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Life is filled with opportunities. They appear daily in our lives.
Today I was in a situation where people were mourning the recent deaths of loved ones. This gave me the opportunity to thank them for the good they had committed in the lives of the deceased members of their families and friends.
As a boy growing up in a Catholic school I was often called upon by the priests to serve at funerals. I lived in a small rural town where everybody knew everybody else. Births and deaths were community affairs. The whole town shared in grief and growth. Even then I saw things differently than other people.
I could see the soul of the dead person beside the casket, in the church and at the graveside. How striking it was to see their responses to the living! Many of the dead were elderly. It was always a source of gratification to the souls to see who came to their funerals. Often they were surprised to see old friends who were not in good health show up or people who had come from a distance.
In the meantime I have spent most of my life in large metropolitan areas. Sometimes there is no service simply because the person was old and knew no one. Sometimes there are large gatherings filled with tears and sadness as well as celebration.
Life is for the living. We hear this all of our lives, but do we take advantage of it? Not that we have to be perpetual motion machines. There’s no need for us to be forever running from pillar to post. Yet we have the opportunity to live well every moment. Whether we are reading or riding bicycles, watching television or in the middle of a crowd we have the opportunity to live in the moment.
Many people go to yoga classes to both be with other people and to learn its spiritual mastery of ego and will. They take advantage of Hinduisms’ teachings of selflessness. I have sat in gatherings where I have seen men and women use their hands and minds to sew or knit while fully participating in the discussion. All of them tell me they are better able to listen and to speak if their hands are also occupied.
I find spirituality in the kitchen. When I take advantage of the opportunity to cook a simple healthy meal I feel like I am giving back to the world of the spirit in a physical way. I love to see people enjoying themselves at whatever is their passion. When I see somebody reading on a grassy public place and nearby others are engaged in conversation or playing Frisbee or just enjoying the day I see them using the opportunity to live their spiritualties in the moment.
Doing dishes is as much a spiritual opportunity as going to church or meditating. God is present in all occasions.
We have the opportunity to live life fully until we leave it for the next life.