugees turned back, the earthquake victims, the sufferers within this present, as well as for those yet to be afflicted by tomorrow. It is at is. There are no mistakes, it all is a lesson.

Or not.

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