January 24 – Miracle Thinking – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

There is no end to worry, because there is no end to what exists out of view, beyond our very small eyes. So worry is a way to gamble with what might or might not happen.

It reminds me of a friend who had a flat tire on a country road. After finding he had no jack, he began walking, hoping to find a nearby farmer who would help him. It was getting dark and the crickets were getting louder. As he walked the overgrown road, he began to throw the dice of worry in his mind: What if the farmer’s not home? What if he is and won’t let me use his jack? What if he won’t let me use his phone? What if he’s frightened of me? I never did anything to him! Why won’t he let me use his phone?!

By the time he knocked on the farmer’s door, my friend was so preoccupied with what could go wrong that when the friendly old man answered, my friend bellowed, “Well, ¬†you can keep your Goddamn jack !”

Being human, we struggle constantly to stay with the miracle of what is and not to fall constantly into the black hole of what is not. This is an ancient challenge. As the Sufi poet Ghalib said centuries ago, “Every particle of creation sings its own song of what is and what is not. Hearing what is can make you wise; hearing what is not, can drive you mad.”

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