I believe life is a delicate tapestry of singular moments that places us precisely where we are at any particular point in time. Crossroads are abundant along the way, some that are obvious and others that are so slight, we hardly even notice the subtle, gentle fork in the road. Decisions and choices we make, some well thought out, while others are spur-of-the-moment, impact our lives in both complicated and amazing ways.
Science and philosophy go both ways on this idea. For example, scientists use the term “Apophenia” when describing the human tendency to assign meaning to an action arbitrarily, even though as scientists they see the event as totally random. The opposing philosophical theory,or the “Principle of sufficient reason,” basically says everything must have a reason or a cause, whether it’s known or unknown.
If we’re open to examining the question spiritually, how can we be absolutely certain that God doesn’t have a hand in at least some of the choices we make and directions we take? The short answer is, we don’t know; however, I personally feel God has a hand in everything.
I can only speak to you from my own experience. From there, I can say that for me at least, something or someone is pulling the strings. Because although I’d like to take credit for a lot of the good things in my life, I know I’m not smart enough or even lucky enough for all of those things to have come my way by my own thoughts and actions entirely.
There are ways we can sense when our lives are being directed in one way or another. Whether it’s a warm feeling that comes over us ata particular moment that assures us which choice to make, or reassures us that the one we made was the best one. At other times, it might be the unambiguous confirmation by a series of rapid-dire consequences of our actions that show us we made the wrong choice. After which, the correction or solution becomes clear in a way it could never have been, if that wrong choice hadn’t been made initially. Which then raises the question as to whether it really was the wrong choice in the first place, if it leads us to the right answer overall?
As you sit here today, you’ve already made an abundance of choices and decisions that can make you feel overwhelmed, and simultaneously relieved at having solved at least some of those questions in your life. And yet my advice to you is, that there will be lots more to come in the years ahead. As a matter of fact, you’ll never stop making choices and decisions until you’ve breathed your last breath. Some will be the right ones. Some will be the wrong ones. Some will be the wrong ones that lead to the right ones. And then there will be those choices that just seem to be provided for you from a tender, kind, loving and holy spirit resting on your shoulder that gently pulls you in the direction that is best for you overall.
As you go forward from this point, may you always have that kind spirit sitting on your shoulder in the important moments of your life, helping guide you to where you should be. I truly believe the spirit is already there now. You just have to be calm and silent long enough to sense it.
So, in the storms of life, when challenges and obstacles and enemies threaten your peace, remember to pause, and be still and quiet. And listen to the spirit on your shoulder, for it truly has your best interest at heart. For God put that spirit in you for a purpose. All you need to do is harken closely.
May the graduates of the Class of 2018 go forth always with the guidance and compassion of this gentle spirit. May you succeed in life, love, and positively impact others around you in a way that really matters. You can do it…. Each moment is already there inside you, waiting for its opportunity to come forth. Now is one of those occasions.
Congratulations, may peace be with you and your glass always be half full!