There are two lines in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that do not necessarily seem connected but upon reflection can be, I think, a way forward in the spiritual life. Paul is preaching to the people of Ephesus about how best to live a good and wise life. (EPH 5:15-20). In the middle of this brief lesson he draws a conclusion, saying: “Therefore, do not continue in ignorance but try to understand the will of the Lord.” I see that as a call to responsibility to throw of any sort of “ho-hum” attitude and wake up to the very best we can be. What that will lead us to, it seems, is a clue hidden at the end of the text where he says, “giving thanks always and for everything.” In other words, it isn’t just the things that we recognize as good or happy that teach us important lessons, but also the difficult moments that can be some of the best lessons if we know how to find the deep meanings therein.
This is not a new concept for most of us but the reminder seems a good way to start this new week. May it be a blessing for all of us!