Danny’s Lesson

Joan Chittister is a deep thinker so it took me a bit by surprised to read an article in Parabola about a dog that she wriggled into the convent. Danny is an Irish Setter and Joan tells how he moved from the garage to a spot at the bottom of the basement stairs to her bedroom, each time moving because of the raucous he made in the middle of the night. It wasn’t until Danny got his way that the middle of the night fussing ended. His way was to be in bed with his human…which is what every dog wants.

At the end of her article Joan shares words from Lao-tzu: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

“It is those times of acceptance,” she writes, “that our souls come to peace with the world. Acceptance becomes the sacrament of the present moment, the point at which our struggle becomes useless and the unknown becomes the next step in life. If we learn to accept life as it is, as it must be – despite our best efforts to change it – we can keep growing, even when we least want to.”

I have spent my life in resistance to what life places before me. But I have to say that I have found the same truth of which Joan speaks. It is when I stop resisting that I find peace. I didn’t need a dog named Danny to teach me though that would have been nice.