What Now?

Last year, as every year, ended with a narrative about the Holy Birth of a Prince of Peace. Born in innocence and vulnerability
Now, The Seer, as the Elder Year – is ready to let go, move on, and perhaps find some rest. He leans his furrowed forehead onto the Mighty Tree of Life. His third eye, which has already seen so much, maybe too much, now prays forth for a vision, into those roots deep in the earth, asking, “What now?”
Good and evil intermingle into an illusory knotted ball. I’m told the average American kid each day spends 40 minutes outside and 4 hours inside on a device each day. How can he or she ever mature into a world, that in order to survive together, some things need to be fed, some things need to be broken? – and how to discern the difference.
Our view of the Tree can now be altered (“remastered”) in a thousand ways by an “application.” Most of us have such a resident or at least a downloadable app available, often for ‘free.’
But the actual Tree, the one ‘Nature’ can provide, has a corresponding shadow beneath it. If we could but see its root system, it has the same shape and substance hidden beneath the surface. Each, of necessity, feeds and nourishes the other. And the ancient seer knows this prayer for his successor must now penetrate deep.
_ _ _ _ _ _
One of the ‘secrets’ of my profession (or a couple of them), is that when disease or chaos inhabits the outer (larger) world around us, we can (or must) then ‘go down inside’ for guidance and healing. My own initiation has been to seek and follow an innate inner spirit.[1]
And the obverse is also true – when we are ill or broken inside, we can look outside for healing. This may be Nature, a healer, a community, or a particular healing individual.[2]
The upshot is that we cannot do it alone. We need each other, we need community, internal and external. And for various reasons, circumstances, and various personalities, those communities are both horizontal and vertical. My own life work involves healing brokenness in both arenas and directions.
We are given Now, Here, and Time
A spiritual perspective and our secular calendars give us a gift of Time. There was a before, and there will be a hereafter – both of which we can know only a little, except maybe to say they are “in God’s hands.” But between our own birth and death, we are given Now and Here, the Gift of Time. We have a time and a place to Do Something to make a difference – with a Purpose, and within Company for support.
And in response to the question “What now?” – we are simply given Now.
Like the old Seer, to perceive the larger picture, for him Now was time to let go.
Maybe the best news of it being the NEW YEAR 2024, is that for us,
It’s not too late – There’s Still Time
And we’re still Here.
Out of COVID emerged a particular Zoom community that used, from A New Zealand Prayer Book (Anglican), a Night Prayer version of an old Benediction (an Ethic of being sent out)
Good friends,
Go forth into the world in peace;
be of good courage;
Render to no one evil for evil.
Hold fast that which is good;
strengthen the fainthearted;
help the afflicted;
honor and respect the dignity of everyone;
and rejoice in the power of the Spirit
In us,
and beyond us all.
Now, we can better know who we are and why we are here. (Maybe even for the first time.)
Happy New Year 2024.
Pay Attention