The Precious Now - Greg Barrette
Every moment is the gateway to the now.
Every situation is a precious chance to awaken.
Every person encountered is a gateway to God.
Every opportunity begs to be taken.
When Jesus said "many of the first shall be last and many of the last shall be first", he wasn't just speaking of individuals. He was pointing to those opportunities that we sometimes judge as being insignificant or significant, good or bad, according to the evaluation of our egos.
Many of our "last" or least favorite experiences may be our greatest gateways into spiritual growth. And many of our "first" experiences really aren't that big of a deal, and may even serve to clutter our lives.
A friend of mine spent every New Year's Day reflecting on his prior year and giving it a letter grade, according to how well he liked that year. He did this for several years and then fell out of that practice as he grew spiritually.
Many years later, he found his list of letter grades and discovered to his amazement that many of the years that he had thought were awful, now benefited him greatly, in terms of his learning experiences and growth; and many of the years that he had thought were so good, now seemed to be just frivolous and anemic.
Many of his "last" years were now "first".
Eckhart Tolle tells the story of the Zen master who was awakened into enlightenment when he was walking through the village market and overheard a woman ask the butcher for his very best piece of meat. The butcher replied "every piece of piece of meat I have is my very best piece of meat. There is no piece of meat here that is not my best piece of meat." In that moment, he was enlightened!
Every moment is equally the gateway to the now, an equal opportunity for growth, just as "every piece of meat is the very best piece of meat."
So, let's take advantage of every opportunity that life offers us to awaken. Let's stop judging and start cooking! Bon appetit!