“Life is easier to take than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable and bear the intolerable.”
—Kathleen Norris, 1880-1966.
Simple isn’t it? Yet, this quote above seems to confound our everyday understanding. We think sarcastically, ‘Yes, sure, doesn’t sound hard at all, dealing with the impossible, going without the indispensable, and bearing with the intolerable.’ But, if we consider it in the context of God’s wisdom and light, where all things are possible, this is perhaps more of a possibility than we think, but it’s seemingly still not a synch.
I’ve always loved the proverbs about life, for instance:
“Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor.”
—Proverbs 21:21 (TNIV).
This is similar in some ways to our quote above. There’s a similar ring to it. There’s a sense of congruence about the ‘possibility thinking’ implied in both. Together they suggest life is not hard to take if we pursue a right life based in love. If we manifest this by accepting the things that many others find problematic we approach life from a much more helpful perspective.
If we find those things that the majority just ‘have to have’ just don’t have the allure for us, we at once live a simplified form of life; one that’s distinctly without the clamour of ‘the next thing.’ Materialism, after all, is always about the ‘next thing’ and keeping up with the Jones’.
The final frontier is the bearing the intolerable. Having written just recently about Saint John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul, we find there is a way known to humankind to tolerate what for many is unbearable.
The impossible, indispensable and the intolerable: these are just concepts that have open and loosen-ended meanings and values. So, why is it that we limit ourselves and therefore attract spiritual death when life is simply just as available?
It’s got to be about opening our minds to the possibilities, and we know our God’s all about possibilities! The key to this is living a right life that loves. And what of the outcomes for those who are open to all the possibilities? It’s about a long life, prosperity (a spiritually rich life), and a good name. What more could we want?
© 2009 S. J. Wickham.