By Rob Giannamore, Abundant Health Team member**
It definitely is not mile 1 or even mile 5. Maybe it's mile 16 or maybe mile 23, but whatever mile it is, it is not the first. My legs hurt, my feet hurt, I haven’t eaten a full meal in 3 or 4 hours, in fact I can’t eat anything right now because it immediately makes me want to go find a tree. I find myself questioning why I signed up for this race. It’s hot out here, I hope the Aid Station has Mountain Dew -- and that cheeseburger at the end sounds nice.
Everything is frustrating. The traffic, slow drivers, don’t they know I have somewhere to be?
COVID has messed up everything, our life, our mental health, our rituals, our norms.
Breathe! I truly believe that the Lord will make it okay, maybe not the okay you are looking for, though. By the way, what did Jesus mean by that whole “do not worry” thing?
I want to introduce you into the concept of equanimity. Essentially it is maintaining a sense of being chill when bad stuff is happening.
I have been thinking a lot about the concept of equanimity the last few months as our world has continued to devolve into some chaos.
Equanimity is a manifestation of resting in God’s grace and trusting in His plan. Humbled is another word that could be used to describe the state of equanimity. Christian equanimity is a matter of recognizing that our thoughts and ideas can only go so far compared to God’s, when we truly accept that we “can do all things through God who strengthens us.” This is often a misused and misquoted verse from Paul. Paul did not mean we can do anything; he is talking about contentment, that we have equanimity amid our strife, as Paul was writing from prison.
Thomas Merton's famous "Fourth and Walnut" quote adequately captures a sense of non-duality and loving kindness, compassion and empathetic joy:
“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness… This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud… I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”