Some time ago I wrote about an approach to Lent that suggested letting go of “do’s and don’ts” in a manner of speaking, and rather focusing on life in the present moment. This morning I read a page in the book, A Deep Breath of Life, that offers a similar—if not matching—message. Maybe it is just the one we need as we prepare to enter Holy Week tomorrow.
It’s a story about monkeys and nuts, and, of course, people trying an experiment. The important item was the container for the nuts—a glass jar with a rim smaller than the base, making the monkeys unable to get to the nuts, if and until they were smart enough to tip the jar on its side instead of struggling to fit their hand into the jar. Jungle lore called that “making use of ease rather than force.”
The lesson offered by the author is stated as follows: “If you are trying to clutch onto something that won’t fit into your life naturally, that’s when you get caught. Accept what shows up, and you are free. Take advantage of the tide of events, and life will support you in ways that you could not manipulate through serious struggle. Build on what is rather than what isn’t and you will be one with life.” (Alan Cohen)
Rather than adding tasks to this coming week to earn the favor of God, why not just notice what comes into view in your life and respond to opportunities to “flow” in ways that you may not have done before. Cohen’s brief concluding prayer says this: Show me how to live. Help me move with energy that I may be free and happy. (I think God would be happy with that as well…)