Cardinal Newman, in his inspiring prayer Lead kindly light, asked the Lord’s guidance only for one step for his life. When we reflect upon this thought of Newman, we need light only for the next step in our life. We all move forward taking one by one step. It is enough to get light for one step.
In line with Newman, I ask for the blessing for one second, the one now given to me. I am foolish to worry about the past, nor to dream about the future, actually what I need is light and strength for living ‘the now’. Each moment is unique and I must make it meaningful and beautiful. My whole interest and insistence must be to stress on the present. When I stress on the present, I see that “life is too short to be stuck in the desert”. If I allow my life to be stuck in anything, all I have to do is to come out of it at the earliest. There is no other way than coming away right now. I must concentrate only on the present. This also instructs me to be mindful of everything at hand.
In Japanese Zen spiritualty, it is said, “sitting is Zen, walking is Zen, the iPhone is Zen, the daily news-paper is Zen, household work is Zen, driving is Zen…” In our language we can translate Zen as everything of the present is divine. This means in whatever I am attending to or involved, give full attention to it. Only one task is to be done at a time, and give full attention to it. A mother with a baby in her lap is fully involved with the little one; even if the baby is only of three months, she communicates with the baby, and the baby responds in its own way, by looks, shaking hands, little noises, or even crying.
Another step is that, as I am confronted with a number of issues, I must learn to prioritize, that is, what is important and meaningful must get priority. The other things are secondary and can be postponed or even ignored. Wisdom means the ability to choose from many things. This also means selective listening to news, selective watching of TV, selective reading, selective confrontation with others, etc.
If we can write down our priorities, that is much more selective and precise. In confronting situations, if we are asked to write down, we will be all the more careful in choosing words, the time of events, and the context. All these processes enable us to follow the right path in our life and activities with others.
Today we see and feel that the busiest person is the most successful one. We are enslaved by speed. It is a malady. It is a virus that makes everyone tensed and restless. We go for quantity and ignore quality. Quantity we can purchase but quality, we have to select and decide. Quality is always personal and it charms everyone.
Another reality I encounter is the tension between ego and love. Ego tries to dominate, enslave, control, overpower, subdue, and show oneself; on the contrary, love has just opposite functions -- joy, peace, patience, gentleness, self-control, etc.