Challenge

The enduring value of religion is in its challenge to aspiration and hope in the mind of man.

No time exists other than now... So now is all you have and all you ever will have... Why not begin doing the best you can right where you are?... Trust the process of growth. Trust God. Pay attention to the details of your life, doing your very best with each challenge that presents itself... The past is the raw material of the present, but the past is not a blueprint for the present... Begin where you are. Do what you can. Even a small effort to change, to grow, to improve, will bring astonishing results... You can choose to build on what you were, but you are not what you were. You can focus on what you will be, but you are not what you will be. What you are is what you are right now - the inheritor of all of God’s gifts.

The unreal perceives separation. The Real knows there is none. The unreal despairs, is lonely, worries; the Real sees challenge, creates solutions, knows. The unreal produces more and more confusion. The Real empowers.

If scientific discovery has not been an unalloyed blessing, if it has conferred on mankind the power not only to create but also to annihilate, it has at the same time provided humanity with a supreme challenge and a supreme testing.

Life is a process of challenge and response.

Creativity can replace conformity as the primary mode of social being. We can cling to that which is passing, or has already passed, or we can remain accessible to - even surrender to - the creative process, without insisting that we know in advance the ultimate outcome for us, our institutions, or our planet. To accept this challenge is to cherish freedom, to embrace life, and to find meaning.

Science will never be able to reduce the value of a sunset to arithmetic. Nor can it reduce friendship to a formula. Laughter and love, pain and loneliness, the challenge of accomplishment in living, and the depth of insight into beauty and truth: these will always surpass the scientific mastery of nature.

People who lead fulfilling lives generally have found a sense of “home” in what they do. They have a philosophy of life that connects them to a larger vision. They accept that life is a continuing challenge. More often than not, they are able to live according to their own schedules, choosing work that is interesting and complex enough to keep them engaged. They get excited about being effective and about being stretched to learn new things. They have a few good friends who understand their vision and perhaps even share common aspirations. They are not driven by urgency, competition, or the demands of the ego.

I challenge my destiny, my time. I challenge the human eye. I will sneer at ridiculous rules and people. That is the end of it; I will fill my eyes with pure light, and swim in a sea of unbounded feeling.

The greatest challenge for democracy is to persuade people not to eat the seed corn of tomorrow's harvest.

In this world within, your world, you are the most important figure. There is a place that no one else can fill There is an influence that no one else can impart. There is a life that no one else can live quite as well as you can live it. What you do with your life within, in terms of self-realization, self-awareness, self-denial and self-expression, is the greatest challenge that can come to you.

Always challenge conventional wisdom.

After the day’s struggle there is no freedom like unfettered thoughts, no sound like the music of silence. And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat and discouragement, and before you the challenge and uncertainty of untried paths, in this brief hour you are master of all highways, and the universe nestles in your soul.

Disciplining one’s appetite may be the biggest spiritual challenge many of us will face this side of dying. In a world where the future of the planet depends on how many of us will agree to say not to excessive lifestyles, fasting can teach us that physical satisfaction is not the purpose of life.

The first question to be answered by any individual or any social group, facing a hazardous situation, is whether the crisis is to be met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair.

The challenge is to hate the sin but love the sinner.

A sense of purpose and fulfillment is the single strongest issue flowing out of the quest for meaning… The end of the quest for meaning is the beginning of the journey of faith. Indeed, nothing better illuminates the entire journey of life and faith, and in particular the special challenge of finishing them well, than the issue of purpose.

Despair is due not to failures but to the inability to hear deeply and personally the challenge that confronts us.

Detachment of doctrine from devotion, detachment of reason from reverence, of scrutiny from the sense of the ineffable reduces God as a challenge to a logical hypothesis… God is relevant only when overwhelmingly urgent.

Subconsciously (particularly in the West), we still expect that limitless expansion - moving on, growing, and building a place of our own – will always be the intrinsic state of affairs. Expansion is necessary for life’s continued development – even expansion into space, throughout our galaxy and into others beyond. Evolutionary change occurs only when possible and advantageous; when niches open up, when food supplies vary, or when a mutation confers a bonus. If niches never alter, change brings penalty, not reward. If we choose zero growth, if we immobilize our niche, we will cease evolving. Without challenge, we do not advance.