It’s time to stay the course
And so this column begins its fourth year with sadness and hope. I know you are reading this on Friday as our new President takes office. I am writing it on Tuesday night.. This morning I learned that a friend of mine, my tech guru, had committed suicide totally unexpected out of the blue. Who knows what Wednesday and Thursday brought and now we have the ascent of the Uncertain Trumpet to the White House amid applause from the Russian President but with only 40 percent approval here at home and with our allies rendered speechless.
As Thomas Paine said in “American Crisis” almost two hundred fifty years ago, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Let us however take heart.
As you know I see a common thread running through all the world’s religions but today I am reminded of a wonderful story from the Christian Gospels. The time is after Jesus rose from the dead. Two of his followers are moping along a road to a small village named Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem. They know of Jesus’ horrific death and they have heard rumors that he is alive but they find them hard to believe and in any case.what? It is a time of despair. Their world has come unraveled; a world they had given themselves to wholeheartedly for the past three years.
Suddenly a stranger appears inquiring what they are talking about. Incredulous, they explain to him all that has happened. He then walks them through the Scripture passages that foretell all that happened. He chides them for not seeing this to begin with. They feel energized in his presence and ask him to stay with them at the inn that night. While there he breaks bread with them and their eyes are opened to his identity. No sooner do they recognize him than he vanishes from their sight. “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road? they say. And then eagerly they run off to Jerusalem to tell the assembled apostles their story. While everyone is comparing notes, Jesus appears again. At the end of his visit he tells them to “Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.”
So my message for this winter week is to remember a time when your heart was burning within you. Look at the long picture of ups and downs, all part of life, and be on the lookout for a different looking stranger, one with perhaps a knowing glint in his (or her) eye. Be ready for surprises, an unexpected evening at an unfamiliar inn, the sudden realization that all our hopes are still in play, and then stay the course. Stay on the battlefield, stay at the political meeting, stay at meditation, stay at the needs of others. And wait, wait to be clothed once again with the power from on high, as surely we will.
I send Loving Kindness to all who may read this column, to my departed friend and his widow, to our new President, to my amazing wife Linda, .and of course to myself.
(Bill O’Brien is a Consciousness Coach. If you would like to receive Wisdomkeepers for free, go to www.billobrienconsciousnesscoaching.com and click on “Contact.”)