A Perennial Lesson


My two favorite times are the changing of the seasons and the ending of each day. I love the the rich blending of colors when seasons change. They match the gamut of the emotions I feel when earth renews herself. I love the end of the day when light separates from the dark. I grow pensive, grateful that another day is done. And, Of course, I love the sunrise when a new day is born.

These beautiful passages of time remind me of a thought and a theme I keep coming back to again and again: life is a paradox; it is a mystery. It is the inexplicable blending of contrasts and contradictions that life is possible and even worthwhile.

Life indeed is a paradox and its deepest truths are a mystery. There are realities that cannot be proven scientifically and some people have concluded that these do not exist, like the soul, or spirit, or life after death or even God. There is no compelling reason why we are here or why I even exist. But because we are here, anything is possible. And because I am here, everything – instead of nothing – is possible.

Some truths are contradictions, like it is in giving that we receive; in pardoning that we are pardoned and in dying that we are born to eternal life; that being slave is to be free and that suffering and pain lead to happiness and joy.

I have learned that the yoke of love and forgiveness is indeed a lighter load than the bitterness and anger that comes with hate and desire for revenge; that the yoke of sharing and generosity is easier to carry than the anxiety and envy that comes with greed and self-centeredness; that being a slave to simplicity and service frees me from the enslavement of and the obsession for material goods an possession.

Yes, Christ and his words make sense and they are indeed the source of life. In today’s Gospel, he proclaims “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

But there are times I refuse to listen or to heed his words. A cup full of stale water cannot take in new and fresh water.

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