“I think the most important question facing humanity is ‘Is the universe a friendly place?’ This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.” -Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein’s suggested inquiry implies much about our personal relationship to life and to God. It is an invitation to move beyond our monkey brain, to create a miraculous and loving relationship with life regardless of uncertain and ever-changing terrain.
I don’t know about you, but for me, the benevolent status of the cosmos consistently vacillates. It can be influenced by everything from how much sugar I eat and what crazy adventures my adult children are planning, to economic hardships and the kink in my back. Being a Happy Camper is not an easy job. On a continuum that stretches from sinkhole to smiley face, from Eeyore to Tigger, there is a lot of territory, which we all get to know intimately.
Recently, along this path of living with The Question, I found myself loitering in a dark corner of my soul and falling prey to some serious unfriendliness. Once again, The Fates had seemingly conspired to confound my thinking and I was experiencing a prolonged bout of living in the dark with my wrathful confusions.
But Einstein also said,“God does not play dice with the Universe.” Nor does he do so with the human soul. Thankfully. So, eventually The Graces arrived, whispering encouragement and providing friendly companions. With the help of kindred spirits, I dared to stick my head up out of the sinkhole and peer around a bit. Timing can be everything. When I finally took a good look around, here are a few of the gems that restored my faith in the sanity of an unequivocal YES:
In one afternoon, I was called ‘sweetie’, ‘hon’, and ‘darlin’ by a variety of kind strangers. AND I found a rhinestone heart trinket in the thrift shop. I felt loved.
The same day, I recalled a squirrel I met in the park. She was prancing along happily without a tail. Just like Erie’s squirrel of his last reflection, she stopped to chat with/at me for a spell. In our conversation, I found out she didn’t know her tail was missing and refused to give it much credence. She went her merry way balancing along a fence like a professional gymnast. She had NO IDEA she was sporting a glaring deficit.
My friend, Pete, recently widowed, is currently traveling around the country in his big red truck. My inbox is aglow with a steady flow of his images of hay fields and sunrises…visions from his friendly universe.
Another friend, a mother of two small boys, has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her responses to her illness has been to create a “YES” Wall. She is decorating a wall in her home with all of the things that bring her happiness.
Then, while looking through my old books, I found one written by my friend, Lou. Lou was a photojournalist who had witnessed the soul of the world; the beauty and the horror. During WWII, he had flown on bombing missions over Japan. After the war he went to the bombsites and saw that the targets had been civilian populations. But, in spite of that, and many other things he had seen and experienced, he still believed in the goodness of humanity. “In spite of it all…Yes!”, he had said.
In his last year, struggling with cancer, Lou continued to create and write. On the eve of his death, while lying in a hospital bed, floating in and out of consciousness, he had a visit from his publisher who came to tell him that his book was at the press. Lou opened his eyes one more time, smiled, and raised his clasped hands together above his head in victory.
So, here is the bottom line on the universe for today:
As Lou also said, “Can’t argue with a sunrise!”. Nor can you argue with a crazy squirrel, a devoted mother, and a wise man. At least I can’t. Not now. I would rather use my time here to create a ‘Yes Wall’.
Note: above photo is a sunrise from international space station - Doug Wheelock