Now is the fulfillment time, God’s Realm is within reach.
Mark 1: 15
How long is your life’s reach?
As a young man
I was blessed to live, for a time,
among tribal people in the Amazon rain-forest.
Once, the whole village
set off for a fishing camp
along a distant tributary.
In single file
we walked a narrow forest track
through swirling predawn mist.
Along the way women and girls
reached down with ease to pick up pods,
cracked open by monkeys and macaws.
Some of the Brazil nuts
they placed in baskets,
others they simply pushed into the soil.
All the while, high above us in each direction
tall trees converged into the distance;
a seamless canopy hung with Brazil nuts.
Suddenly it struck me;
as we walked, they were gently harvesting and planting
an endless avenue of lofty nut trees.
Later I was astounded
to discover that these trees
grow up to 150 feet tall and live for 500 years.
How far-sighted to consider,
when taking a walk, to guarantee a verdant store
of food and shelter for twenty generations to come!
So, I am left to wonder,
in the midst of my mundane tasks and travels,
what consideration I give to the latitude of life here and hereafter.
And what will remain
one hundred years hence,
of my life, loves and legacy?
I am one with the source insofar as I too act as a source by making everything I have received flow again. Raimon Panikkar
Whenever we make ourselves available,
receptive to reality unfolding,
we become reachable.
Oh to have hearts laid open,
till all the world spills in
and we feel at home with the wholeness of being.
What other purpose then for prayer,
but to dispel every illusion of separation
and delusion of division.
And rather than close eyes and ears
to the tides of these trying times,
constantly treading waters of distraction and distress,
we might surrender to the buoyancy of the swell
and be carried away by the sweep
of currents much broader and deeper.
Are we not all born to be visionaries,
made for mysticism,
shaped to receive, reflect and reverence?
God, whose love and joy are present everywhere,
cannot come to visit you unless you are not there.
Prayerful presence then is at once a planting and a harvest
of simple, intentional invitations to life
that are always outreaching and open-ended.
Thus, looking out, over and beyond,
gazing further and deeper down,
prayer provides a corrective lens to collective nearsightedness;
extending our attention span
to bridge the chasm
of busyness and boredom,
till softer sounds
Such are the fruits of receptivity
to a Realm that is not quite beyond us
but over-washes us should we make ourselves reachable.
We wait in the quietness for some centering moment that will redefine, reshape and refocus our lives … Dost Thou understand what it is like to be caught between the agony of one’s own private needs and to be tempest-tossed by needs that overwhelm and stagger the mind and paralyze the heart? … For the long loneliness, the deep and searching joy and satisfaction, the boundless vision … we thank Thee. Howard Thurman
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Coming in November 2019, A New Book by Joe Grant