where the writers are
Secrets to Happiness and Inner Peace: Part One
"I read this book straight through; I could not put it down," Dr. Dwight Moody
Amazon.com Amazon.com
Powell's Books Powell's Books
Dr. Steve McSwain

There’s a line in A Course in Miracles that goes, “Your passage through space and time is not random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time.”

Potent words and knowing deep within you the truth behind them will yield to the most extraordinary human existence imaginable.  It is one of several secrets to happiness and inner peace.  I’ll call this one, Part One.  I’ll write about others as I’m inspired to do so.  But, for now, here’s a few ways this truth, when known and applied, will play out…

First, to ponder that your life is no accident, no random mutation of atoms, but a Divinely-appointed happening in space and time is as incredible as it is incomprehensible. But, guess what? You are. So, how could you ever think of yourself as anything but a most remarkable creation of God? When you know that you are, then you will move beyond self-recrimination, self-judgment, self-doubt, guilt, shame and so forth. You will know that you are a piece of God herself.

Further, since your life is no accident, your life experiences are no accident either. This is harder to ponder, harder still to apply. Our tendency is to quickly jump to labeling things good, bad, positive, negative, helpful, hurtful, and so on. But, if we could begin train ourselves to “Judge Not,” (Matt. 7:1), as Jesus put it, we would free ourselves to see that all of life’s experiences are really portals into greater awareness – or, portals into Presence itself. It was the late Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, author of the insightful stages of grief, who reminded us, “There are no mistakes. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.” If that is true, then your spiritual practice is to find a way to pause in the chaos of everything and look for the portal.

There is much more I might explore when plumbing the meaning in this statement from A Course in Miracles. But, here’s one more thought. If it is true, “You cannot but be in the right place at the right time,” then try to imagine how wonderfully freeing it would be to actually live from this place of surrender and stillness? To know that you don’t have to resist, fight, struggle against (or, struggle for something), or live one moment longer under any stress whatsoever. You are free to let life unfold, knowing that Universal Intelligence is orchestrating the “dance of life,” as Chopra calls it. You flow with it, instead of fighting against it. “The wind blows where it wills,” said Jesus. You cannot control the Spirit of this universe. You can only align yourself to it and flow with it. Any stress you feel, therefore, should be a signal to you to pause and watch where the wind is blowing, then adjust your sails.

I’m writing these words while flying from Chicago to Louisville. It’s one of those rare and breathtaking days when the sky is as rich and blue as the deepest oceans of the Pacific rim. From this vantage point, it seems as if I can see forever. Scattered about and above the green landscape are white mounds of cumulus clouds. They’re in as many different shapes and sizes as there are snowflakes in winter. What occurs to me, as I observe this magnificent beauty, is that none of it is imperfect, accidental, or random. There’s an intelligence at work in all of this that is as comforting to observe as it is beautiful to observe. Each cloud floats effortlessly with the unseen Wind, wrestles not with what direction it is taken and, instead, freely flows with Life itself–in what appears to be complete silence, surrender, and peace.

My advice? Let images like this teach you about life itself and the way to live it in peace. Isn’t that what Jesus was doing when he said, “Look at the birds of the air…at the lilies of the field,” (Matt. 6).  Well, you know the rest of what he said. Now, make it your spiritual practice and see what happens.