Each situation gives rise to the next situation, which makes each situation the key to all that follows. Doing this situation the way it needs to be done provides the situation flowing from this one with a proper footing to be what it needs to be for the next one, and so on to the end of the line. What we are doing, situation by situation, is passing on what has been handed to us and giving it the best send-off we can furnish. How we respond, here and now, to what is happening and what needs to be done about it sets the tone for what follows. There are no throw-away moments! We have to treat each one as though it is our last one, and "go out with a bang"! We have to "show our stuff" whenever the camera is rolling, and the camera is always rolling. How we live matters! In every moment of every situation. Doing this scene right, scene by scene, makes the movie really special. "The Princess Bride" comes to mind. Or, "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?" Or, "The African Queen"... Or, the story of your life, and mine.
It is my work to say what I have to say, and let it go. Lao Tzu is credited with saying, "More words count less... Better to stop short than to fill to the brim... Retire when the work is done... Know when to stop and step back... Let nature take its course... This is the way of heaven..." Offer what you have to give, and let that be that. "Some kind of help is the kind of help that help is all about. And some kind of help is the kind of help we all could do without" (Shel Silverstein). "Take what you need and leave the rest behind" (AA Slogan).
I miss Robin Williams, and George Carlin, and Princess Diana, and Maya Angelou... The list is long of people who had perspectives and personalities that graced and blessed everyone capable of being graced and blessed all their life long. These are the people who passed it along, with "it" being the soul of life, the heart of living, the wonder and joy of being alive. Living can take the life right out of us. What do we turn to when we have nowhere to turn? That is Joseph Campbell's line, someone else I miss. Heart is the hardest thing to find, and the easiest thing to lose. What keeps us going? It cannot be artificial. It has to be the real thing. That is what the people who have "it" pass along to the rest of us-- not what they have, but what we have that we don't know we have. That's what they do for us. They show us who we are capable of being. What we see and admire in them lies latent in us, stirring to life in their presence, hoping we will be like them in becoming who we are, singing our own song, as they sang theirs. They show us what can be done if we but trust ourselves to bring forth what is ours to share and to serve in the time left for living. That would be our perspective and our personality. Our unique way of seeing and doing, of being and becoming, of exhibiting and expressing, who we are and how we love what we love in doing what is ours to do. We have to take what they give us-- what they represent to us-- and live as those who would find in ourselves what is our truest treasure and offer it freely to all who come our way. We are all capable of being lights shining in the darkness. We all have the gifts that are ours to give, waiting to come forth as blessing and grace upon those who are dying for what we have to offer. It becomes so when we live as though it is so. Believing is doing. Life is waiting to be lived in the time left for living. We are burning daylight, waiting on a savior, when we are what we are looking for, and always have been. What do we turn to when we have nowhere to turn? What has heart for us? Where do we come to life? Where is our joy and satisfaction to be found? We have to live from there in bringing forth what we have to give, and finding, in so doing, all that we need to do what needs to be done in each situation as it arises. World without end. Amen.
The old Chinese Taoists knew 3,000 years before Jesus was born that the drift of our life is to be trusted above all else, and assisted by our awareness, support, participation, trust, loyalty and devotion by doing what is ours to do in the service of what needs to be done, and letting that be that-- with no contrivance, no manipulation, no exploitation, no pushing, forcing, scheming, striving to make things happen out of time and place. Just listening, just looking, just seeing, just hearing, just knowing, just doing what is called for in the time and place of our living. "Eat when hungry, rest when tired," "chop wood, carry water," respond to the moment the way the moment needs to be responded to, and stay out of the way. 5,000 years have not improved on this fundamental orientation.