(Excerpted from "For All" by Gary Snyder)
Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.
We are not really known for being quiet and reflective, are we? We are so businesslike and goal oriented that we often miss the profundity and sheer joy of the moment.
For some, meditation is an arduous discipline. Sincere Zen masters and their students intuit a certain liberation that smashes and supersedes the incessant, superficial duality of temporal existence… thus, their monumental striving to cease striving; to attain Nirvana; to find harmony with the essence of all things. They seek a place of joy and celebration in the "eternal now".
My question: when did life in the "eternal now" become more theirs to seek and enjoy than ours?
" Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. " (Luke 12:27)
We think so linearly, so literally, that until we actually have a lily before our eyes, we cannot proceed with the exercise! And yet, the Christian art of "considering" allows us to enjoy the moment to the fullest, whatever may be the object of our meditation.
Have you ever thought about how life as a Christian is not like a book divided into chapters or a TV show that ties up all the loose ends once a week? Being a Christian is more a constant state of being. Whether issues and tensions resolve or not, we are the constant in the equation... we are the living testimony of the presence and transforming power of the Son of God.
Of course, the Zen masters fall short. The best they can hope for is emptiness and relative quiet. But for the Christian, what does, "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27) really mean?
We should be the ones brimming with joy and enjoying the moment!
Yes...! As of July 5, 2020, my book is now available on Amazon.com.
It's a new book about an old problem: the cross and the crown… the Gospel and politics… do they mix? Should they mix?
If my words generate some reflection and healthy conversation—as in more light and less heat—I will be satisfied.
For feedback or questions, feel free to use the email link below.
Greg grew up in Menomonee Falls, WI. His ministry began in 1976: 5 years in Central America, 37 in Mexico. Church planting and discipleship have been his passion.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." -Matthew 13:44
GREG'S other BLOG
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6