In God’s Hands, All is As it Must Be
A lovely experience of walking in snow recently reminded me of a spiritual retreat I once attended on the four principles of Indian spirituality. These principles all point to the fact that the circumstances of life are all sovereignly ordained by God.
The single most important insight I took from that retreat was that “not a single snowflake accidentally falls in the wrong place”. It is an insight that is at the root of the retreat’s lessons, which I believe can help us deal with life’s happenings.
The First Principle states: “Whomsoever you encounter is the right one.”
This means that no one comes into our life by chance. Everyone who is around us, anyone with whom we interact, represents something, whether to teach us something or to help us improve a current situation.
Even the neighbour who annoys us sometimes, or the colleague at work who does not play his part, or the uncle or aunt who always embarrasses us — all of these people come into our lives to teach us something.
As St Teresa of Calcutta said: “Some people come in our life as blessings. Some come in your life as lessons.” And Mother Teresa’s lesson for us is to be kind to people who come on our way, and to love them.
The Second Principle states: “Whatever happened is the only thing that could have happened.”
Nothing, absolutely nothing, of what we experienced could have been any other way. Not even in the least important detail. There is no, “If only I had done that differently…, then it would have been different…”. No. What happened is the only thing that could have taken place and must have taken place for us to learn our lesson in order to move forward.
Every single situation in life which we encounter is absolutely perfect, even when it defies our understanding and our ego.
Sometimes parents might say, “If only I raised my children differently…”, or a businessman might say, “If only I had made that deal differently…”, and so on. But when we look in the rearview mirror of our lives, then we see how God’s hand was at work.
This lesson teaches us that today we have to always give of our best and we should be content that the decisions we make and actions we do every day are our best.
St Teresa of Calcutta said that we are not expected to be perfect, but that we should simply try our best.
Accepting Life Challenges as Perfect
The Third Principle states: “Each moment in which something begins is the right moment.”
Everything begins at exactly the right moment, neither earlier nor later.
When we are ready for it, for that something new in our life, it is there, ready to begin. God has a plan for our life and we believe that God has his own time.
But how hard it can be to trust in God’s timing! We are a people who want what we want and would prefer it right now.
Sometimes it seems as if we are not even on God’s clock. Yet, there is never a time in which he is not aware of the desires of our hearts.
He does, however, know better than we do, and therefore we need only to trust God and to be ready and open for what he asks of us.
The Fourth Principle: “What is over, is over.”
It is that simple. When something in our life ends, it helps to move us to the next step.
Taking next steps evolves us into better people. That is why, enriched by the recent experience, it is better to let go and move on.
St Paul says to the Philippians: “Brethren, one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” (Phil 3:13).
How wonderful it is to know that our life is in God’s hands and just as not one single snowflake falls accidentally in the wrong place, so too the happenings in our lives are exactly as they are supposed to be.