May 6

A seeker once asked Bayazid: “Who is the true Prince?” “The man who cannot choose,” said Bayazid: “the man for whom God’s choice is the only possible choice.”
   – Bayazid al-Bistami

The Lord is extending the gift of immortality to each of us, but we do not reach out to take it because we are holding a few pennies in our hands. I don’t know if you have seen infants in this dilemma; it happens at a particular stage of development, when they have learned to grasp but not quite mastered letting go. They have a rattle in one hand; you offer them a toothbrush, and for a while they just look back and forth at the toothbrush, then the rattle, then the toothbrush again. You can almost see the grey matter working: “I want that toothbrush, but how can I take it? My hand is already full.”

Similarly, all of us look at the Lord’s gift for a long while, asking “What is this? How do I know it’s real? Give it to me first; then I’ll let the pennies go.” The Lord smiles and waits. He can offer the gift, but for us to take it, we have to open our hands. And there comes a time when we want something more than pennies so passionately that we no longer care what it costs. Then we open our hands, and discover that for the pennies we have dropped, we have received an incomparable treasure.