Time and again, I have seen for myself
What my rational mind cannot trust:
That my personal bridge comes together from dust,
Or some stranger appears, like an elf
With a mission to save me (though I’ve been a jerk)
And my will undergoes re-direction
And I think of the Puritans’ belief in election,
—Is this how the Universe works?
I plan out my life as though luck can’t continue;
Good fortune exceeds my belief.
I remember the times I’ve felt anguish and grief,
And I strain every muscle and sinew…
Maybe my worry is part of The Plan,
Perseverance supports my good fortune.
More powerful far than to pray or importune
Is simply to do what I can.
In the end, I can only but listen within
For a guide on my path through unknowns
And I hear a small voice when I quiet my groans
(And my doubts, and the external din.)
But to finally quell this incessant refrain
Needs a faith that endures when I die.
Is the immortal soul just a comforting lie?
Can awareness live outside a brain?
Though my faith and my peace will be stretched to their ends,
Life’s condition leaves no other choice;
So I focus attention on one still, small voice,
And ask how widely wisdom extends.
— Josh Mitteldorf (3/1/17)