Who Is Pushing Our Swing
Who is pushing our swing?
We often get into those moods, thinking how and why certain things are happening to us. Faith then becomes a textbook term, collecting dust. The other day as I browsed my bookshelf, I came across a striking example on the importance of trust.
Think of a swing. “Children love to swing. There is nothing like it. Thrusting your feet toward the sky ... spinning trees. As a child, we would only trust certain people to push our swing. If I were being pushed by people I trusted (like mom or dad), they could do anything they wanted. Twist me, turn me, stop me … I loved it! I loved it because I trusted the person pushing me. They wanted my safety before I even knew what safety was. I was relaxed and carefree. But let a stranger push my swing – like distant relatives or guests, and it was…whoa, hang on! .. Who knew what this newcomer would do? When a stranger pushes your swing, you tense up…. It is no fun when the swing is in the hands of someone you do not know.”1
A stormy world
We’re living in a stormy world today. A world that is filled with uncertainties of the future. It is not an easy state to be in. But it is at times such as these that we have to reflect and realize: who is pushing our swing? We must put our trust in Him. We cannot grow fearful or doubtful. When we are in his hands, we will find peace even in a storm....because He is pushing our swing! Although we know the swing of our lives is in His hands, we still question.
We should let him swing us. He may lead us through a storm at age thirty so we can endure a hurricane at age fifty. An instrument is only useful if it is in the right shape. A dull axe or a bent screwdriver needs attention, and so do we. A good blacksmith keeps his tools in shape. So does He.
Attuning to our Anchor
Yet, how do we keep that constant remembrance that He is taking care of us? That He is pushing our swing? How do we let faith not become a textbook term, but one that we live each day?
Much like grace on the path, faith is a two-way street. Our meditation will help us strengthen our faith and live according to the teachings. At the same time, as we develop more faith on the path, we will automatically give a higher priority to our meditation. When we are indifferent to our meditation, when we do not make it the most important daily event in our lives, we are losing the opportunity to develop the faith we need to follow the path.
So we need to hold on to our anchor. We can take the example from Indian classical music, in which it is important to align one’s attention with one note, Sa. Myriad beautiful compositions, soul-lifting ragas, exquisite renditions stem from that single attunement. Every performer fine-tunes the attention to that unique note before beginning the concert. And this attunement continues right through the performance. And so it is with us. If we can attune ourselves to that one divine power while we go through our performance of life, then all the noise, chaos and confusion will be outside us. In and through the clamour we will be able to withdraw into an oasis of peace within.
The Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, echoed a similar thought:
The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor, and were asked my advice, I should reply: Create Silence.
We have the ability to access this creative silence within us. No matter what is going on all around us, as long as we are with Him, we are at peace. As long as we remember Him, as long as we know how to keep ourselves in his presence. Hazur would often say: “The Master is closer than our next breath.” The Lord is taking care of us every second of our lives. There is nothing in our lives that he is ignorant of. There is nothing that he is not intimately involved in. We just need to delve inside and feel Him within. He is present everywhere. He is our one friend, whom we can love like no other love. Whom we can count on. Unconditionally.
- Max Lucado, On the Anvil: Thoughts on Being Shaped into God's Image, Tyndale House Publ. 1994, p.55