October 5


Today's Quotation:

When people are on the point of drowning, all they care for is their lives.  But as soon as they get ashore, they ask, "Where is my umbrella?"  Wisdom, in life, consists in not asking for the umbrella.

John Wu

Today's Meditation:

How many times have we seen in films-- and even real life-- those people who barely escape death and who immediately become distraught because they've lost their wallets or some jewels or some paperwork that they "needed"?  In films, it makes for a wonderful illustration of a character who simply hasn't set his or her priorities realistically or who can't appreciate the truest reality of the moment:  he or she is lucky to be alive.  Somehow, though, the person places more importance on some sort of material object than on life.

True wisdom consists of seeing life exactly as it is-- it is much more important than any of the materialism or even the relationships of our lives.  After all, if we weren't alive, we wouldn't have any of it, would we?  If I die today, not a single thing that I have or a single person that I know would be able to change that fact.  Therefore, the highest priority of my life should be to appreciate and be thankful for the life that I have that I'm able to lead.

If I'm alive, what I lose doesn't matter, for I can gain it again.  Being alive means being able to live and learn and grow, and if we're truly wise, we seek to strengthen and improve our lives, our hearts, our souls, our spirits.  If we're not wise, we seek to obtain more and more things in our search for "happiness," and we seek to hold on to them at all costs out of fear of losing them.

Many people who face drowning but who survive are wise, and they don't ask for whatever they might have lost when they reach safety.  We can learn from them and their wisdom and realize that the next time we pass through a difficult or dangerous time, at least we're alive.  And isn't that what matters?  For only when we're alive can we continue to grow and learn.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Why might some people feel the need to find out what happened to a possession after almost drowning?

2.  How can we learn to let go of such a need?

3.  Who can teach us to have the kind of wisdom that John Wu writes of?

For further thought:

No doubt we would all agree with the sentiment:  “There’s more to life than things.”  Yet much of our lives seem to be spent in the acquisition, maintenance, and disposal of material goods.  Certainly we cannot enjoy the basics of food, shelter, and clothing without a concern for things.  The truly important things of life, however, are those which cannot be encountered by the physical senses, purchased with money, or placed on a shelf.  When we take a look at what we value most in life, we generally find family, friends, health, peace, contentment, laughter, helping others, and communion with God [whatever we conceive God to be] foremost on our list of priorities.


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