Easter Renewal

Ike’s Cherry Tree(c) Andrew Wright LightHawk Photo

When I look at the major problems in our world–climate change, predatory capitalism, war, injustice of every kind–or even the small problems of family and friends, I want to do everything I can to help.  But that impulse can get me into trouble.  Doing “everything I can” takes me on a track that gets more busy and confusing as I go.  I end up feeling anxious, discouraged, and just plain tired.  As Hindu poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote:

Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite,
and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.

I’ve learned that instead of rushing off to do more, I can recommit myself to prayer and meditation, which allows me to rest in the loving arms of God.  I know from experience that this is a more direct route to effective action than multiplying my activities.  As I open to Spirit, I can count on getting the guidance and energy I need for the next right action to take.

This practice parallels the spiritual journey through Lent and Easter:  1) facing the disappointment, pain, and suffering of life; 2) accepting death and the annihilation of hope; and 3) experiencing a renewal of spiritual energy, hope, and joy.  This does not negate any other spiritual tradition, and in fact letting go into emptiness and coming out on the other side is part of Eastern religious practice as well.

For today, instead of trying to get everything done, I embrace the spaciousness and timelessness of Spirit.  And I entrust myself, my family and friends, and the world to “the One who, by the power at work within us, is able to accomplish immeasurably more than all we can ask or even imagine.”  (Ephesians 3:20)

A Moment’s Indulgence

by Rabindranath Tagore

I ask for a moment’s indulgence to sit by thy side. The works
that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.

Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite,
and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.

Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and
the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.

Now it is time to sit quiet, face to face with thee, and to sing
dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.

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