Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, September 17, 2010
Life is a very narrow bridge between
two eternities. Be not afraid.
Rabbi Nachman of Braslav
Any Wisdom that can help us not to be afraid is a good thing. Most of us would probably agree with that. And like many great teachers, Rabbi Nachman here makes a simple, clear statement to make a single clear point: It does not help us to live Life if we are afraid. This is a principle we all need to know or learn. And readers of the Gospel will remember how many times angels and Jesus said simply: “Be not afraid.”
However: the rabbi’s words could be taken to mean that human Life – that narrow bridge – is of little consequence; that what’s important is the “two eternities” - if indeed the two eternities exist. Here I profoundly disagree – and I don’t think the rabbi means to imply this.
How long or short the “narrow bridge” is is unimportant. What is important is to be as free as possible to live Life as superbly as possible – the “good” and the “bad”. It’s our Life’s work to learn how to do this, and we all need a lot of good teaching, advice, and support.
Bottom line: the “narrow bridge” has a beginning and an end. For us all. Whatever else I have appropriated in my Journey to help me, I find it really helpful just to know that Life began mysteriously and it will end probably mysteriously!! I have only to walk the span, give it my best, and take the best it has to offer.
It won’t last forever. It’s full of possibilities.
Be not afraid!