What you encounter,recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation.
When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace" John O'Donohue
I came across this quote today and marveled at its beauty, truth, and timeliness for my life. I have just returned from a small town about sixty five miles away which I visit quite frequently....my daughter and her family live there. I have to confess right up front it has never entered my mind to stop and consider how I approach my visits. Truth be told I usually buzz in and out and could easily qualify for being in the "rushed heart" category if not the "arrogant mind"!
This visit was different. I decided to go to this town early to take my dreaded driver's license renewal exam. No four hour wait here, just a short fifteen minute stop and suddenly I had some extra time to to kill. I went to the cemetery (no pun intended). I don't know anyone buried in this cemetery so I was not going to "visit" a grave, I just have grown quite fond of this particular place. Instead of being hidden on the outskirts of town, this cemetery is located right smack dab in the middle. There is an elementary school, a YMCA, and some beautiful homes riming its borders, all making the silent statement that death is very much a part of life.
So I pulled into this quiet spot and parked under the shade of a large oak tree with no real agenda on my mind other than to sit and wait. Without realizing it I was approaching my upcoming family visit with reverence; the very quality of my approach was being transformed by this unusual pause in a holy place.
There is nothing like a cemetery to pull you out of a "rushed heart and arrogant mind" state of being. Try it! "As we are, you will be" cry out all the names on those stone markers. No one escapes passing through the thin veil separating time and eternity...very humbling. As for rushing; generations are on display here...years and years and years...centuries even, and the question arises in my heart "what's all the hurry"?
My family visit was very different this time and until I read John O'Donohue's words this morning I did not know why. Now I realize those moments of approach I passed in the cemetery brought to light the concealed beauty in many things. A verse of scripture was highlighted on one of those graves; a verse I sorely needed to see and know. And later the concealed beauty was revealed in my daughter and grandchildren sharing a meal together and watching a beautiful sunset. Great things came forward and I was embraced. Yes the visit was very different.
These words challenge me to examine how I approach so many things in my life. Do I approach a new day with reverence? Or am I rushed and arrogant taking it for granted? Do I approach another human being with reverence? or am I rushed and arrogant concerned only with myself? Do I approach God with reverence? Or am I rushed and arrogant wanting only a quick fix for one of my problems?
Read the first line again.....What you encounter, recognize, or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. How will you approach life tomorrow? In a rushed and arrogant state of mind? Or are you willing to try a new approach, to pause with reverence and be grateful for one more day?