Scripture: Tao Te Ching: 10
Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child’s?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from your own mind
and thus understand all things?
Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue.
Thought for the Day: Jesus was probably familiar with Taoism (because, like Buddhism, it predates Jesus by about 500 years). Even if he wasn’t though, he would have been a great Taoist. He understood the need to take any human convention or possession with a grain of salt. Like the Taoists, he urges people to give up their material stuff, and their mental association of success with wealth. He urges people to focus on God, who will guide them through a more spiritually connected life, the same way we are urged to remain in the Tao, on the Way, in the flow. Remember that phrase, “Go with the flow”? That’s Tao.
It may not be a coincidence that the first followers of Jesus were called people of The Way. These early Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus’ teachings (specifically followers of his teachings, not worshippers of his death and resurrection), gave up material goods to live in faith communities, traveled the world talking to people about the difference a personal relationship with God—no intermediary required, had made in their lives, and simply let God lead them, no expectations, no need to control a situation. They simply and faithfully went with the flow, and were a peaceful, non-anxious presence wherever they went and for whomever they encountered.
May we remember and enact this lost ideal.
Prayer: I can feel the flow of the universe, and I call it God. Help me tune my mind, my heart, my body and soul into your loving, peaceful presence, so that I may learn to let things take their natural course, and learn to let go of control and the desire to possess. Amen.