helpless

21 what if life

‘ Listen to your life.  See it for the fathomless mystery it is.’*

I notice my breathing, abdomen rising and falling, chest filling with air, and I am aware of something that is the way of it for each of us.  

Nature provides the same means of breathing to all.

After our first breaths, many things happen that are beyond our control, many decisions are made for us.  We finally make it to a point when we can make choices of our own, but now, our lives have been shaped and played upon many times over.

Yet, amazingly perhaps, there is within us, a sense that we’ve the possibility of doing something purposeful with our lives, there’s something we must do before we die.

We use many different terms for this, the traditional ones being calling and vocation.  Terms we use, whether we believe in god or not, that describe something that feels as if it comes from beyond us – this phenomenon is found in the stories told by humans throughout the millennia.

Chosen for what?

What must I do that no one else can, or will?

What is my help?

The thing is, no one is helpless.  We all have some special help we can bring to others.

It’s unfolding, I think.  It doesn’t come all in a flash, in a moment of enlightenment, but in an unfolding way; it’s about the whole journey in which we ‘are not prepared against but for surprise’.**  In this, we are able to celebrate the genius that exists in all of us.^

If there are those who feel helpless in our world, they’ve been made to feel so.

I breathe more deeply; I feel the breath coursing through my body.  I am thinking about the contribution I hope will be helpful.

What I am feeling is not air, of course, but is something which emerges from the relationship between my brain and my body.  I realise the call I feel has come from beyond me has come from within me.

It’s as close as this for each of us.

(*Frederick Blechner, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games.)
(^Check out David Shenk’s The Genius in All of Us.)

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