Right now I am enjoying a great combination of events that are happening all at once - Wimbledon, the upcoming Summer Olympics, and the Tour de France. I am like a kid when it comes to watching these - i truly and fully love them. I respect and admire the work and dedication that these incredible athletes exhibit and embody. They are fully committed to their sport and are willing to put in a Herculean amount of work to train and get themselves to their peak.
Then, today in the news was yet another story about doping in the Tour de France. We have already seen several cyclists stripped of awards, suspended or even banned from the sport for using illegal, and unethical methods to get an advantage. They hurt themselves and others in their sport because they, in many cases, claim these accusations are untrue, even in the light of positive evidence. When I read these things, I ask - where was your highest intention?
Everyone in life goes through hard times and needs a reliable compass to help them navigate through the rough storms. The hard path or the easy out - they are both there. The hard path is difficult, painful, long and tough. It requires us to look at ourselves and our intentions in the full light of truth. Are we committed and behaving with dignity and courage? Are we refusing to let the storm of life's difficulties change our true course?
It can be a daunting task to live with the highest intention, and we will be tempted to take the easy way many times. Yet, if we stop during those hard moments and ask ourselves - "What is my highest intention?" - you will be set on a positive path. Your heart will show the way, and your truthfulness and honesty will guide you as you go. And when we live in this way, we light the way for others, even when we do not know or see those results. We live lives of truth, gentleness, honesty, compassion, dignity and courage. We live our best and highest intention.
Thomas Merton once wrote to a young activist, "Do not depend on the hope of results... You may have to face the fact that your work may appear worthless or achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you become used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself."
The hard path may require us to be the light for ourselves and others even when we cannot see results and darkness seems everywhere. Our highest intention is the unending light as long as we follow truth and compassion, and this light will never fail. Live your highest intention.