New Day Herald

David Whitaker, The Highest Good

The Highest Good


This article was published in the New Day Herald Magazine – Volume 2 in Spring 2019.

There are moments in my life when I know that I am exactly where I need to be.

This morning, for example, my wife and I had only enough celery for one cup of our daily juice. So I turned to the other produce in the fridge. Fuji Apples. Organic Ginger. Farmer’s market Carrots. It was a welcome break from the green routine to have see that spicy sweet horizon in my glass.

What if you could know that you are exactly where you need to be?

I walk the labyrinth in West Adams that’s like the one in the floor of an eight hundred year old church in Chartres, France. Trees stand like cathedral walls with leaves for windows. My steps tick over the stones as I dance through the curves and patterns. I walk, step over step, arms swinging, head passing through the dappled sunlight that mixes brightly with my hair.

Memories are like snapshots; The handshake of the mason who cares for the ancient stones of my mother’s home; Twin bonfires at the family farm after a double funeral; A poem by Mary Oliver remembering me to the family of trees.

Scripture speaks of revelation but revelation is nothing without you.

This is the highest good. Me writing this. Later, you reading it; sitting in your armchair, or on a downtown bus, or waiting for a table at your neighborhood restaurant.

This is the highest good; to drop the words and to lift the hands to do; to sweep the floor; to dust the heirloom records by the door. The lifting of the hands to touch another; to make the highest good so; to do whatever it takes to bridge the distance between me and you.

With all the random moving parts in this impossible universe could we dare to think that it’s perfect?

Assume with me. Let’s try it. Together. Let’s assume that everything that’s happening right now is the highest good. Let’s stop trying to think things into being different and let them be – not too much or too little. Plenty. Let’s give up the job of changing the past, and start participating as if this is the best thing we have going, because it is.

Christ says in The Bible, “Let the dead bury the dead.” Rafiki, the wise baboon in The Lion King, says “It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.”

Let us pray. May we know that the highest good is here now. May we know the peace that that knowing brings and take fresh courage in the possibilities of our unfolding lives.

We are breathing.

We are here.

Let us become masters of bearing witness to the highest good. Let us play God to ourselves exactly the way that we want God to be. Let us give ourselves the best that we have.

I sit on a bench, watching the labyrinth. A cloud crosses the sun. Cold creeps in. Doubt furrows my brow. A moth lands on my sleeve; quivers in the breeze. Its antennae erect. Receiving. I take a breath. The moth leaps and flutters and lands on a piece of fallen bark where it blends in and disappears.

That a word written on the page can touch something in you, and that you might know what that means, is a miracle. Not in an absolute sense but in an absolutely personal sense.

Good. Love. God. It is you who brings the meaning to each word. It is you who knows what brings you here and all that you have overcome.

The life that is yours to live is yours alone. But it is not an alone life. It is filled with a celestial choreography and a divine cast, each fulfilling a piece of this puzzle called God.

The Conference of the Highest Good. June 26th – July 2nd, 2019

5 thoughts on “The Highest Good”

  1. Hi David, The flow drew me along – short – sweet – moments – of me putting interpretation and meaning to the words you chose to use. ‘Not an alone life” at all. All of us a “piece of this puzzle called God” Yes indeed. Thank you. Corinne

  2. Esther Jantzen

    Thanks, David. I can’t hear it enough: “Assume with me. Let’s try it. Together. Let’s assume that everything that’s happening right now is the highest good.” My whole body relaxes when I invite and permit that assumption. And I especially love that we all can do it together. Light and blessings, Esther

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