One of the spiritual journey’s myths, mostly Christian based, is the simple idea that life will, with adherence, be easy. The mythology purports that all true followers experience life in a way that is easier, more peaceful, and as an extension less chaotic. I am not sure where the story originated. It does not seem to reflect anything I find it history. It does not relate to anything I have found in or on my journey. In fact, the obvious opposite extreme is the norm.
The question of chaos, bad times, and stressful moments is not if but when. There should be an expectation that they will be a regular part of our life. The only question is one of response. How will we face the traumas that will come? How will we see them in the context of our life? Will they be obstacles or opportunities? How will we respond?
I watch an older woman struggle against the odds. She was travelling alone. In the rush, everyone flowed around her without much notice. While politeness ruled, she was clearly alone in this moment. It was as if her world was in one dimension and we were in another. Just marginally out of phase, she faced extraordinary odds.
I caught myself watching, wondering with empathy how life would unfold in the moments to come. Her response is a model you and I would do well to following.
First, she stood her ground with dignity and honorable pride. It was inspiration and full of hope. I could hear her telling her story; “I followed orders, stood there and took it while they beat me, held steady while they pulled out my beard, didn't dodge their insults, faced them as they spit in my face.” (Isaiah 50.6)
Second, she gifted others with hope, respect, and gifts. Her smile was contagious. Her courtesy was extraordinary. Her determination to go on was energizing.
Third, she lived in the moment, engaged in the business of life. She knew who she was. She gave what she had. She reminded me of God.
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