“This life journey has led me to love mystery and not feel the need to change it or make it un-mysterious. This has put me at odds with many other believers I know who seem to need explanation for everything.”
Beautiful Spring has arrived! As Richard Rohr puts it, “Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.” After last year's record heat and drought that caused the death of three trees in my yard, I've been watching the others timidly—glancing out of the corner of my eye to see whether they're showing signs of leafing out. Old trees are like old people—it takes them longer to recover. But most of them, seemingly with great effort, are squeezing out a few leaves. Tenacity is a great mystery. My old friend, Ethel, now 92 is moving into independent living at a local retirement community. Until a couple of years ago, she was backpacking through the Sipsey Wilderness with the Audubon Society for the annual bird count. Like the trees in my yard, she has staying power.
A woman in my church told me about her neighbor, whose twenty year old daughter was just found dead from an overdose of prescription pain killers. So young, so much to live for, cut short. We don't know, do we, how the dice are rolled? Why it is that some live long, and some die young? Yes, lifestyle is a huge factor—but some people, who abuse their bodies for decades, still end up living long, and some do not. Life is a mystery.
In Spirituality Group last night, we talked about change; about this being a time of great change on many levels—climate, politics, religion, migration of peoples—all in flux. When we track back through Earth's history, we know this has happened many times before. It has even happened in some of our lifetimes. Is this movement from light to dark, from peace to war, from feast to famine, the natural ebb and flow of the cosmos? Is it to be expected? Are we humans making progress, moving forward, moving backwards? Lots of big questions. Lots of unknowns.
This life journey is one of capricious events—of celebrations and disappointments, of all manner of things that are not within our control, and that we can not predict. We must be content to live within the mystery. Hopefully, we learn to be at peace with it, and even look forward to what it brings. That forward looking gaze may very well be the secret to longevity.
In the Spirit,