Finding Hope in Crisis | This Too Shall Pass
There was once an ancient Persian King who wanted a reminder that would leave him with a peace of mind both in good and challenging times. He called on all the wise men of his castle but none of them could come up with something that would truly satisfy his concern.
As he was meditating on his request, he was reminded of a wise, mystic man who once had an encounter with him a couple of years ago and challenged him about his riches and the temporal nature of everything under his rulership. The king was pretty amazed by the way the mystic challenged the king by asking him a simple, yet thoughtful question, "who had all these riches before you and who would have them all once you are gone?"
The king called the mystic to his presence and told him about his request. While staying silent the whole time, the mystic listened to everything the king had to say and then replied, "consider it done your majesty" and went on his way. A week later, the mystic came back with a ring that had an engraving, "this too shall pass," on it, and told the king to look at it both in his happy and challenging times. The king wore the ring as long as he reigned and passed it down to the next generation as something of high value.
Principles of Change:
When we look at the world, the only constant law is change. There is a philosophical idea that says "change or die," pointing to the fact that we can't live with our past, without adapting to current circumstances. There are three important principles to be reminded of regarding change:
1. Even though change is a constant pattern in the world, nothing is really new under the sun: The wisest man who ever lived according to the Bible, King Solomon, mentions in the Book of Ecclesiastes, "what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." In other words, we don't really invent anything, but discover them. To give an example, the airplane could have been invented a thousand or two thousand years ago because everything that is needed to create the airplane was present at that time as well. The invention, therefore, is not creating something new but finding a different pattern of present elements.
2. The only constant law in creation is change: We can never outgrow change or be free from it. Everything in nature teaches us that all things are subjected to change. Knowing this principle helps us to realize the temporary nature of all things under the sun.
In the story, what the sage really meant was, "don't depend on your happy moments because they will pass; don't be stuck in your griefs because that will pass too." Even though this statement might sound unemotional, it has an element of truth to it. Whatever we experience on this planet changes, therefore our hope needs to be in something greater than this world.
3. To welcome change, we need to put our hope in a reliable source: Faith in God not only renews us daily but helps us also in the face of change during our lives on earth. Since God's nature is unchanging, when we have our hope and faith in God, we are able to deal with changes in a different light. We understand that both our happiness and sadness are passing seasons, but the peace and joy in the presence of God are eternal.
When we understand the principles of change, we realize how important and crucial it is for us to become comfortable with change and have a secure place beyond this world to put our trust. "God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." Sounds like a character that we can always look up to and rely on. Like anything in life, a change can be a curse or a blessing and the quality of our life is dependent on our attitude toward the changes that will come along our path.
About the Author
Parsa Peykar, GSEP M.A. in Clinical Psychology Student.