Published Jan. 27, 2023
I was raised, as we all were, in a specific time and place where we were taught and influenced by the beliefs and traditions of the community and culture we were born into, in order to maintain that community and culture.
I have long ago come to believe that we are all called to rise above our beginnings to continually learn and see more, from a higher and broader perspective, not forgetting our past, but seeing its place in Creation. I have come to believe that we are all called to see from humanity’s and Creation’s perspective.
I no longer spend time asking whether or not there is a God, nor what happens to my spirit when my body dies. Those are beyond my human ability to know.
What I seek to do today is to act on the belief that I was created and am maintained in life by Power greater than me as a thinking animal with Choice.
I was born with the same desires as an animal to survive and have children, but I have three capacities that neither animals or nor anything else in Creation have as far as we know. After all, our brains are much larger and take five times longer to physically mature than any animal brain that we know of.
Those three capacities are:
(1) My ability to observe and listen in silence without reaction or judgment.
(2) My ability to experience unplanned thoughts that we call ‘intuitions’.
(3) My ability to choose which intuitions to focus on and which to leave alone.
I have found that when I choose
Positive rather than Negative,
Creation rather than Destruction, and
Light rather than Darkness,
I become exactly what Creation created me for.
I have come to experience that the more points of view I listen to, the broader I see. My vision becomes much more than just what I see and hear. I begin to see from Creation’s standpoint, usually only for a brief moment and, as spiritual pathfinders have said, the view can be breathtaking.
I have learned from Blaise Pascal that “the heart has reasons that reason does not understand.”
I have learned by practicing the Serenity Prayer, found in the Meditations of Roman General and Emperor Marcus Aurelius, that I am powerless over everything except my choice of attitude. “Grant us the Serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the Courage to change the things we can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” I pray for the Wisdom to choose the best attitude at any given place, day or time.
I have learned from Viktor Frankl that I have always have Choice of attitude, no matter what the conditions are. That is my answer today to the question, “What does the word ‘Choice’ mean?” What is your answer today?
from Daniel Clarke Flynn, Belgium and Luxembourg Yearly Meeting (1/23/2023)