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.
Yet even once we realize this truth it seems almost impossible to let go and trust in God. For example, every 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 the end of the world and our own death.
According to Christ, no one knows the time and date of the end of the world and He was the Son of God. Jesus had with a direct line to the Father, only saying or doing what He saw His Father in heaven doing.
So why do we want to be in the know all the time? Why can we not stand in awe and live joyfully with mystery?
I think we simply dislike our own vulnerability. We want to pretend we are in control and in the know.
Life is the exact opposite. We can only bow in humility before the Almighty.
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 of trying to 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.
Although countless Catholic Mystics and the Desert fathers also speak about simplicity, listen to the Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts or the rewrite, The Lord of the Dance. It is a song filled with joy as it explains that only simplicity and humility will set us free.
“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 which was written as a DANCE, not just a hymn.
‘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.
connecting with theology is a verb
3 thoughts on “‘Tis The Gift To Be Simple”
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I love that Shaker hymn, from the moment I first heard it. My wife and I were on a vacation in western Massachusetts and nearby there was a restored Shaker village as a museum. We went and I was so absorbed. I had heard of the Shakers, but never knew really who they were or their history. It was fascinating, and I did learn about that Shaker hymn. My favorite version is with Yo Yo Ma on cello and Alison Krause singing. Here:
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The singing is delightful; the opening music gives me shivers of joy but haunting at other points. THANK YOU