Don’t get ahead of the grace.
An acquaintance said this to me in passing last week and I thought it was so beautiful.
I’ve been talking a lot recently about what it means to be on the path of transformation.
When we start taking action and something bad happens, we often assume it’s a sign that we should stop or change our focus.
And when something good happens, we can be quick to believe that this is it. This is THE thing we’ve been calling in.
But the truth is, it’s simply too soon to tell.
We don’t know yet where this “bad” or “good” thing is leading us next.
It reminds me of the parable of the Chinese farmer, as told by Alan Watts:
Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. That evening, all of his neighbors came around to commiserate. They said, “We are so sorry to hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.” The farmer said, “Maybe.”
The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening everybody came back and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses!” The farmer again said, “Maybe.”
The following day his son tried to break one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbors then said, “Oh dear, that’s too bad,” and the farmer responded, “Maybe.”
The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the neighbors came around and said, “Isn’t that great!” Again, he said, “Maybe.”
The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.
Instead of trying to pre-determine the value or meaning of every step, what if we just held a piece for today so that grace has a chance to meet us exactly where we are?