The natural world is "Thus Come," just as it is, without pretensions or aspirations, looking only for what needs to be done in each situation as it arises, and rising to meet the occasion with what it has to work with, letting the outcome be the outcome, situation by situation, day by day, for as long as life lasts.
Love is not what we feel. Love is what we do. Love is how we act. We cannot be commanded to feel. We can be commanded to act. Jesus' command to "Love your neighbor," is to be understood as "Treat your neighbor lovingly in all times and places." He is saying, "Do what is loving, when it is called for, the way it is called for, as long as it is called for, moment by moment, day in and day out, in each situation as it arises, your entire life long." We know what is loving by asking "How would I like to be treated?" and extending that treatment to all people everywhere. We have no trouble recognizing when we are being treated well and when we are being treated poorly. We only have "questions" when it comes to how we treat others. Strive to treat others as well as we would like to be treated. All others. Every other. All the time.
Squaring ourselves up with how things are is the first order of business in each situation as it arises. Our ability to do that hinges on our having few, and not very strong, opinions regarding how things ought to be. Being able to operate out of a perspective whose foundation is "Okay. Here we are. Now what?" provides us with the attitude necessary for letting come what's coming and letting go what's going, as things come and go throughout our life. How we live in response to our life is the determining factor in determining how well we live with-and-through all of the ebbs and flows of our days. What is your default reaction to the things that come your way (and go away)? How close is it to "Okay. Here we are. Now what?"? We live to close the gap between our default reaction and the preferred reaction. We do that consciously, with mindful awareness of our need to be a certain way and the chances of that being the way things are, moment by moment, day by day-- and living toward the position of being able to let come what's coming and to let go what's going.
A Good Friday/Easter Meditation: The Suffering Servant of Isaiah was co-opted by the early Christian church, and used as a prophetic model of Jesus, missing again the point of both the suffering servant and Jesus. "Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows, and upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and by his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53: 4&5) What does he have to do with us? What does his chastisement and his wounds have to do with our peace and our healing? It works like this: "Thou Art That!" Any symbol is only as good as our identification with it is. The symbol is not "like us," The symbol "IS us!" Any symbol. Every symbol. God is dead to the extent that God no longer symbolizes the best of us. God is dead to the extent that the symbol of "God" does not awaken within us any aspect of godliness, and becomes an external "Thou" on a level we can never attain-- as "The Wholly Other." To awaken the symbol-- any symbol, every symbol-- we have to be able to identify ourselves with the symbol, and understand how we are it, and how it is who we are. And that requires a meditative, contemplative, prayerful, reflective openness to possibilities and actualities we normally don't want to take the time to consider. How is the Suffering Servant and Jesus you, me? In what ways are we the Suffering Servant and Jesus? How are we interchangeable? How are we identical? How are we one with each of them-- and with each other? We are asked to make this identification with Jesus in the Substitutionary Theory of the Atonement, where "Jesus became as we are, so that we might become who he is," but we are never encouraged to see that we are who he is right now, without believing anything about sin, redemption, faith, and atonement. We have to "turn the light around"! We are Jesus. How are we Jesus? In what ways are we Jesus? How can we become increasingly conscious of being Jesus in the normal course of our life? Two days ago, approaching the checkout station at a local nursery, the clerk at the register noticed that my wife and I were having trouble corralling the four plants we were carrying to her. She left her station, came to us, and carried our purchases to the counter. Jesus could not have done it better. Over the course of our life, we do thousands of things as well as Jesus could do them, and some things we do better than Jesus could do them-- all without thinking about Jesus at all, or ever wondering "what would Jesus do?" Could Jesus hit a curve ball? Could Jesus throw a curve ball? Perform open heart surgery? Etc. Thou Art That! This is the fundamental, foundational, realization. Everything points to this and flows from it. We are what we seek. We are what we love. We are what we hate. How? How is it so? In what ways is it so? How can we see ourselves reflected back to us in the things we admire and detest? In what ways does the phrase, "Thou Art That" apply to us and everything? What connections can we make between ourselves and "That"? It takes meditative, contemplative, prayerful reflection to see all the ways "Thou Art That." And it is essential that we take up the practice of enlarging our vision to be able to see what we look at and how it is us looking back at us. This is the challenge and the calling of Good Friday and Easter morning!