Sunday, 17 December 2017

Don’t look back or forward, live today

I OFTEN think about life being a series of chance meetings and events, coincidences and happenstances.

I OFTEN think about life being a series of chance meetings and events, coincidences and happenstances.

At any time if you do a certain thing it can lead to a chain of events, whereas if you had done something different it may lead to a completely different outcome.

For example, in the film Sliding Doors the plot splits into two parallel universes based on the two paths the central character’s life could take, depending on whether or not she catches a particular train.

Most people have sometimes asked themselves: “What if I had done that or not done that?”

Generally we measure our lives by looking backwards to the past or forwards to the future. The stories we tell about ourselves tend to be about things that have happened.

Other times we might concentrate on what is going to happen, what might happen or what we hope will happen in the future. It is really difficult to live and think about the present, now, this moment. One way of doing this is to try to find an inner stillness.

Quakers are given the advice to find a way into silence which allows us to deepen our awareness of the divine and to find the inner source of strength. We are told to seek to know an inward stillness, even amid the activities of daily life.

The Latin phrase “Carpe diem” is generally translated as meaning “Seize the day!” but scholars think that “pluck” is a closer translation as in plucking fruit from a vine or a tree. “Pluck the day when it is ripe” to me means enjoy the day, live for today, get the most from your time now. Accept that what has happened has passed, what will happen will happen, but today is a gift so live it well.

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