Late September 2018
We live in times that feel instantaneous and yet the tempo of our lives is neither faster nor slower than it was for our ancestors. It is our perception of time that has sped up, perhaps superficially, perhaps artificially. The days and nights of our lives can become fraught with anxiety and fears and worries, all of which can fade and vanish with the assurance that all will come right if only we weather the storms of life with the assurance that our Creator is always at our side.
Think beyond the sunset that bids farewell to a friendship that was and shall be no more. Think of the communion with that Beloved from another dimension. Of course, that thought, that type of thought, thinking beyond the present moment, requires faith. And faith can feel in short supply during those days when fatigue o’ertakes your heart and drains the soul of might, of sight, of the tranquil delight in life itself.
Many years ago I knew a professor who spoke gruffly to me, but his heart was kind and pure. He did not live a happy life, but he lived a life filled with a noble purpose, a life dedicated to honesty in journalism. It might have been a fool’s errand, but I think him not a fool. He was a hero to me, more than once, and I have often thought of him. I have often thought beyond the few years that I knew him.
It is a discipline at which I diligently work, to think beyond.
I think beyond the day-to-day dullness that can warp our vision of life. After all, the sun rises, the sun sets; and in between are the moments of our lives that are rarely counted in terms of what we leave behind us in our wake, daily, or, finally. Too often the accounting is done of what we have, the accumulations of material possessions, even of people who can become akin to possessions and not appreciated as the kindred spirits who take on human form.
When one heart sings with another heart, there is born a bounty of love that never ends. How many people take the time nowadays to listen to one’s own heart, much less the song waiting to be heard from the heart of another?
Harmony requires at least two strains of melody. Drowning out the sound of the other person is not only a-tonal; it’s a-moral. It deforms the human form into a grotesque shape not in keeping with the designs of one’s Maker.
I think beyond the human form to the smile that felt like a soothing summer breeze upon my tear-stained face. I think beyond the angry eyes that scowled because the scarred heart was suffering too much to offer tenderness to a trusting heart. I think beyond the times when I was shoved aside by wounded pride. And I see visions of love, touching me with voices in the mist. I feel all of the hope that a certain someone could not offer to me, and I offer it to someone else, someone else who needs to think beyond the heartache at dawn.
Winston Churchill stated:
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
I am a verified optimist. I strive to see light in the darkness in spite of my fears, fears that have fought their way through darkness. I’ve been laughed at and mocked because of my persistence in faith and hope. And stubbornly, even willfully, I didn’t care.
Is it foolish for me to not care what another person thinks of me because I must follow my star, because I must think beyond, because I must look ahead to a brighter day?
I really don’t care what people think of me when I persist in believing the best is yet to be. I care not what is said about me when I forge ahead with faith in a future unseen, a future that beckons me, beckons me to think beyond . . . and to dream.
I strongly believe you’re never too young or too old to dream. Despite the title of his song, neither did Oscar Hammerstein II.
Churchill also advised:
“It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”
“One link at a time” is how I try to think beyond. The chain of destiny is woven from patience and from passion and from persistence, the faith that forms a chain of mercy leading the way to the ever-brighter day.
It is with intuition that I perceive the grander vision; but it only through a marvelous and mystical faith that I take each step, that one link at a time, with love, and hope, and laughter — toward the magnificence of tomorrow. May you too become blessed with that glorious step in time.