One of the gifts in my life and in my particular vocation is the diversity of people I meet with every week. Diverse in every sense of the word. I often experience a moment of epiphany or awakening that points to the universal truths found throughout life in those meetings. I understand those moments as Spirit-filled. I am awakened to the presence of the Spirit, and at that moment, I can see what has been true the entire time. One such moment happened this past week. I met with a “mature” person in our congregation, and throughout that conversation, they shared, “If I had known as a young parent what I know now, I would have cherished every second I could. I would have spent less time focused on manners during those wild family dinners and more time enjoying the chaos!” It is when we look back on life that we can see what matters most. It can be a struggle for us to be present to the presence of the divine in our ordinary lives.
Throughout every faith tradition, mystics have emerged to point us to the wisdom path found in being present. Though, it begs the question, “What is a mystic?” Mark Vancil, Michael Jordan’s biographer, once wrote about Michael Jordan: “Most people struggle to be present. People go and sit in ashrams for 20 years in India, trying to be present. Do yoga, meditate, trying to get here, now. Most people live in fear because we project the past into the future. Michael is a mystic. He was never anywhere else. His gift was not that he could jump high, run fast, shoot a basketball. His gift was that he was completely present.”
I love that definition.
A mystic is someone who is able to be present to the present. They know that the invitation has always been and will forever be to “live here now,” “be here now.”
So as we enter this season of traditions that will lead us to holiday tables and gatherings, may we be present to the present. For in seeking to live that way, we will be awakened to the divine presence. May it be so, my dear friends.
With great hope,