by Reggie Smith
"People get ready for the train to Jordan
It's picking up passengers from coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board 'em
There's hope for all among those loved the most."
"There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind just to save his own
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the Kingdom's throne."
I recently bought a new road bicycle with the intention of paying a lot more attention to getting in shape. I had been envisioning taking my first long ride to the barbershop, which is about 5 miles away from my home. Once I finally got out on the road, there were some very steep downhill roads involved on the way to the barbershop. When I got to the top of the largest hill where it was the point of no return, I started to think about what it was going to take for me to get home. I wasn't sure that I had what it took to make it back up the hill, but I decided that if I had no guts, I would get no glory. My mind was generating fear and self-doubt, but my spirit encouraged me to have faith. I did not want to have a “should have; would have” story, so I listened to my spirit and went for it.
As it turned out, I found another way home that was much better then coming back up the hills. Accepting the personal challenge was a very satisfying accomplishment, and I'm glad I did not punk out. I enjoy watching the adventure of life unfold. So often I am amazed at what happens when I listen to, and act on my spirit and intuition. My mind will filter my feelings with fear and judgment in order to color my thoughts and actions. I've come to know that I'm responsible for putting energy into life, but the outcome is never guaranteed. I have learned to accept that everything happens for a reason, and it is up to me to make the best out of everything that I manifest each moment.
For instance, I went to see the movie "Fruitvale Station" recently and was touched by the movie on many levels. I saw myself, and then more profoundly, I saw my son in the life of Oscar Grant. He is the young man that was shot to death by an Oakland police officer at the aforementioned Fruitvale train station. Seeing the re-enactment of how that happened was painful enough, but the confluence of events that led up to his shooting was so easily identifiable that I felt like I had lost my own child when it was said and done. I am emotionally affected even now as I write. As parents, my wife and I were devastated by the reality that Oscar’s mother, in a well intentioned, fact based attempt to save her son from hurt, harm or danger, suggested that he and his friends take the train instead of drive on New Years eve. In trying to evade a predictable, potentially negative outcome, Oscar ended up irrationally losing his life.
I’m sure Trayvon Martin’s parents, and the parents of so many of our youth who have been tragically harmed or killed in spite of our attempts as parents to protect them, constantly question what thing they could have said or done to create a reality different from the one the are living. My wife and I immediately thought about how we are constantly trying to protect our kids and grandkids. We are responsible for that effort, but as a father who has lost a child at birth, and a father to murder, I know that when the ship comes in, we will be on it. Our task in life is to work towards the kind of emotional maturity that will allow us to have faith in the still small voice within, and acceptance of the infallibility of the law of karma, in spite of what we may think. Apprehension based on facts is wise. Fear is the source of much that ails us. Love and faith can heal all. We are all stars in the movie that is our lives. Let’s play our roles as best we can, just for today.
The Law of Karma
Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.
I will put the Law of Karma into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:
1. Today I will witness the choices I make in each moment. And in the mere witnessing of these choices, I will bring them to my conscious awareness. I will know that the best way to prepare for any moment in the future is to be fully conscious in the present.
2. Whenever I make a choice, I will ask myself two questions: “What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?” and “Will this choice bring fulfillment and happiness to me and also to those who are affected by this choice?”
3. I will then ask my heart for guidance and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. If the choice feels comfortable, I will plunge ahead with abandon. If the choice feels uncomfortable, I will pause and see the consequences of my action with my inner vision. This guidance will enable me to make spontaneously correct choices for myself and for all those around me.
For more; visit the Chopra Center.