Our efforts to make things "come out right"
and to have our lives "be meaningful"
according to our private notions and demands
doesn't quite do it.
Even when we are outwardly successful
in ways that our society rewards
something still seems to be missing.
We are at an impasse.
. . . The effort is exhausting and finally empty.
Who we are is given to us. We do not even earn it.
It is a free and holy gift.
The paradox is that we must stop, feel,
and grow silent
in order to receive the gift of ourselves
even while we still hang on to the belief
that things are all up to us,
that we are in charge.