After a great day at the market, a merchant was returning home when he decided to thank God for his bounty. He stopped at the worship hall and left his camel outside while he went in for prayer and thanks. When he came out the camel was nowhere in sight. As he was loudly blaming God for this injustice, a Sufi passing by heard the predicament of the merchant and commented, “Trust in God, but tie your camel.”
This beautiful saying by the Sufi is a nice way for us to look at the distinction between the paradox of surrender and responsibility. As we struggle with challenges in our daily life, it is important for us to remember to find the balance between self-responsibility and trust in God. While we need to learn to be grateful for all the blessings and bounty in our life showered by God, we also have a responsibility for our actions. Life is full of choices. As we make choices, we begin to define our future.
Lately, I have been noticing the beauty of these paradoxes in my life. Every day as we live our lives, these paradoxes shape our lives and our future. We have to learn to find the balance among these paradoxes. These paradox shows up as choices in our lives. We have the choice between exercising vs. lethargy, discipline vs. ad hoc, purposeful vs. meaningless, serious vs. playful, being in control vs. being in the flow, rigid vs. fluid.
We have the choice every moment on what we do next, and knowing that there is a paradox and that neither option is right or wrong allows us to be in the moment and live a life of balance without guilt or fear. We adjust our choices based on the circumstance. This allows us to learn to trust the mystery of the universe and enjoy the journey rather than have a predetermined way of living.
As we begin to enjoy the full bloom of the spring and see the flowers and plants beginning to bloom, it is time for us to remember that change is inevitable. As the spring beauty becomes apparent it awakens in us the desire to re-invent ourselves and begin the journey of self-evolution. We create a vision of what we want out of our lives. As we contemplate, meditate, or introspect, we see the new opportunity for our own life. Spring is a great season to begin defining our vision. Just like a garden requires work to stay beautiful and produce its bounty, our life requires effort in our part to bear fruit. The combination of our effort and trust in God are the magical ingredients to create a lasting change in our lives. If we stay persistent, trust in God and continue our effort, there is no reason for us to not achieve our vision and our goal.
Love and Joy,