Many religions have been founded on the teachings of individuals viewed as holy beings. Buddha and Jesus reached a state of enlightenment so pure that they changed everyone they met. Yet, most of us only find enlightenment in brief glimpses of the Divine. However, anyone who has experienced the feeling of being-at-one with the universe for even a short moment knows that it changes your life afterwards. It is a similar feeling when you realize that some power in the universe cares about you and is helping you.
Years ago when my son was young, we drove up through the hills into the woods. We hiked to a perfect spot for a picnic. Overlooking a green valley, in sight of a mountain etched in purple and white, we spent a wonderful afternoon. The sunlight danced through the shade of the trees as we ate, relaxed, talked, and played together.
A week later, that mountain blew up. The volcanic eruption destroyed our picnic site, miles of ancient forest, a crystal blue lake, several communities, and an entire ecosystem of living beings. Thankfully, we were safely at home when the mountain exploded. Decades later, signs of that violent transformation still show like scars on the geography.
Some people tell me that the date of our picnic was chance, but I don’t believe it was a twist of fate that we survived. I believe Spirit protected us. When we are protected from tragedy, either we can discount it as luck or we can recognize that Spirit acted to help us survive. Now and then, when we are recipients of a miracle, it is easy for us to see how the Divine touches us.
But, let’s assume that we picked the day of the picnic just by chance. If so, we take chances every day of our lives. We chose to go a different direction, take a new road to get to work. Is it coincidence that by doing so, we missed a huge multi-car accident? Could it be the intervention of the Divine in our lives that nudges us to go that way? On the way, we stop at a coffee shop to pick up breakfast and we enjoy a chat with the person next to us in line. A year later the two people marry. Is it chance that you meet the individuals you love? What happens if you believe that your dearly loved grandparent watches over you and helps you? What happens if you live life as if there were no coincidences?
If you accept such happenstances as proof that you are interacting with the universe, you cannot view life as blind luck. If you believe that the Divine wants to help you, wants to guide you and protect you, you must understand that you are an important part of the world, perhaps more important than you know.
Many people are haunted by what happened in the past. They compare the present to a similar situation in the past when events did not work out the way they wanted them too. They worry that if they try something new, the same outcome might happen again. They focus so much on what might happen, on what might go wrong, that they miss living their lives. Their fear of the past causes them to miss opportunities in the present. They are so afraid of making a mistake, that they do not do anything. They don’t even make a choice. And that is the true basis of free will. We can choose to take a chance, make a mistake, play it safe or have an adventure.
Yet, the wonder of the universe exists all around us. Parents watching their newborn baby open her eyes for the first time feel a touch of the divine. When we witness a gorgeous sunset, the ball of exotic colors apparently falling into the ocean, then we recognize there is more to life than our to-do lists, rush hour traffic, and catching a meal on the go.
Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.” The advice is still faultless today. Henry Miller also said, “Until we accept the fact that life itself is founded in mystery, we shall learn nothing.” You can choose to believe that the Divine is here interacting with you in this mystery — or you can decide it all happens by chance.
What would happen if you decided to be present in your life? What would change if you choose to believe that the Divine is present there too? What would happen if you embraced the mysteries in your life?
Whether or not you recognize your interactions with the Divine Ones, life is what you are doing right now; it is what you did yesterday, and the experiences you will have tomorrow. Regardless of how you feel about the Divine, you are here to encounter life in this physical form. The Great Mystery — Big Bang, if you prefer — from which everything came is still here. That Infinite Spirit is a tiny part of every molecule, of every person, tree, and animal. It is there regardless of the emotions we feel — or maybe, it is there precisely because of the emotions we feel.
Life exists for you in all its glorious experiences. Go and live it.