Guest House

 

The Sufi poet Rumi writes that “being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.”

Emotions greet us each day, and they often come unexpected. We may wake up depressed, but a child’s smile bring us joy and changes our mood. The smell of honeysuckle can wipe away suicidal thoughts, and the opposite is true as well. A gorgeous morning can be ruined by a mean word or an unkind remark.
Rumi suggest we treat each guest with a hearty welcome, suggesting that even the guests from hell may be “clearing you out for some new delight.”
His words are easier said than practiced, but I agree with him when it comes to his ending. He says, “Be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

Grateful For What We Have

 

How often have you woken in the morning, or failed to sleep overnight because of something you thought was needed or missing in your life? How often have money worries or next week’s problems caused you to reach for the Pepto-Bismal?

When people suggest we all need to live a more balanced life, perhaps they are suggesting we spend a little more time being grateful for what we have and who we are, than what we need and who we wish we were.
Life is funny in a certain way — the more we are grateful and count our blessings for what we have, the more that list continues to grow. W.

New Eyes

If I were to begin life again, I should want it as it was. I would only open
my eyes a little more. 
 — Jules Renard

On the speaker’s circuit, I am often asked how would I have done thing differently? It would be foolish for me to say I would do everything the same way, because I do have different eyes than I did before. I see the consequences that certain actions had on my life, and that on my wife and family. Who wouldn’t do a few things differently, that’s why I am always amazed when politician’s who have a severe allergy to admitting ever having made a mistake, say “I have no regrets.” Of course, they do, we all do.

Yet, in the same vein, I’ve had a fantastic life, and if I had the opportunity to do everything over I wouldn’t give up the good in exchange for not having experienced the bad.
I think Renard is talking about having the opportunity not to make the same mistake over and over, which we have all done and are likely to do again. He suggests, and I agree, that when faced with the same set of circumstances we open our eyes a little wider, we see with different eyes where we are headed and do our best to let the wisdom of experience guide our decisions.
Easier said than done, I might add.

Prisoner

 

Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner! — Max Lucado

You don’t have to be sentenced to FCI Cumberland to be a prisoner. All that is necessary is to hold a grudge, carry anger beyond the moment, go to bed without saying, “I’m sorry,” or let a wrong stick in your craw. My daughter brought this home to me once when she cried out, “When are we going to get those people out of our lives, and start living again.” When I was on sabbatical I knew so many prisoners, not just in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. They simply couldn’t let go of the past, no matter how I encouraged them to do so, especially when it came to forgiving themselves.
When you meet someone who has self-reported themselves to a self created prison, take a moment to tell them that the keys to unlocking their cell aren’t worn on someone else’s belt. The keys to freedom are right in their back pocket. Encourage them to savor the present, no matter how difficult it might seem, and imagine what is to come.
What “is to come” is when the door flies open, God will be there to greet you with open and loving arms.