On Arriving

“If there remains any vestige of self that can be aware of itself as “having arrived” and having “attained possession”, then it can be sure of the return of the old dread, the old night, the old nothingness, until all self-sufficiency and self-complacency are destroyed.”
Thomas Merton
My whole life I’ve been on the lookout for the next thing. The next possibility. What is that “next thing”? A consolation? A piece of good news? A surprise outside of the “mundane” of everyday life? These are nice, but their satisfaction is fleeting. Worse for me, the desire for these things sets in my mind the sense that, once acquired, I’ll have arrived at some kind of “satisfaction destination”. “If I only had this one thing, life would be complete”. I think this desire is linked to a spiritual longing, which can be just as absorbing. If only God would speak to us… It’s taken me all my adult life to realize “the next thing” is always a myth. This present moment is the gift. The satisfaction. The voice. Take a deep breath. Listen. Look around. It’s this! We have arrived.