Start close in

When planning for the future it is tempting to imagine the place you could arrive, years down the track, when all the barriers have been removed, the possibilities you hope for have come to be and everything you believe you can accomplish has been achieved. Then, you think, I can begin. We can approach planning for families or communities in the same way, always reaching for that far horizon.
 
But the reality is that life keeps changing. We cannot anticipate that far destination and to keep trying to do so means that we are blind to the possibilities of the present as it actually appears. All the great spiritual teachers recall us to the gift of the now and encourage us to simply begin where we are. Jesus did not coach on how to build Christendom – he simply said, “Follow me”.
 
These are the last lines of a poem by David Whyte called Start Close In.
 
Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics,
be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.
 
Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t
want to take.
 
Finding our own path instead of following others takes courage and honesty and perseverance; being utterly truthful about the present and who we are (and who we are not) can be the hardest step to take. But when we see ourselves as we are, discerning the beauty, originality and possibility, taking the next step from that place will seem the most natural thing in the world. Start close in. Abandon the far horizons and feast on the now. The God who can only encounter us in the present will be with us as we take the next step.
 
Grace and peace,
Sue +

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