When I was in my first year of college I took British Literature. I had an amazing professor. He never took attendance or gave out tests until the end of the semester. His only policy was “show up and be present and I promise you will be entertained.” His strong British accent was charming. The classes were remarkably full. Students had to get there early enough to get a good seat. He didn’t take attendance but the classes seem to increase with every passing day. He explained that he wasn’t a babysitter. He was there to do his job and get paid. Our responsibility was to show up and learn to see the world in a different light. Instead of studying about Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, and other great writers he taught us about British lyrics (but always bringing it back to the past and these writers). He made us see music and other media forms as literature. This is way before the internet so there was no cheating in reference to what could happen within his hour and a half lectures. His way of dissecting the world through words was fascinating. And, his form of teaching adults, rather than teenagers was endearing. It pushed us to take notice that we were responsible only for ourselves after leaving the harsh world of structure in childhood.
Show up and be present: such a simple policy! We are asked every day to show up and be present in our lives through every breath. We are only expected to learn, love and live through every moment. This simplicity is perhaps too juvenile for us to follow. Showing up and being completely present would require us to remove ego and allow the Divine to be the guide. It would also relinquish the stagnation of having to follow rigidity and complexity. Accepting things as they happen would collaborate with our higher selves (and purpose) in a way that is magical.
We are asked to attend our lives with beauty, awareness, compassion and faith. Somehow even while given such freedom to do whatever we want we complicate the journey. Going from high school into college without structure of being told what to do can be daunting, but in this literature class it was pure joy. No one wanted to miss the opportunity to learn. Imagine that! No hardcore structure, yet learning was made fun. This is truly the way we are to live our lives. The manner in which we establish our presence is always so uncompromising, inflexible and single minded at times.
What could happen if we allow God to do the job? What could happen if you got out of your own way for once and allow Presence to guide you? What would it look like if you showed up and enjoyed the process instead of partaking in restrictions of what to do and not do? I bet we would be amazed. I am sure we would live for the joy of living and not having to attend one more day with ingratitude. Let’s just try it for a bit! Living is a privilege, yet we forget it every day.