Pace and timing, Kid. Pace and timing. The geese fly when it is time for flying. The photographer takes the picture when it is time to take the picture. Now is always "the acceptable time" for something. Being right about what is where we come in. It is our place in the cosmos to know what it is time for here and now, and to be right about it, and to rise to the occasion and do the best we can in the service of the What, Here and Now-- and let that be that, as we move on to the next here and now, looking, listening, for the What that needs to happen then and there. It is always the right time for something. Maybe a nap. Maybe a pizza. The possibilities are well nigh infinite. We have to be alert to our choices and sensitive to what is being called for, to what we are being asked to do. Curve ball or slider, or a fast one on the inside corner? It is our place to know these things. And it is the batter's place as well. How it all unfolds is what we are here to find out, in the moment-to-moment Adventure of Being Alive. Pace and timing, Kid. Pace and timing.
"Many are called, but few are chosen," said Jesus of Nazareth. Along with, "The Kingdom of God is spread out all over the earth, and no one sees it." And: "What you seek is right before you, right here, right now, and people walk by it unknowing, like it is a treasure hidden in a field by the side of the road, or a priceless pearl in the costume jewelry bin at the local flea market, or a stone the builder's reject." Of course, there is a catch. Joseph Campbell points it out with his, "What you seek lies far to the back in the darkest corner of the cave you most don't want to enter." The new life we long for will eat our old life alive. That is the reason for many being called and few answering the call. Do we have what it takes to do what needs to be done? Jesus' death on the cross doesn't save anyone from anything. It points the way to everyone to the path of being fully alive in the time left for living. The trek to the empty tomb takes us through the Garden of Gethsemane and across the face of Golgotha, into the depths of the cave we most do not want to enter. They don't mention that to you in the sermons about Easter Morning. Theology denies the very truth it proclaims. The truth only sets us free to do what needs to be done. How free is that? We want to be free to do what we want and have it thrill us the way we want to be thrilled. And that's what the truth sets us free from in setting us free for doing what needs us to do it here and now, where what we want only gets in the way.
I will run out of time before I run out of things to say. And some things can't be said often enough. So, here we go. Again. Some more. As always. Doing what needs to be done, when and where it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, with the gifts, genius, daemon (sounds like "diamond") that come with us from the womb, is not beyond any of us. What keeps it from happening all of the time? The stake we have in the outcome. Something is at stake in every moment. Something is to be gained. Something is to be lost. Something matters to someone more than doing what needs doing. Someone will do anything to get something, or to keep from losing something. What needs to be done in each moment is lost and forgotten, ignored and overlooked, by those who live in the service of getting and keeping what they want. Our own personal good-- or that of those we love-- is our highest good. The good of the moment doesn't have a chance. The moment is here only for our good. We are not here for the moment's good. We cannot be good for the moment because we are here for our good in every moment. And that is the kink in the hose.
That Which Has Always Been Called "God" is the Silence at the Heart of Life and Being-- which is also the Source of Life and Being-- which is also the Mystery of Life and Being. Calling it "God" and doing flips to get it to do our bidding is one of the best examples of self-deception being labeled "self-evident," and passing itself off for "revealed truth" in the Big Book of Tricks We Play on Ourselves. There is only us and the Silence and all that comes from the Silence into the sphere of Life and Being-- eventually returning to the Silence, and to what then, we do not know. All we know is right here right now. What we make of it and do about it is up to us. "Right" and "wrong" are ways of structuring our experience of Live and Being, but both are dependent upon the needs of the moment at hand in conjunction with the times that are always a-changing, but within which it is possible to be "ahead of the times" or "behind the times." To be "at one with the times," "in sync with the times," "in accord with the times," is to be "in the flow of Life and Being," and to "have it made" as much as we can have it made within the time and place of our living. But that is to also be somewhat "ahead of the times," and "behind the times," at the same time. And it is all a part of the dance with the Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being. "There is only the dance" (T.S. Eliot).
At some point, we are all on our own and have to make out as best we can. That being the case, it would behoove us to learn how to read the Silence and sense what is emerging, arising, beckoning, calling, guiding, directing there, and rely on it as "a very present help" in all times and places. Our relationship with ourselves and the Silence is the sustaining, creative, source of Life and Being throughout our life, and tending that relationship is the most important/helpful thing we can do for ourselves in finding our way along the way. Sit still, be quiet, and wait, watch, look, listen for what occurs to you in the silence-- on a regular, recurring, basis. And decide for yourself what to do about what happens there. "We are the sculptor and we are the stone" (Alexis Carrel).
What's helpful? What works? These are two centering, grounding, focusing questions that every graduating senior from high school, junior college, college, university, graduate school should be required to answer with a 200 word essay. Comparing their answers over time would be revealing, and would reflect the graduate's maturation over the course of their studies. Very little else does that. How do we measure maturation with any degree of clarity? We can do an adequate job of defending a PHD thesis without any idea of what is helpful or what works. But, if we are going to do much of a job with our life, we have to figure these two things out, and apply our answers appropriately, early on.