This past weekend my husband and I experienced a very rare phenomenon. Silence. Being able to finish a hot cup of coffee. Sleeping in until 10:30 on the weekend. Reading The Washington Post and actually finishing an article. These extraordinary events were graciouslly brought to us by two very generous grandparents who wanted to give us a break from parenting for the weekend. Hallelujah! We wallowed in the freedom of a weekend at home without the children. For two weeks prior to the occasion, we contemplated different ways in which we would spend our free time. My internal list of things to accomplish grew on a daily basis. It was filled with many hours crossing off household repairs that have filled our ongoing punch list since we moved to our house three and a half years ago. We figuratively threw the "honey do" list into the dusty old box it has been sitting in for three and a half years and instead decided to spend time together pretending to be the young college kids from thirteen years ago.
Despite the growing number of places we wanted to visit, books we wanted to read or restaurants we wanted to try, one event remained a must-do on our agenda; going to the AFI Theatre in Siver Spring to see Slumdog Millionare. I wasn't too familiar with its plot and I was relying solely on my husband's opinion after he listened to a review of the film on NPR. At 7:30pm on a Saturday night I was delighted to be surrounded by an incredible sound system, a bag of swedish fish, Reese's Pieces and a civilized theatre-going crowd.
I won't give away any major details of the movie, but I will say that an overarching message in Slumdog Millionaire is the phrase: It is written. I interpreted this statemen to mean that a person's destiny in life is written. The question is, are we the authors of our own destiny or is it predetermined by the universe? Can someone believe in a certain destiny and orchestrate her life around fulfilling that vision? Or, are we at the mercy of a universe, higher power, or spirit who has already written our life's story. Do we react to a destiny that has been chosen for us before we came into being? How much are we in control? Although there are many formidable opinions on both sides of this question I am personally reminded of a bumper sticker that I once saw claiming "You plan. God laughs", tauting a similar philosophy that there is an element of one's life that is uncontrollable and left to the powers of the universe.
Embracing the ability to let go and realize that there is a written plan and purpose to one's life is liberating, yet very difficult. The virtue that enables us to accept the wonders of our destiny is discernment. With this gift we listen deeply for the true questions, trusting that the answer will unfold and reveal itself when the time is right. We become alert to the messages that come in subtle and surprising ways. We hold decisions lightly until the truth emerges. Discernment allows one to be reflective and meditative and hold a decision with trust, allowing wonder and intuition to guide us by grace.
Whether you believe that destiny is a controllable or uncontrollable force, you may soon be inundated with holiday cards extending wishes for a wonderful season and new year. I simply ask you: How wonder-full is your life? Do you allow the wonders of the universe and your destiny to lead you to the right path and guide your inner vision? I hope you will open your heart to the possibilities of your written plan, not your honey do or punch list, and allow time for reflection and grace to ignite your spirit with peace and love.
With peace and hope,