When we resist life for what we fail to get from it, life resists us and we suffer from our own inability to accept.
When we accept life for what we receive from it, however small or trivial or prosaic, life embraces us and we are blessed in our open contact with the moment.
What we resist—especially suffering—persists. What we accept either ceases—in the case of suffering; or grows—in the case of blessings.
This is a simple yet profound truth of our experience. It is one way of seeing the workings of the universal principle of sowing and reaping. When we sow resistance to life, we reap more suffering. When we sow acceptance of what is, we reap peace and contentment.
Acceptance of what is and open contact with the moment need to be correctly understood. They are not resignation to reality. Rather, they stem from inner strength and assurance. Anchored to truth, one is able to face reality, accept it, deal with it, and release it—with a mind that is equanimous, mindful, clear, tranquil, and unconfined.
Acceptance allows a non-reactive space to open up. What opens up is a dynamic field of potentiality in which creative responses can be marshalled and enacted. Instead of blindly reacting with aversion and rage or despondency and shrinking, which harms oneself most of all, one is able to flow with the currents of the Dao (道) and be serenely bold in facing life. This is far more resourceful and effective, more beneficial and fruitful. We can be tethered to our deepest values and enact them in our lives, rather than being tossed to and fro by the winds of worldly opinions or fleeting circumstances.
Ultimately, if we are anchored to our absolute Rock and Refuge in Christ, our supreme Value, there is nothing in the world that can shake us out of peace—not the fragile peace of this world but His shalom peace and wholeness, given freely to us all who have given our lives to Him. In Christ, we can live and move and have our being, actively loving and acting in our world by the power of His Spirit radiating from a posture of rest suffused with acceptance and open contact with each moment. We can have an unsinkable joy amidst the travails of life. Yes, there will be ups and downs but our joy in Christ, the joy of Christ, will sustain us and prevent us from sinking into the pit.
For fear no longer has a hold over us. At its root, our resistance to life with all its uncertainties and sufferings is fear, raw and primordial. It also means our first love is not God but the world (see 1 John 2:15). We seek from the world what only God can give us. But we fail miserably in this and thus fear the world that seems so capricious and merciless.
But in Christ, with Christ, through Christ, and because of Christ, the love of God our Father is in us, and perfect love casts out all fear (see 1 John 4:18). Why not be mindful of this truth and gift of fearless love in Christ, again and again? When we do, our light from Christ can shine and be a part of that city on a hill.