Monday, January 23, 2017

Spiritual Success

The Mystery within...
My December 5, 2016 blog titled “The Gift of Seeing” opened with a quote from Teilhard de Chardin, “The whole of life lies in the verb seeing.”  After finishing reading Isabel Wilkerson’s descriptions of the plainspoken Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, one of the three protagonists in Wilkerson’s book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” my heart was better informed about spiritual success.   Of Ida Mae she wrote:

“She had a way of looking past the outer layer of people and seemed to regard everyone she met with a kind of searching intensity, as if this were the first person she had ever seen.”

“She was too good natured to waste energy disliking them no matter what they did but looked upon them as a curiosity she might never comprehend.  She learned to give them the benefit of the doubt but not be surprised at anything involving them.  This alone probably added decades to her life.”

When Ida Mae heard someone complaining about a rainy day she responded:

“Now we ain’t got nothing to do with God’s business, she says, sitting back in her seat.  She adjusts herself and straightens her scarf, contenting herself with whatever the day has in store.”

“She lived in the moment, surrendered to whatever the day presented, and remained her true, original self.  Her success was spiritual, perhaps the hardest to achieve.  And because of that, she was the happiest and lived the longest of them all.”

It is an awesome challenge to live in the moment; accepting whatever the day presents; while remaining true to myself.  Looking past the outer layer of people and regarding everyone with a searching intensity, seeing them as a curiosity I might never comprehend sheds light on accepting the other.  Ida Mae strikes me as the master in reframing what is for spiritual success.

What if we could reframe what is for spiritual success more often? 

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