Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When the Question Is More Important that the Answer

i'm writing this on a saturday evening because my wife and i should be landing in germany on tuesday morning.  i say "should" since we may have some messy winter weather in our part of the country sunday afternoon into monday.  our flight is scheduled to depart on monday afternoon, and, if the predicted weather arrives, we may not be able to make it to the airport.  if we do, our flight may be delayed or cancelled.  on top of this uncertainty, my wife has come down with a cold--sniffles, cough, sore throat, but fortunately no fever--and is sleeping now after having taking something to help ease her symptoms.

ordinarily, i would feel quite stressed by this turn of events, but tonight i'm experiencing a deep peace.  i'm ok with whatever happens, because i know that it is simply a part of life.  weather and colds happen; they are neither good nor bad; they just "are."  if our flight is cancelled, there will be another.  somehow, we'll be able to reach the airport.  sooner or later, the cold will ease and the medicine will relieve the runny nose and cough.  we might miss a day in germany, but we may see some beautiful snow around here in its place.

in this quiet time, i've been catching up on some other blogs, and several of them have addressed what happens when an individual life comes to an end.  i've never been too concerned about heaven or the "afterlife."  spending eternity in a huge city where there are golden streets and gem-encrusted city walls, where the elect spend all their time singing in a celestial choir, has little appeal to me.  the idea that i might be reborn and have another go at trying to do better sounds much more attractive.  i have no way of knowing if that's any more likely than the traditional christian view of what happens after death, and i'm in no hurry to find out.  it's enough to try and figure out this current lifetime.

i spent much of my morning meditation contemplating the possibility that every person i encounter is related to me through some previous life.  could the next person i see have been at some time my mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter?  wouldn't it be wonderful if we are all the same--neither male nor female, jew nor greek?  how does the possibility of such kinship change how i view those others who are not really "others?"

my prayers for each of us tonight are that we experience the even-minded peace and calm that allow us to accept and appreciate life as it comes to us, that we open our minds to the possibilities that flow from not having all the answers.  may freedom from stress in the face of uncertainty and the joy of exploring many alternatives to the meaning of life excite our minds and enliven us.  shalom.

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