I opened my car door yesterday and Ben was sitting in the driver’s seat, looking like he belonged there. I was thrilled that he stayed long enough for me to take out my iPhone and snap his picture. But just the surprise of seeing him in that unusual place, is what really made me smile.
I remember reading a parable once that went something like this:
A man died and as he realized this, he also realized that he was standing in the middle of everything he had ever wanted: a magnificent home, an endless stream of money, his body fit and firm, every desire was fully manifested. That afternoon, his friend picked him up to play golf and every shot he took was a hole in one. Every woman he was at all interested in was interested back.
Anything he wanted instantly appeared, and he loved this…for about a week. But he started to get bored so he decided to grow a garden and every seed he put into the soil instantly became a full-grown plant with fruit. One day, he was talking to one of the “spirit guides” in his new-found land and he said, ”I am bored out of my mind. I need a project to work on. I need work that I can really grapple with and solve.” The guide answered, “There isn’t any work here.” The man became angry and replied ”This is hell!” and the guide said, “Where did you think you were?”
Part of us always wants to know (now) what the future is going to bring (and exactly how it is going to happen), and yet the larger part of us knows that the surprise and delight of this world, far outweigh certainty. As much as we would like (at times) things to be “all zipped up”, signed, sealed and delivered, another part of us loves the adventure of being here now, of figuring things out, with all of these other human beings, animals, plants, projects, ideas, circumstances and events that come together in ways that astound us.