A friend reached out this a.m. after reading St Therese’s prayer. She has lost both her parents in the last few months. We chatted a bit about grief and asking for strength. She commented she wasn’t sure who she was talking to in her head, but that traditional beliefs did not have a presence in her life right now.
Completely understandable, we don’t feel very spirited in the wilderness.
It got me to thinking…
Faith. Does it matter what you are having faith in, or just that you are choosing to believe?
And which feels better right now– to project hope into a future positive possibility or to fear the worst?
Faith is seeing possibilities, not just problems. (What is a problem solver anyway? I think it’s just someone that believes in possible solutions.)
“Well I don’t know what will happen now.
We’ve got some difficult days ahead.
But it doesn’t matter with me now.
I’ve been to the Mountaintop.”
(Dr. Martin Luther King)
Full and Inspired
Something in the last weeks has been sending me searching for David Brooks’ book, The Second Mountain. It’s about two mountains in life. The first is the climb we take in this material world- to achieve and acquire all the things we are socially conditioned to think of as success. Some people summit this, and attain everything they think they wanted, only to realize hmm, this is it? Or, the rug gets ripped out from under them, and after experiencing deep grief, they realize they don’t just want something more, they need it.
This starts the call to climb the second mountain. This endeavor is one of purpose and passion; it feeds heart and soul. It’s not easy, but it’s deeply rewarding. It is a climb of trust, and enough faith to allow the onslaught of fear to fall away.
"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step," encouraged Martin Luther King.
I was at a funeral once and the rabbi shared the notion that we each have two deaths. The first death is the one we experience, and it happens on the day we take our last breath. For Dr. King that occurred not even 24 hours after he gave his stirring “Mountaintop Speech” in Memphis. Our second death occurs when the last human being that we influenced takes their last breath. This is our legacy- our words, our actions, our humor and generosity–essentially our spirit. As the rabbi said, we don’t have control over the details or timing of our first death. But our second death, is entirely up to us.
Celebrate today, and watch with awe, the passion of a full and inspired life; one man’s pursuit for peace and equality- shouted from his mountaintop- forever reverberating.
MLK Day MEDITATION: Consider: What is resonating in you right now? What of this passion is living in YOU?