The Art of Living
Living really is an art to be cultivated. Life can become so messy with our finite understanding of all kinds of situations, troubles, and concerns.
So how does one step through intact? Forget about trying to get through unscathed. If there’s anyone you know you think has got through without a scratch it’s not true.
When I first discovered I could have an internal life, a life with God, is when is when life really began. I had no idea there was such a thing, let alone could be so personal and intimate, so rich and meaningful. All I ever yearned for and deeply desired, I found. And once I started cultivating that inner life, the outsides started falling into place and the art of living truly began.
It's true God takes you on paths you never could’ve imagined for yourself, to unspeakable joys – usually in the least unlikely arenas. And we can thwart His efforts by being too fearful, too rigid, too set, too habitual, or too proud. If we’re too anything, it can bowl us over. But if we’re willing to trust in Him, we won’t stay down long.
I found myself engaged in activities that were stimulating and worthwhile. Engaging with others in meaningful ways, taking classes and workshops that never would’ve occurred to me to take, enjoying exercises and trying things I’ve never tried before. I found myself quite empowered to do the most mundane tasks. Yes, it took an open mind, discipline and self-control, but the benefits far outweighed the effort.
I began handling difficult situations with a greater degree of compassion and understanding; encounters with angry people didn’t scare me, or I wasn’t afraid to speak up when necessary. And when I did, I didn’t have to erupt. When I concentrated on Him, my mind was free, not clogged up with worry and could fully be present to the task at hand. I wasn’t worried about how I was going to handle this person or navigate that situation. In essence I was learning to depend entirely on God to right the situation for both his, others and my highest good. ‘All things work together for those who love God’. Not that I always refrain from rushing in with my own fixes!
But being imbued with the Holy Spirit colors all life has to offer - sufferings and joys alike - into a true artform. And when I stumble or fall I don’t despair because like any artform that’s how I learn. I’m not bound to get it right the first time. Or even the second or third time. As long as I’m teachable.
So go ahead, start learning the true art of living. You’ll never look back.