Why are we so quick to latch onto pronouncements from prophets or ancient societies that give us a heads up on the future? Each time a doomsday warning snatches the top spot in the news media many of us are sure that this time we know the exact date of our death. It seems we would rather have bad news than no news at all.
According to one of the most famous men to have ever lived, Jesus, no one knows the time and date of the end of the world. He also had a direct line to the God, only saying or doing what He saw his Father in heaven doing.
So why do we want to know the date of our death? I think that we simply we hate experiencing our vulnerability. We want to pretend that we are in control, and in the know. Life is the exact opposite. Until we stop railing against our powerlessness, we will never be happy. Only the truth sets us free. Only living in the present moment will we find the peace and joy we crave.
How do we live in the present moment? How do we accept our powerlessness and let go control the uncontrollable? By relaxing and taking a few deep breaths when we realize we are scheming about the future or mulling over our dubious past. I find that a good laugh at my ridiculous tendency to play God puts me back into reality.
Even better sing or listen to the Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts or the rewrite, The Lord of the Dance.
“Simple Gifts” was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine. These are the lyrics to his one-verse song:
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,And when we find ourselves in the place just right,‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.When true simplicity is gain’d,To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,To turn, turn will be our delight,Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.
“Lord of the Dance”
Chorus to the hymn:
Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, whereever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.