Monday, June 18, 2007
Today I faced a seeming crisis as I was doing my laundry (coin set up, downstairs in the building). All went well (we even have new washers and dryers) until I put in my last load of laundry to dry. But then things went to pieces.
I put in my four quarters and pressed the right button, but nothing happened. I pressed all the buttons I could find, but still nothing happened. I tried inserting more coins, but they came right back out. I pulled the cords in and out of the wall sockets, but that didn't help. I sort of lightly tapped the dryer itself, but it just sat there.
So I came back upstairs and wrote a warning note to others, and went back to tape it to the machine, meantime wondering how in the world I could dry a load of heavy towels and washcloths in my small apartment.
When I went back down, I met a young woman who lives here and warned her about the dryers. She came over, took her fist, and gave a hard knock to the coin receptor. Something clicked into place. The dryers now worked.
Moral: When everything else fails, hit it hard and hold your breath. And pray for an angel to come along and show you how.
This is a bit of humor, but the truth is that even in our spiritual lives, we sometimes need to be a bit more aggressive--there is a line from Rumi which says, "Ask for what you need." And we should not forget to do this, asking for help when it is needed, for ourselves or others. Who knows what may come of this? Miracles, great and small, do happen--the unexpected can occur. There is help all around if we just remember to look for it.
In one of Graham Greene's novels, there is a scene in which a man joins a seance circle, knowing that he is being set up to be electrocuted when they hold hands. However, he is too shy to protest or opt out. He goes ahead with the ceremony, not expecting to live through it, but nothing untoward happens. I think some of us go through life this way--literally afraid to speak up for ourselves or to seek help when it is needed.
It is said that self-rejection is as much an obstacle to enlightenment as self-inflation. Something to think about.