Monday, April 18, 2011

It Takes Time To Bloom

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. – James 1:22-25

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 11-13; James 1

On my way home from work the other day I encountered a woman who needed some help. She wanted to sit in the seat that was obstructed by a handicapped bench that was folded up against the wall; but, she couldn’t figure out how to unfold the seats after yanking at it for a few moments.

Seeing her frustration, I got up and did it for her.
It just took thirty seconds of my time and was no real burden to me but she was very grateful for my help. We chatted for a few minutes. I asked how she was doing and she asked the same. I love having random encounters with strangers on the train; it reminds me that no matter how much we try to hide in our little boxes, we are all connected in this beautiful spiritual web called humanity.

After we finished talking I went back to reading the news on my phone but I could feel the folks to the right of me staring a hole into the side of my head. I looked over and the man smiled and introduced himself and his wife. They asked if I knew the woman that I helped. I said that I did not and they were surprised. He observed my interaction with the woman as well and said that in his Buddhist tradition it showed that I had a high level of good life energy (I know I am saying that wrong so if you are reading this and know the right term please correct me).

Then we launched into this interesting spiritual conversation. I shared with him that in my faith tradition we believe that we are supposed to treat others the way that we want to be treated. He agreed and then the three of us almost simultaneously said “that is a HARD thing to do”.

Through making little decisions everyday to treat others how we want to be treated we work toward becoming a better people. Some days are easier than others, some situations seem nearly impossible, but if we work on being better than the day before, then eventually we will get to a place that we have never been.

Growth happens little by little. A rose doesn’t bloom right in front of us, but rather, it takes time for the bud to give birth to its blossom. We also need time to bloom.

If only we could bloom as fast as the roses do….

The Buddhist couple left the train a few stops before my own but the conversation has not left me. Though we may have different foundations for our faith, we still found a way to connect in a powerful way. I hope that in the future I will continue to remember this couple in my efforts to connect with others, to spread love and freedom throughout the world.

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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