Do you get the feeling that life is changing too fast? That the hours and the days and the years just run away from you? I do.
Look at how fast the last year flew by! So much upheaval and sorrow in the world. So many goals I wanted to reach and, despite drowning in busy-ness from January to December, I’m no further forward. Am I chained to one spot in my life, a spot I can’t break free from?
Were the last twelve months wasted living in a world that offers nothing except the same old troubles?
As I’m distracted by the depressing details of daily living, wearied by the struggle to reach the goals so important to my happiness and, at times, lost in the incessant clamour of a too-noisy world, is living the life I want to lead only a fading dream?
Already this new year’s plans and dreams and hopes are tarnished by anxiety and the stress of “what if.”
What if … our country goes up in flames, torn apart by old hatreds painted in new colours? What if … this year drifts by in a haze of coping with life’s daily demands? What if … this year is used up on everything but turning my dreams into reality? What if … oh, bah! Enough of that doom and gloom!
Far beneath the surface of my conscious fears, there is a part of my heart secure in the knowledge that this last year, marked with mellow times and a lack of worldly achievement, has not been a waste.
Success doesn’t always lie in a goal one can measure by counting the trophies on the shelf, the money in the bank or the imperfect examples of our celebrity heroes and leaders.
Change doesn’t always happen amidst the tumultuous waves of a tsunami or the violent upheaval of a revolution.
Sometimes the most lasting change lies within the ebb of an ocean tide gently changing the shape of an underwater rock or the fleeting awareness that grace and compassion still exist, even if only reflected in our own actions and choices.
Sometimes that moment which critically changes our lives happens not outside in the world in which we live, but deep within our individual souls.
As the waves of change pound us relentlessly in this coming year, our only danger lies in losing sight of that which has sustained humankind through millennia of strife and struggle: Hope.
Hope that, whatever happens this year — whatever unknowns fill up the blank pages of this waiting year — nothing we do, no matter how trivial or unexpected, will be wasted if we hold onto the faith that, deep beneath the waves, there is an intricate unfolding of a sacred plan. This Divine plan may be mysterious and unknowable to us, but Hope tells us that whatever changes occur in the outside world will, ultimately shift us, both as individuals and as a society, towards our true direction.
We need to stop fighting the powerful currents of life that so constantly pummel our societies, our families and our inner selves. There is space then for Hope to rebirth itself in our hearts and, although nothing much changes on the surface of our lives, we will change on the inside. While life drives us crazy and pushes us into a darker place then we’ve ever been before, Hope will irrevocably change how we live in that bleak world.
For, resting quietly beneath all the uproar and pressure of the outside world we cannot escape, there is a place we can experience a peace which cannot be understood, but only felt. In the deepest centre of our heart lies our Garden of Eden, the place where God — however we perceive the Divine Being that guides our frail existence — brings us an abundance of blessings.
Do these Divine blessings mean this new year will be smooth sailing, and our ships will eventually dock at Port Paradise-on-Earth?
If anything, the seas of change will be rougher, perhaps even daunting, as the harsh realities of the world we live in will not go away. There will still be bad news blaring forth from every possible media source; there will still be constant demands on us. But we go to this garden within our hearts to create a new wave of change within us: we can choose to change how we act and react, how we love and how we live.
From this secret place within me, the same place that has filled me with new dreams and hopes, I hear a whisper that tells me this past year has been a highly successful year. For slowly, so slowly I didn’t even know it was happening, I’ve been consumed by a wave of change no less profound than the dramatic changes wrought by the non-stop action-filled years that preceded it.
When my mind tells me that I’ve lost control of my life, the voice in the garden of my heart comforts me with the knowledge that I’ve surrendered to a Higher Power. When I think that I’m floating aimlessly, drifting far from the life’s course I set for myself, I hear in the music of the waves a melody called Hope, Faith and Love. A song that calms my fears and gives me strength to start again.
As we embark on the voyage that is this new year; as we face the waves of change that await, may the same melody of Hope set you on the true direction of your soul’s journey.